Amman, Jordan · Graphic Design
Graphic designers Hussein Alazaat and Ali Almasri were awarded the 2015 Afield fellowship for their social design initiative Wajha, based in Amman, Jordan. Wajha’s online platform is creating both a library of design elements as well as a window to the history of Arab art calligraphy.
Wajha was founded in 2012 by Hussein Alazaat and Ali Almasri, two graphic designers from Amman, who decided to help small shops in need of branding work.
Since 2012, five owners of small commercial activities located in the city centre or in unprivileged neighbourhoods have benefited from Wajha’s free design and re-branding. Each project is the result of a collaborative process and a contextual analysis to consider the owner’s identity, the shop location as much as the business results and clients.
Wajha’s online platform is creating both a library of design elements as well as a window to the history of Arab art calligraphy – giving an open access to anyone who is interested in reusing them again to offer free design services.
The success of this site-specific design plays a part in developing the local economy and the social fabric of the city.
The aim of the projects is also to renew the cultural heritage of the Arab business world of the 50s and 60s, a golden age for sign writers and painters whose craft died out with the onset of the computer age.
Ali Almasri is a type designer and multidisciplinary artist. He specialises in multilingual type design, focusing on Latin and Arabic. He equally searches for design concepts and experiment with many digital medias to relate to an unlimited source of inspiration- Arabic Calligraphy. In 2014 he launched his own type foundry under the name Abjad. In 2020 he launched his own concept store, inspired by Arabic Calligraphy, and the diversity of the visual culture that spread across Islamic lands.
Hussein Alazaat is a multi-disciplinary designer, instructor, Arabic calligraphy artist, and typography enthusiast from Jordan. He founded ALAZAAT Design Studio in Amman and offered his services to various clients in diverse industries around the world. Hussein focuses on the research as a tool to empower his belief in Arabic letters utilization in brands and products; he also emphasizes a contemporary treatment in his typographic art projects.