View the full version of this inspiring talk at inda.ba/19DOsEe
Wael Morcos studied graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design. At Design Indaba Conference 2013, he spoke about the ways in which graphic design and typography can be used to preserve language.
As Morcos is originally from Lebanon, he learnt to speak several languages without even realising it. This lead to his fascination with language and how it differs.
One of Morcos’s first projects saw a redesign of his grandmother’s diary containing numerous poems. Using his own understanding of the world, he transformed the diary through creating typographic patterns resembling her needlework. “It was a very important project for me as it made me understand myself and see how language and type is able to connect two people,” said Morcos.
The belief that who you are is a result of your experiences is a key factor in Morcos’s work. His following projects look at how people are able to trace their memories through visual cues that can preserve a person’s life.
Objects are silent but typography has the ability to give a voice to them, says the designer.
Morcos further gave insight into his fascination with Arabic typography as well as bilingual typography, the ability to balance two languages visually.
Designing a typeface is like designing a tool that gives people the chance to appropriate it and re-contextualise it in ways designers have not thought of, says Morcos.
Lastly, he spoke about his collaboration with Andy Chen to design the Civilian Victims Annual report. Here the graphic designers found a way to use type to portray a trustworthy report while simultaneously expressing the people it represents.
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