The opening of Beirut Art Center is in February 2009. I have participated in the design pitch for the corporate identity for the art center. A different design approach was chosen by the comity of the center, but below is a sneak preview of what I presented to the center.
This is the corporate identity of Beirut Art Center that was proposed by 29letters.
Below is the rational behind my proposal:
The search for simplified Lebanese/Arabic visuals or objects that can be generated into modern graphical elements was the basic drive the concept; what could be found in the Arabic script by itself, and what could be found in the Arabic pattern art. The challenge was giving the center a modern Arabic feel to it without making it traditional or Islamic?
The visual identity is bilingual (Arabic/English); the Arabic type will give the unique Arabic/Lebanese identity of the center, while the English acts as a secondary language.
After a thorough research and alternative sketches, the use modern Arabic “square kufi patterns” and the “Art space” concept seemed like an appropriate solution of the design of the graphical identity of the center. The concept is simple, strong, elegant and flexible. The proposed design takes into consideration the simplicity for future application of the identity and its consistency through out different mediums.
When treated with a contemporary design approach, square Kufi Arabic patterns lend a unique and modern feel that can be compared to Swiss graphic design style with an Arabic flavor to it. The Arabic name of the center is drawn in modern square kufi, while the English name is simply typeset inside a black space that is aligned with the Arabic. The black space is inspired from the shape of the center building area, and represents the art/design space in general. The slight tilt on the left of the space gives a unique feel to it, and can also represent the tilt in contemporary arts (as in an artistic twist). The space can be black, white or any other color. The design identity is so flexible to adapt to any art event at the center. The Arabic kufi pattern can be used alone in some cases as a small signature, and the space symbol can be resized or elongated to act as a design element used in all the application for the center like the signage, posters, tickets… It also makes the development of all the needed application for the center very fast and easy to create, which will in term reduce design and development costs.
Images of traditional square kufi patterns and the architectural drawing of the center were the starting point of inspiration for the creation of the Logotype.
List of alternatives for the Logotype.
Business Card and Letterhead design. Simple and straight forward. Strong and elegant. One color printing. The die-cut in the Business card is based on the tilt in the logotype.
Envelope and folded letterhead.
Corporate Brochure for the center. Folder wrapper that also acts as a promotional poster for the center and a cover when wrapped around the brochure.
Poster design using the black space element of the logotype as a graphical element in the poster. This shows the flexibility and strength of the corporate concept.
Examples of additional applications to show the direct adaptation of the corporate image. The entrance ticket of the center has a tilted perforated die-cut like the logotype.
Website design of homepage and some internal pages. As in the previous design applications, the black space creates the basic design element for the layout of the website.
Signage applications. The black space becomes the shape of the signage plates with info on them. The Arabic kufi part of the logotype is used alone as signature on the plates or on the walls. The signs can be created from metallic plates, directly painted on the walls using stencils, or cut as vinyl and stuck on the wall.