Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Refuel with Red Bull

Among the bland refrigerators of the other brands behind it, this one truly stood out. A "petrol pump" style refilling station for Red Bull. I am already exceptionally hyper without adding Red Bull to me (yes, if Red Bull "gives you wings" my own wings are inbuilt a bit a la Concorde). But still, love this stand out point of presence item. Makes the brand very visible.

Blow up - Arabic typography by way of vintage Egyptian movie posters (18/40)






Originally taken from very low resolution Egyptian film posters, these hand-written titles with differing typography from one to the next have been subjected to the "blow up" technique (hence the Antonioni wink) and adjusted as much as possible to design standards. These are throwbacks when calligraphy and typography were the norm prior to the digital taking over, an ode to the analog time full of charm and difference between one product and the next rather than heterogeneous design making every other film poster feel the same.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gosha Rubchinsky goes Kazimir Malevich

Designer of the moment with plenty of hype Gosha Rubchinsky has gone suprematist - litterally a la Kazimir Malevich. The beautiful turtleneck he is offering in this collection, is an almost replica of a a Malevich work. Sure, he changed the proportions a little and inverted the colors but truth be told, the similarities are there. Normally I am the first to scream when there is plagiarism, but this breathtakingly beautiful work by the designer who is now the darling of the fashion scene, seems a way for Rubchinsky to connect with his roots (while avoiding copyright issues by changing colors and proportions). This turtleneck goes up there with his 1984 t shirt.


Live Riga, the funny campaign!

I want to go to Riga!
I want to meet the Taxi driver, the teacher, the priest, the women's blogger, the senior, the boat captain, the senior and all the other characters from this super campaign. I still have no clear favorite as all of the ads are more funny than one another, each employing their character to the max (the priest starting with "welcome to paradise" is such a classic or the boat captain having "bigger fish to fry" during the weekend is another nugget). Riga - for the geographically-challenged - is the capital of Latvia and judging from the campaign has a lot to offer, and not just in epic characters!
Side note - to go to Latvia from Lebanon one needs to apply for a Schengen visa so there goes a bureaucratic nightmare!

Blow up - Arabic typography by way of vintage Egyptian movie posters (17/40)






Originally taken from very low resolution Egyptian film posters, these hand-written titles with differing typography from one to the next have been subjected to the "blow up" technique (hence the Antonioni wink) and adjusted as much as possible to design standards. These are throwbacks when calligraphy and typography were the norm prior to the digital taking over, an ode to the analog time full of charm and difference between one product and the next rather than heterogeneous design making every other film poster feel the same.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Lil Rijal Fakat (for men only) - epic logo

"Lil Rijal Fakat" (for men only). I wanted to write a long post about this but honestly, just look at that epic logo!!! It says it all....

Blow up - Arabic typography by way of vintage Egyptian movie posters (16/40)






Originally taken from very low resolution Egyptian film posters, these hand-written titles with differing typography from one to the next have been subjected to the "blow up" technique (hence the Antonioni wink) and adjusted as much as possible to design standards. These are throwbacks when calligraphy and typography were the norm prior to the digital taking over, an ode to the analog time full of charm and difference between one product and the next rather than heterogeneous design making every other film poster feel the same.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blow up - Arabic typography by way of vintage Egyptian movie posters (15/40)






Originally taken from very low resolution Egyptian film posters, these hand-written titles with differing typography from one to the next have been subjected to the "blow up" technique (hence the Antonioni wink) and adjusted as much as possible to design standards. These are throwbacks when calligraphy and typography were the norm prior to the digital taking over, an ode to the analog time full of charm and difference between one product and the next rather than heterogeneous design making every other film poster feel the same.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Linkedin and the meaningless words

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
I have asked the question before - am I using linkedin the wrong way? - and - what does 500+ connections on linkedin mean? - but today my question is about the words that linkedin made redundant, hollow, and empty.
Let's start with "mentor" - how often do you see that word plastered on profiles there? Much more than I can count. Let me be clear, one does not bestow this title on themselves (no matter what you convinced some idiotic incubator that you were so), to be a mentor is a title that other people lay on you. You assume it with dignity, do not speak of it, and try your best to be up to it. As the great Mark Twain once said about someone who presented him before a conference: "he introduced me in a way I could never live up to". To keep boasting that you are a mentor is an inherent defect and a clear indication you have no notion of what the word means in practice.
How about "entrepreneur"? Every young person calls himself/herself that word. What's my issue? You can be an entrepreneur while holding a 9 to 5 job - and no, not on the side of it as a moonlighting operation, inside that job as you try to stretch you company's (limited) resources to reach the targets. On his first day of work as head of Tele Liban the late Jean-Claude Boulos realized that one of the cameramen was holding his own camera with shoelaces to stop the top part from falling apart. If this is not being entrepreneurial then I wonder what is! One does not need to invent a useless app to be called entrepreneur, most of such app-inventing people are - sorry if I am stereotyping - rich kids playing with daddy's money (thankfully Patrick Chemali - no relation - corroborates this theory).
Serial change-maker (insert *facepalm* here). Maybe everyone should get off their arrogant high horses and listen to Jean-Jacques Goldman's "Il changeait la vie" (he was changing life). I thankfully could find an English translation of the lyrics, while those who appreciate French could read them in the language they were written in.
How about "co-working" or "incubator" or whatever. People, these notions existed way before - I was once explaining to my mother how the H&M designer collaborations work and how people would line up early in the morning to get their hands on them, and her reply was "oh just like the annual sales of Zahar, we would stand in the dark at 5 A.M. in Souk el Tawile to be able to get the deeply discounted merchandise".
Another example? In my summer break in 1993 I was working at the Beirut Archaeological digs, and I found a terracotta cover with a hole in it, I reported it to the person in charge and the man gently said: "Tarek, this is not a hole, this is a purposely made steam releasing mechanism which today we know as "presto" or steam cooker". There's nothing new under the sun, except that the Linkedin profiles think - as we say in Arabic - that they "iktashafo el baroud" (invented gunpowder).
Say what you want about Maguy Farah, the Lebanese radio-television personality, she once said something incredibly insightful, "when in class, you don't teach, rather we all learn" - yes teachers included. A former CEO of a Lebanese Bank still calls himself "lifelong student" (full disclosure I know Dan personally), and - lest you be intrigued as to how I present myself on linkedin? "Think tank and multimedia artist" - it says everything but does it in a way that is not self-aggrandizing or look-at-me-I-have-done-so-and-so.
Get a grip people, words have become meaningless on linkedin.

