Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) recently hosted a talk and workshop by award-winning Arabic Type and Graphic Designer Wael Morcos. VCUarts Qatar is a partner university of Qatar Foundation. 

Wael with Dr Cherif Amor, Basma Hamdy and Dean Amir Berbic
Wael with Dr Cherif Amor, Basma Hamdy and Dean Amir Berbic

Morcos, who was named a Young Gun by the Art Directors Club, and an Ascender by the Type Directors Club, has been working on a number of branding and exhibition design initiatives for various institutions in Qatar, including the Media Majlis at Northwestern University in Qatar. He has worked on Arabic typefaces for major organisations such as Nike, Bloomberg Businessweek, Yale University School of Art, Penguin Random House.

In his talk titled, ‘Wael Morcos: Right-to-Left’, Morcos described the set of challenges that comes from translating typographic concepts from one writing system to another. He also shared some of his projects by his company Morcos Key, including Arabic lettering for Nike, and exhibition designs from around the Middle East.

During his workshop at VCUarts Qatar, Morcos explained that typeface design requires a lot of craft that can only be mastered through practice. He said that spending time drawing letters is a great way to get started.

A deep understanding of how the script flows, connects, extends and changes following different styles is important.

Graphic Design Associate Professor Basma Hamdy said they were honoured to host Wael Morcos at VCUarts Qatar.

He brings a fresh and playful approach to Arabic type and graphic design in general. He was very inspiring for the students and whole VCUarts Qatar community!

Graphic Design student Marwa AlKalbani said she did not know that Arabic typography requires so much time, effort and passion to master, and way more complicated than Latin.

Another Graphic Design student Ayah El Nour added that they feel proud to see work that they can relate to and use as inspiration.

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