Day 2

This next step was easy and I quickly arranged all the texts. Now that I new what the mistakes could be, I was more careful.

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There were  a few changes I had to make to make the type more clear, as it wasn’t very legible. I added the ghost box around it to avoid any disturbance from the background texture of the wood which was making less legible.


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Final poster:

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It was really nice to print it out on this scale as everything was more clear and bigger in this one. I found that after putting in all the type on my poster, the poster started looking more complete. It filled up a few spaces where the eye would rest and activated the space.

Overall, this project was a test of all the knowledge that we learned though the previous projects and in a sense reflected what we know about type.


After completing type 1, I now think that as a designer, this class had affected me a lot. Right from the beginning when we learned about the letter forms, I started to notice my surroundings like never before. Looking at letters had become more like looking at shapes, which could be combined to give a meaning. Getting away from the idea of treating type as type was difficult at first but as we did more of it, especially in arabic, which I am not fluent in, I have learned to analyze text as image and look at type around me and think about what made the designer make the decision of using this color, or typeface etc.

I am and will be applying all my knowledge into other areas and I believe this what i should be doing as a designer. My biggest struggle in this project was understanding why we did what we did. The most obvious reason for this is that I have to read more about things that are related to this and put my thinking in a way that guides me in the right direction. I recently showed my word poster to one of my friends who is not in the design field, her reaction was so unexpected and she couldn’t believe that this poster was made by hand.

To me, this was really surprising to know because we put so much effort into it and by the end when people see it on display, they don’t realize the effort put into it and don’t give much thought. This is not I want people to think. I want my work to be something that people stop and look at to understand why we did what we did. This is something that I still have to understand to get over with. I was always used to appreciation of work because of its beauty, but now, the thought behind something is equally as important as how beautiful it is.

I hope to develop my understanding of type through reading more and looking at existing type. I believe this will be the way to develop myself as a designer and expand my knowledge about type.



Day 1

Project 05: Final Poster

After completing all the type projects and learning the basics of putting type on an empty page, I found this project to be the easiest of all. The type added another level to my poster and I personally felt like it made the poster look complete.

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Firstly, I started off with editing my photographs and selecting which image I wanted to use. I edited out some parts of the image which included the onion peel in the bottom left corner. I also wanted to try the white cutting board I had used for my word as type might work better on it and also my professor had told me I could try doing it. However, I did not like the white poster as before because I know I had put more effort into the wooden one in terms of its composition and aesthetic. Screen Shot 2016-12-02 at 8.46.21 PM.png

Keeping in mind all the rules about type, I created the final poster using elements like alignment of the sentence and the paragraph, how I broke the sentence/paragraph and the space in which the paragraph/sentence will be put. I was not sure what the informed decisions should be in this poster, so I only tried what I had learned till now.

I focused more on fitting the sentence into a space and not on anything specific to the word. The first try was just copy parting my final sentence compositions. I didn’t put much thought into it as I did know what was the expectation.  I just tried  different compositions to start with.

Class critique:

In the group meeting with the professors, we got to see other peoples work and received feedback. This helped me a learn a lot of things that I had not considered. Things which I had learned but not applied to this poster. When we worked on the empty page, we had nothing to consider and we could put type wherever we wanted, with informed decisions like the alignment, the type size etc. However, in this one the type added more meaning to the page and so other decisions had to be considered.

The first trials that I did were not thoughtful and I took a very less time to do it. What I learned here was that the actual word on the poster had to have some relation with the type that we put in. Considering the angles, the colors, the way the letters were divided, and the other elements in the composition.


The thing that I was surprised about after the critique was that I thought i knew what I was doing and that it was at least close to being correct. However, I was wrong. it was not as easy I thought it to be. After the critique, i worked on my poster considering the things I learned and using informed decisions.


This was the logo I chose for the poster as it looked organic and went along with my poster.




