Saturday, February 18, 2012

My 23rd Ever Post // Useful Links for Graphic Designers

Hello Everyone,

Today's post is dedicated to providing some useful pointers as well as resources for Graphic Designers and other people who may be interested in learning to use design programs or create visuals. Below are some links that might prove useful when attempting to learn short-keys for Adobe programs as well as for creating visuals for a presentation containing customized information.

List of Illustrator CS5 Shortcut Keys:

List of Indesign CS5 Shortcut Keys:

List of Photoshop CS5 Shortcut Keys:

Step-by-Step guide to creating infographic elements and compositions (use for technical guidance rather than design guidance as you can surely do better than what is shown as a final product):

Hope you find these useful.


Friday, February 3, 2012

My 22nd Ever Post // SmallTalk by Talk20

Hello Again,

Today I'm going to tell you about SmallTalk, a concept by the Talk20 committee.

As I mentioned earlier, I was supposed to be helping in organizing the Talk20 event this year. Last year I worked with colleagues Aya Al-Bawwab and Nadia Deghayli on designing the Talk20 posters, event catalog, and other items, and it was a great experience working with good friends and great designers, and the result was more than satisfactory. However, this year, since I have my Final Year Project to work on, I've opted out of working on the design elements and instead to work on helping in organization. Furthermore, the event coordinator was not very helpful in allowing us to execute our design visions, and this led us to have to sacrifice some of our ideas, something which none of us really wanted to do (as we were all very much for our former concept), and this is another reason why none of us has decided to work on the event design this year.

So this year, after explicitly stating that I would not be involved in designing for Talk20, the Talk20 committee approached me about an extra event to be added to the Talk20 agenda: SmallTalk. Now unlike Talk20, which is a large event where 10-15 Architecture, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, and Urban Design lectures are given, SmallTalk is an event where 4 lectures are given by people in different fields of Design and Communication about the same subject, the first subject for the first event being "The Image" in different design fields. The event is proclaimed to be: "An open design discussion highlighting the relationship between the creative work process and the target audience. The power, the spread, and the universality of the image all contribute to its important influence on our work today. By tracing the steps of the design process, this talk will attempt to reveal the layers that construct the final image." You can check the event poster on the Department's facebook page:

Well, the team had a shortage of designers, and Tania BouSamra, my friend and classmate who is on the Talk20 committee didn't have much time to design the poster on her own, so I agreed to help out. Big mistake I guess, and I pretty much led myself right into that trap. The next day, I came with a final poster, and the team loved it, and it was time to show it to the coordinator for approval, and typically she took a dump all over it. It's an old struggle, the one between graphic designers and architects, and her being an architect wasn't half the story. She brought up issues from last year's Talk20 design, claiming that our designs were unsuccessful and claiming that my current design was irrelevant and unsuccessful as well. After the talk we had, she left, and I excused myself from the group telling them that they would have to find someone new to work with because being patronized by a know-it-all architect was the last thing I needed when I was struggling with dues for my Final Year Project. I handed them the poster we had been working on, and asked them to find someone to design it for them, apologizing again for the inconvenience that this would cause.

The final poster turned out well, and I was please with what the team managed to put together under such short notice, and the poster can be seen on the Department's facebook page (linked above). It's based around the original design, however the type was played around with slightly, and the megaphone was an attractive additional touch, especially after they reverse stenciled with red spray paint around it, it looks amazing! You would have Ralph, Ghaith, Jad, and the rest of the team to thank for it.

Next time I will discuss Richard Pelgrim's De Prague exhibition and perhaps something about my stay in the Netherlands.

Until then,

Monday, December 19, 2011

My 21st Ever Post // My Balcony [Off-Topic Post]

I’m out on my first floor balcony at one past midnight, and I’m thinking that I wish I could relay unfiltered experience to someone else. I believe that if you were right here right now, you would not be able to experience what I am. You would stand here, and you would look out at the same lampposts, the same unfinished building, and the same ship at sea, yet you would not be having the same experience. I could write to you; I could explain it all to the minutest detail, but you would never understand it as I do. I want you to understand it; I want you to see the dim lights; I want you to feel the subtle breeze and chilling cold; I want you to hear the distant haze of sound; I want you to smell the tobacco burning beneath my nose; I want you to taste it and feel it in my lungs; I want you to understand the beauty of these particular moments that make up the entire experience just as I do. I want to record experience in much the same way as you would record a photograph or a video. I want to store it, share it, and then discuss it with someone else who knows it. I want to exhibit it in a hallway, post it on a blog, and submit it into a competition. I want it to be real in much the same way as all physical things are. I want to give it to you; I want you to keep it; I want the thought of it to invoke your own sensations; I want you to share it and experience it with others. I want you to be me with the most selfish form of desire, even if for only a succession of moments. I want to design your experience without your own psychological, physiological, and biological interference. Only then will you understand how perfect the view from my first floor balcony at one past midnight is.


