Meet The Type Artist Exploring The Visual Culture Hidden In Arabic History

Image Courtesy: Ali Almasri
Image Courtesy: Ali Almasri

Young visual artist Ali Almasri from Amman, Jordan, utilises the Arabic letter as a form of identity. His visuals are dictated by his personal experiences and inspirations from his native culture. With a background in print-making, traditional Arabic calligraphy, and the history of Islamic arts, he has conducted workshops in different cities around the Arab world and continues to present his work at an international level.

As a lifelong learner, Ali incorporates and cements his knowledge in typeface, as each of his visuals dictate a hidden part of Arabic history and the deep insights of design that are concealed in the land. His work in this area encapsulates everything from the smallest details of penmanship in the 9th Century AD to going beyond geography in order to understand and explore Palestinian embroidery.

Image Courtesy: Ali Almasri

In 2020 he launched his own concept store, inspired by Arabic calligraphy and the diversity of the visual culture that spread across Islamic lands. Interested in designing his own objects and products, the artist uses a hyper mix of 3D printing technologies and local handcrafts. His prints are hand-made and utilise traditional printmaking techniques such as Japanese woodblock Mokuhanga and silkscreen.

Additionally, he also co-founded the social design initiative Wajha in 2012 which promotes culture, community, art, and knowledge by empowering creativity. Ali does not believe in a singular vision. His efforts have always been inclined toward making art an asset for a community where multiple visions collide.

Image Courtesy: Ali Almasri

The type designer and multidisciplinary artist sees immense potential in mediums of art that allow his personal identity to shine through. It also provides him with a platform to create change and push forward different ideas to the community. In 2014 he launched his own type foundry under the name Abjad, where he regularly experiments with traditional Arabic typefaces by juxtaposing them with contemporary aesthetics.

Ali is a young creative who continues to explored the art of typography and calligraphy. They have become mediums through which he dissects the culture of his land and beyond. Most importantly, his skills have benefited society as a whole and have helped other young minds to find their inner visual language and further explore their identities.

You can follow their work here.

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