Day 4

Reflections on Type:

Highlights from Project 01: Letters

  • Understood the letter forms as a shape rather than a letter.
  • looking at everyone’s work made me aware of mistakes that I didn’t come across while working individually. It also gave us an idea of what’s good and what’s bad.
  • Making iterations helped create great results as it helped get rid of the idea of sticking onto one thing. I learned that comparing the before and after versions of the same sketch made it easy for me to reflect on what I have learned and how I have improved. This was something I learned from my class mate when she printed both versions of her sketch.
  • Simplicity was the best thing to achieve, but you only achieve it after a process were you have worked on the same thing for hours, and their comes a moment of discovery which gives us an eye for works and what doesn’t.
  • When we combined everyones work and looked at it, we could create patterns made from connecting different works. I realized from this that we should not always look at something from the same perspective. Changing our view point and thinking of it in a different way can help broaden the scope for something.

Highlights from Project 02: Word

  • Finding the definitions of the words in Arabic and English did not make sense at first. It was work that was too tedious and became boring after doing a few. During the project, I realized how important the process of gathering the definitions was. One has various different synonyms and the same word in arabic also has different synonyms, that might not even match the English word. This was very helpful for me because my word was Adorable in Arabic which was translated to جميل, which meant attractive. So, for juxtaposition, I found using the idea of onions being repulsive in the sense that they have a strong smell and make you cry. However, it was also beautiful in a sense that the textures on the onion looked amazing on the poster with a wooden background which to me went perfectly well with the composition.   Through this process I found there is always room for discovery and finding answers with what you already have.

Highlights from Project 03: Sentence

  • Again, simplicity, and less is more was something I learned when I completed the project and never followed it during the project.
  • Informed decisions. Everything that you do should be well thought out and must have a reason. Otherwise, it will become a gimmick–something that is trying to be clever but not really, or it will be arbitrary.

Highlights from Project 04: Paragraph

  • Things I learned: Justification, rag, baseline grid, and Indesign features like glyphs, paragraph styles and character styles.
  • After doing the sentence project, I found it easier to do the paragraph as I knew all the rules. The learning experience for me was using Arabic and becoming aware of all the things you can do with it.
  • As I was using the Qur’an, I found some glyphs that Basma showed us which improved how my paragraph looked. The brackets used in the Qur’an after each verse to write the verse number are very stylized and I initially didn’t think of using them. However, when I was looking for glyphs to find stylized fonts, I found the decorative bracket and used it for my paragraph.
  • Choosing the citation language was a decision making that I had to do. I wanted people to know that it was from the Qur’an even if they couldn’t read Arabic. After asking a few people I decided to just stick to the Arabic as it did not feel right to change the language. To me, it made more sense using the original language it was in.

Day 4

Final Compositions

Type face: Tanseek M regular

Arabic and English citation

Type face:Adobe Arabic

For my A4 final composition, I used a different typeface that I hadn’t tried but only known that it was used in a Qur’anic script a day before. My classmate mentioned this to me and said that it works best for my paragraph as its from the Quran. I loved this type of the very unique glyphs that it had. And as my sentence was very serious and was supposed to be repulsive, making it the opposite would make it more interesting.


For the A3 composition,  I used Adobe Arabic as it resembled the common typeface used in the Qur’an. For the composition, I wanted to add emphasis on the verse which was the most repulsive and so I chose the one that translated to : “And [some] faces, that day, will be contorted.”  and I made it bold and increased the point size to align it with the rest of the paragraph.


The brackets that I found for the Adobe Arabic typeface were also very beautiful and I really likes it organic shapes and reminded me henna designs which was my initial idea when I was creating the word project.

I used the guidelines to align the text in an aesthetic way keeping in mind the way the paragraph was divided. I broke the paragraph every place when it ended with a specific topic. For example, the first section of the paragraph says;

  • Man will say on that Day, “Where is the [place of] escape?”
  • No! There is no refuge.
  • To your Lord, that Day, is the [place of] permanence.
  • Man will be informed that Day of what he sent ahead and kept back.
  • Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness,
  • Even if he presents his excuses.

and the next sentence on the next paragraph section starts with a different aspect and says;

  • Move not your tongue with it, [O Muhammad], to hasten with recitation of the Qur’an.
  • Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation.
  • So when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation.
  • Then upon Us is its clarification [to you].
  • No! But you love the immediate
  • And leave the Hereafter.
  • [Some] faces, that Day, will be radiant,
  • Looking at their Lord.