Blow up - Arabic typography by way of vintage Egyptian movie posters (14/40)






Originally taken from very low resolution Egyptian film posters, these hand-written titles with differing typography from one to the next have been subjected to the "blow up" technique (hence the Antonioni wink) and adjusted as much as possible to design standards. These are throwbacks when calligraphy and typography were the norm prior to the digital taking over, an ode to the analog time full of charm and difference between one product and the next rather than heterogeneous design making every other film poster feel the same.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Beirut by Walid Zbib #flashback

(C) Walid Zbib
Originally published: 19/8/10
These two postcards (still available to this day in the Way In bookstore in Hamra) remind me of my AUB days - as these posters were all over the place back then.... Both are the works of Walid Zbib - who from internet info was 22 at the time (since one of them dates back to 1987, "Beirut have a nice day") the second goes back to 1990 and is called Beirut v/s Beirut because it was set at the Museum crossing which was the demarcation line between East and West Beirut.... The Dochca in the Hamra one refers to the now defunkt Modca cafe (replaced by Jack Jones)... How can one love a city in ruins as much as we have loved Beirut, I wonder - the words of poet Nizar Kabbani go back to me (speaking of Beirut): We have given you a knife instead of a rose...

Blow up - Arabic typography by way of vintage Egyptian movie posters (13/40)






Originally taken from very low resolution Egyptian film posters, these hand-written titles with differing typography from one to the next have been subjected to the "blow up" technique (hence the Antonioni wink) and adjusted as much as possible to design standards. These are throwbacks when calligraphy and typography were the norm prior to the digital taking over, an ode to the analog time full of charm and difference between one product and the next rather than heterogeneous design making every other film poster feel the same.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Clemence Achkar in a brilliant photo!

Sadly this photo comes with no credit to the photographer, I was ushered to it by a friend on the Instagram account of Mondanite Magazine. I love this photo more than I can express. The model in question is none other than former Miss Lebanon Clemence Achkar, her nonchalance as she sunbathes with a Moet next to her and some stylish sunglasses contrasts so wonderfully with the littered beach around her full empty plastic bottles. The irony is too smart here! Mondanite put the photo to celebrate Achkar becoming a member of their team.

Of Puck cheese and territories.

In Lebanon we have Picon as a market name for cheese, Kraft for the UAE, Puck in Saudi Arabia. Puck has been very active advertising in Lebanon, specifically to mothers who want to wrap sandwiches for their children for the school recesses during the day. They also dangled the carrot of "7000 USD scholarship for a year" (no idea how it will be given but the logic of targeting mothers stills stands). From the ad one sees the many different options available. If this is enough to tackle the taste buds of the Lebanese children, then good for them! 

Blow up - Arabic typography by way of vintage Egyptian movie posters (12/40)






Originally taken from very low resolution Egyptian film posters, these hand-written titles with differing typography from one to the next have been subjected to the "blow up" technique (hence the Antonioni wink) and adjusted as much as possible to design standards. These are throwbacks when calligraphy and typography were the norm prior to the digital taking over, an ode to the analog time full of charm and difference between one product and the next rather than heterogeneous design making every other film poster feel the same.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What is the relationship between Cedars and Supars Cigarettes

Now that is interesting! I saw a Lebanese Cigarette on the line called Supars, its logo was very close to the ubiquitous Cedars brand. Cedars logo seems more italic and a bit more thin but the resemblance especially in the colors used on the box is uncanny.
Yes there are differences, but they both seem to stem from the same design.

Blow up - Arabic typography by way of vintage Egyptian movie posters (11/40)






Originally taken from very low resolution Egyptian film posters, these hand-written titles with differing typography from one to the next have been subjected to the "blow up" technique (hence the Antonioni wink) and adjusted as much as possible to design standards. These are throwbacks when calligraphy and typography were the norm prior to the digital taking over, an ode to the analog time full of charm and difference between one product and the next rather than heterogeneous design making every other film poster feel the same.