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As the international market for design grows, the value of knowing unique writing systems deepens. International typographer Mamoun Sakkal will tantalize us with stories on the challenge and beauty of designing Arabic typefaces during May’s Creative Morning talk, Writing Backwards: Designing Arabic Typefaces.

An expert in multiple Arabic typographic disciplines, including multiple types of calligraphy, Sakkal has had a longstanding career with letterforms in addition to his expert knowledge on on developing Arabic typefaces in conjunction with Latin typefaces. To prepare you for what will be a fantastic talk, we’ll be posting examples of his work whet your appetites over the next week.

To get things started, here’s a look at Shilia, one of several typefaces Mamoun has designed. This specific typeface was made as an Arabic companion to Linotype Univers (designed by Adrian Frutiger). Examples of both shown below.

(Images via Linotype)

And here’s an example of a custom version of this typeface in action at the Burj Khalifa Hotel in Dubai, UAE. It looks especially stunning paired with Univers within their wayfinding system.

(Images via sakkal.com)

Another example of his Arabic-Latin collaborations is Arabtek, designed to be compatible with the English font, Teknik.

(Images via sakkal.com)

And finally, here’s Sakkal Kufi, a typeface based on traditional forms of Kufic calligraphy, one of several Arabic calligraphy disciplines.

(Images via sakkal.com)

This is just a sampling of Mamoun Sakkal’s work and there will be plenty more to see and hear about during May’s Creative Morning! Be sure to grab tickets if you haven’t already!

Creative Mornings Seattle: Chris Jordan, Encountering Midway

**Please note, we had some serious audio/video issues while recording, so this video is a far cry from our usual stuff. We’re terribly sorry for coming short in presenting you with this amazing talk. :( **

On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast, polluted Pacific Ocean. For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.Chris Jordan is an internationally acclaimed artist and cultural activist based in Seattle, USA. His work explores contemporary mass culture from a variety of photographic and conceptual perspectives, connecting the viewer viscerally to the enormity and power of humanity’s collective behaviors. Edge-walking the lines between beauty and horror, abstraction and representation, the near and the far, the visible and the invisible, his work asks us to consider our own role in the overwhelmingly complex world we find ourselves part of. Jordan’s works are exhibited and published worldwide. chrisjordan.com/gallery/midway/#CF000313%2018x24