The third section starts with the punishment, distinguishing from the previous verses which talked about the reward. It says;

  • And [some] faces, that Day, will be contorted,
  • Expecting that there will be done to them [something] backbreaking.
  • No! When the soul has reached the collar bones
  • And it is said, “Who will cure [him]?”
  • And the dying one is certain that it is the [time of] separation
  • And the leg is wound about the leg,
  • To your Lord, that Day, will be the procession.
  • And the disbeliever had not believed, nor had he prayed.

By learning that everything that we had on the page needs to be an informed decision, I considered thinking about what I was doing and tried to explain it.

The alignment worked for me because of the balance created using the 4 sections. I first found the centre of the page and then copied my paragraph just on the left of the centre as centre did not work for this kind of type.


Final A3 composition


One thing about my paragraph that I was not sure about was–the citation. It was in English in the beginning as I thought it was important to let people know that it was a Qur’anic text. However, after asking a few people and explaining why I wanted to use English they all preferred the Arabic citation as it looked awkward to give the English one. So I changed my citations to Arabic and reprinted them.

For this paragraph, I chose a simple composition, dividing the paragraph in two big sections where I equally divided them in a character length of about 63 characters per line. I increased the leading by 3 points to make the text look more open and legible.I used the centre and then aligned the text on both sides of the centre and to me it looked aesthetic  on the page.

Final A4 composition

Day 3

For today, I had tried using some things that Basma had taught us last class such as the glyphs to make stylized letters. I also tried breaking up the paragraph more as i wasn’t doing much of this before. We also were now aware of the 50% grey that we need to achieve to make our paragraph look good on the page. If it’s too dark I realized from a distance and when you squint, that it just appears as a block of black. However, the thinner and lighter the typeface was, the more it looked good aesthetically as well as gave it more breathing space.

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As I was doing more, It was becoming more and more tedious to work because of my repetitive way of working. I was doing similar things again and again and broke up the paragraph in a very limited way. In class, I saw people experimenting with their paragraphs by breaking them in all kinds of ways by taking the meaning behind the sentence. For me, as it was arabic text, I was afraid of doing something like that which might not make sense at all and for that reason I did not try it.


In class, we critiqued others work. Writing why we liked it or disliked it and considering the key elements: Typeface, tracking, leading, weight, point size, layout and composition, intervals and words or characters per line. I had chosen an arabic paragraph and critiqued about its leading and point size. Doing this, helped me to think critically about what might be wrong and how the person can improve her paragraph composition. This was a step that many of us did before every class, but instead, we only talked about it but never wrote it. I think saying it was much easier than writing it in words. What I learned from this was that this process helps us more in terms of really understanding critique which will also help us to do the same for our own work.

Critique on my work:


I had a composition where I divided the paragraph into two sections, like in a newspaper. I had also bold italicized it. So my classmate Reham critiqued in a very direct way and I think it was very helpful to get feedback from her. She mentioned that the paragraph is divided into a poem and that is not important and wasn’t needed. To me, I did not think of it in that way so I considered that point of her. Other critiques that she gave were also right that I used italics and bold which made is dark and not good to look at. She also mentioned that my citation should include the name of the Surah (chapter). I went to her later and asked more about the citation as even I was not sure about it. But I followed this format from an example I saw online so I did the same.


I had also received critique from the professors saying that the paragraph should be divided. This only one of my tries which was not divided so I knew that I wasn’t going to use this composition. However, this helped others who did not do arabic compositions about what can be a mistake and not work well.

Next class was the deadline for submitting this and I knew what I had to do. I also asked feedback from other classmates showing my other compositions and asking what’s working for them and what’s not. After doing that, I knew what I will focus on when i make the final compositions.

Day 2

Type setting the paragraph:

I finalized my paragraph with the Qur’anic one because its meaning was a repulsive reminder, its not so much about it being ugly, which is another meaning. I took the meaning  lack of sympathy, because through out the paragraph, God is telling people that if they have done wrong, they will not be given any sort of help during the time of judgement and that there is no place of escape for the people who deny and turn away.

I used translation of the paragraph to help me understand the verses so I can make informed decisions when type setting.

