6-14 October 2017

Designers Preserving the Art of Calligraphy

By Lena Kassicieh
On Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The art of calligraphy, or khatt in Arabic, is said to be more than 5,500 years old. Originally a tool for communication, calligraphy began to be used in architecture, ornamentation and currency design. In Jordan, a variety of calligraphy was once celebrated and used regularly around the country to decorate and label storefronts. Now due to the rise of technology and print, the art of calligraphy has almost become obsolete. These local designers are celebrating the art of calligraphy through their initiatives and projects.

During Amman Design Week, Hussein Alazaat, a multidisciplinary designer and typography enthusiast, will be instructing a workshop and leading tours focused on the art of Arabic calligraphy. 

The workshop will highlight contemporary aspects of the art of Arabic calligraphy. Participants will learn about the evolution of calligraphy into what it is today, and be able to practice visual implementations of this art form. 

Hussein will also lead a tour under the name of his new venture ‘El Harf’ to learn about calligraphy on sign-making, an art that forms an integral part of Amman's visual culture. The tour will wind through downtown Amman to see older, remaining shop signages, ending at Khattat Abed Joukhy’s shop, where participants will learn Joukhy’s methods for painting signs with his antique set of brushes and tools.

IG: @hussein_alazaat | alazaat.com

eyen design’s publication Fahres Al-Khattat seeks to raise awareness and support for the livelihood of calligraphers throughout Jordan. Fahres Al-Khattat is a cause-driven nonprofit publication and interactive installation, produced with the support of Hussein Alazaat, Riad Tabbal, Shhadeh Haroun, Al-Arrab, Sawsan Tailor Shop and Mohammad Jabi, that aims to support the calligraphers in Jordan. Fahres Al-Khattat features a variety of calligraphy works, attributed to their respective calligraphers and paired with contact details, specialties and services offered.

The featured works showcase calligraphers in Jordan, encouraging commissioning opportunities in the midst of the demise of this traditional craft. Collectively, the publication, sponsored by Amman Design Week, positions itself as a portfolio and a living documentation rather than the traditional directory listings. Each publication is enveloped in a yafta (banner) fabric book jacket with hand-written calligraphy of the Arabic alphabet.

From Jordan, eyen design is a design collective in Amman that aims to congregate a network of designers and creative thinkers from different disciplines. The collective primarily functions in graphic design backed with thorough strategic frameworks. eyen has experience in branding, visual and corporate identities, spatial narratives, arabic typography, illustrations, publication design, and more.

FB: eyen.design | eyen.design