Being asked to develop visual identity in collaboration with one of Australia’s most iconic design institutions is the type of creative challenge every graphic design studio dreams about.
As an Australian Muslim working on local & international branding projects it seemed like a perfect fit, so I was passionate about developing the Faith, fashion, fusion exhibition & book design from the start. The intention was to create a striking, memorable series of graphic elements that would surprise, excite and challenge stereotypical imagery of Muslim women.
Working alongside the wonderful Powerhouse staff, our approach was to develop concepts which re-imagined classic Islamic design elements such as Arabic calligraphy and geometric tiling (the likes of which I studied in Morocco and Syria) into a contemporary inner-Sydney city street fashion style. So I asked my friend Haji Noor Deen, an internationally acclaimed calligrapher to write some of the key words in Arabic, such as Fashion (Al-Iziya) and Fusion (Mumazajah). I then explored a series of possibilities for the exhibition title block linking back to the ‘calligraphic’ style. We also developed the stencil / pop-art treatment of the photography as seen on the final book cover, further linking the urban visual feel to the amazing women featured in all of the images.
The result was a strong visual system that expanded to all areas of the exhibition itself such as title walls and labeling, along with the website, promotional media and book design.
Another fun part of the project was developing the Children’s Activity which features a series of interchangeable outfits based on the fashion labels seen in the exhibition. The characters were inspired by my ‘Kids of the Ummah‘ book & iPad app, and judging by the Faith, fashion, fusion launch event, will be welcomed by both parents & children!
The experience was truly wonderful and very rewarding. The Powerhouse team are very professional, dedicated and passionate about benefiting the wider Australian community through innovative and beautiful exhibitions. Well done.