  1. Man will say on that Day, “Where is the [place of] escape?”
  2. No! There is no refuge.
  3. To your Lord, that Day, is the [place of] permanence.
  4. Man will be informed that Day of what he sent ahead and kept back.
  5. Rather, man, against himself, will be a witness,
  6. Even if he presents his excuses.
  7. Move not your tongue with it, [O Muhammad], to hasten with recitation of the Qur’an.
  8. Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation.
  9. So when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation.
  10. Then upon Us is its clarification [to you].
  11. No! But you love the immediate
  12. And leave the Hereafter.
  13. [Some] faces, that Day, will be radiant,
  14. Looking at their Lord.
  15. And [some] faces, that Day, will be contorted,
  16. Expecting that there will be done to them [something] backbreaking.
  17. No! When the soul has reached the collar bones
  18. And it is said, “Who will cure [him]?”
  19. And the dying one is certain that it is the [time of] separation
  20. And the leg is wound about the leg,
  21. To your Lord, that Day, will be the procession.
  22. And the disbeliever had not believed, nor had he prayed.
  23. But [instead], he denied and turned away.screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-6-29-12-pm

  ‭ ‬‭            ‬ 

As I was working with Qur’anic type, I was very conscious about how to divide the paragraphs in terms of certain rules that might exist about using Qur’anic text. No one else in class was using Qur’anic text so I asked my professor about it. Also, Basma had come in to help us learn Arabic type better and to show us some things we could do with it. So I thought it would be a good chance to ask.

They said that I should treat the text in the form of type and not a Qur’anic text because we are leaning about how to put a paragraph on a page. This made it easier for me as i was concerned about how to use the text.

During class we learned about many different things about Indesign’s Arabic features. These things included; how to adjust diacritic marks, justification, indentation, glyphs, kashida etc… It was interesting to know about the glyphs and that they can help add a touch of fluidity and movement in the text.

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During class critique, we learned some very important things about paragraphs. This included the Ragged edge of the paragraph, the tracking, rivers, widows and orphans and other basic things like the character length, type size and kerning. The ones that we did for class today were lacking all of this as we were not conscious of it.


I used the baseline grid as guides for the paragraphs. This helped in aligning separate parts of the paragraph.

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After class, I was aware of the rag, so that’s the first thing I thought of changing. I made them all look as close to being justified as it made them look neat. I tried other things like playing with techniques used for the sentence, dividing into three parts and aligning them to make it look good and using kashida to adjust the rag.


I started to realize how important the rag was to make it look like a proper paragraph. However , I did also notice that the kashida were not appropriate in some areas as they emphasized on words that did not need to be emphasized. Also, the way I broke the paragraphs looked awkward because it looked like a news paper article to me.I wasn’t sure about how I could divide my paragraph in a way that makes and has an informed decision behind it.


Day 1

Project 04: Paragraph

This project was going to be the opposite of the previous language I worked with. Our first task was to find paragraphs with a meaning that is opposite to the original word. My work was the Arabic of Adorable -جميل. It’s opposite is قبيح ie; ugly/ repulsive.

To find the paragraph was a challenge for me as I don’t understand Arabic. But thankfully, more than 50% of our class is Arabic speaking, so I knew that wouldn’t be a problem. However, I started to research on my own and decided I would ask after I have found something if it is correct. The first thing I did was to look up the word قبيح and find its synonyms. This gave me more options to work with when I am searching for the paragraph.


I thought the Quran would be a good place to start as I am more aware of it and I know I can find accurate translations of it to understand what I am reading.

I didn’t really find much from the Qur’an and so I searched for poems. I came across the Qatar University library and the Qatar National Library’s online resources which were in Arabic. They had a large section of poetry and I found three paragraphs that were repulsive in meaning.

The first one was about Palestine and how people there are suffering. This was more of a sad poem and was really not what I was looking for. The second one had a similar content but was more about bombing  and sacrifice, so it was repulsive. The third one was from the Qur’an where it talks about the punishment of the hellfire- which again was very repulsive.


Now, I have to work on type setting the paragraph the same way we did the sentences. But this time, I had more control over what I was doing, learning from the same process with the sentence.