Friday, November 25, 2011

My 20th Ever Post // Getting Back On Track

Saba7o People,

It's been quite a while. I seem to find myself focusing less and less on this blog, although what I want most is to keep it up to date. Since the last project I posted (Talk20) in March, I've been pretty busy, and I've made several promises to keep you all up to date on what I've been doing, but I haven't been doing so. I've got some time now, so I'm going to break the cycle and give you some updates.

First off, during this summer, I completed a university-required internship at Tarek Atrissi Design in the Netherlands. For reasons of client confidentiality, I can't post any of the work that I did there on the blog, although I will be showing some inspirational images from my stay in the Netherlands at a later time, and I'd be happy to show you any of my work during the internship in person.

Now I'm working on my Final Year Project (FYP) here at the American University of Beirut, a project which I'm proud to say involves the designing of the Republic of Lebanon Public Transport institutional identity system, with specific focus on the Bus System: how it functions, how it should function, and the visuals necessary to allow it to do so. Thus my project stems from branding concept to infographics, signage, mapping, etc. I'll discuss this further throughout this post.

Furthermore, I've joined the Lecture Series Committee (LSC) at the Department of Architecture and Design (ArD), where we, through collaborative effort, decide on who to invite to give lectures, how funding is distributed, and how we can raise funds to enable better exposure opportunities for our departments' current and future students. So far this year, we've had lectures by some influential names in the industry, including Sven Ehmann, Creative Director of Gestalten and Interactive Art Director Julian Koschwitz, with several other important lectures lined up.

Something I'm also proud to be a part of this year is the line of student designers currently handling the design process of our department's lecture poster series, a team led by renowned Iranian Graphic Designer Reza Abedini, who also happens to be my FYP adviser for this semester. Here is an image of the poster as it was printed (please click it to zoom in and see the details).

Mireille Astore Lecture Poster on December 14

Last semester, I worked on designing two posters for our department as well, and these were works from outside the LSC. An interesting fact is that this year, because of Reza's creative direction of the poster series, we've been able to create a consistent series (this year's theme is portraiture) without compromising the individual visual styles that each student has developed. All posters are being printed offset at Anis Press: A2 size with one color with black for the front, and black for the back, and each poster will be cut into 8 A5s and the entire series for the year 2011-2012 will be bound into 50 catalogs documenting the different styles and approaches used. Here are last semester's posters: the "Birth to Whole: Manifesto" poster was for the final performance of a course I was taking at the time titled "Writing the Manifesto", and the "Frankenstein Encore" poster was for a lecture on a stop-motion popup book animation by collaborating artists Isabella Nouzha and Alex Baladi (please click them to zoom in and see the details).

Writing the Manifesto Performance Poster
Frankenstein Encore Poster

Next time, I'll share with you some of my photographs in the Netherlands. I still have to show you the Exhibition work that Richard Pelgrim and I worked on last semester. I'll update you on upcoming events and lectures within the department, as well as on my FYP work and research.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My 19th Ever Post // A Poem For Truth [Off-topic Post]

Cries of Truth

The space between the cracks is void of all conviction,
The walls descend upon the face of contradiction,
Deception clearly tainted,
With sentence unacquainted,
With words of forged depiction.

The minds of those alive are blemished by their dead,
The ruthless consequence is always theirs instead,
Reflection solely broken,
With truths yet unspoken,
With paths not yet led.

The seeds of clarity are crushed by their hatred,
The only hope remaining singled out and wasted,
Rejection buried tears,
With cries upon deaf ears,
With opinion falsely weighted.

The burden is but ours.

A poem in solidarity with all those who seek the truth and are persecuted for it today.
Don't stop searching, you will find it soon.



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