Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lebanese poster design 001

By Admin N : In the land of the generic, the commercial and the inspired, it is always refreshing to see that genuine design is not dead, that the process of making a poster takes more than doing a collage of clip arts and slapping on it the info in 10 different fonts. It was on a wall on the Bliss Street of Hamra, lost amid a clutter of crappy posters that we spotted a couple we really liked, and I decided to write this post.

This particular poster is done for Nahnou’s campaign to reopen horsh Beirut to the public. More particularly, a public forum debate to discuss the challenges that stand against the reopening of horsh Beirut that took place in al madina theatre (Beirut).

The poster is a genius two color job, simple yet expressive; dominated by a very soothing light green that depicts the whole nature of the place. The visual itself is an illustration of life in the ‘horsh’, the line of expression is gesturally organic giving it a much friendlier approach and the view is distorted, adding a little fun and spontaneity to the general feel. The whole mood of the poster is very relaxed, as if you were actually there.

Now comes the typographical treatment where the awesome designer limited himself to two fonts: one custom made for the headline and a modern type for secondary information. Remember the golden rule people: less is more!

And thumbs up to the stencils they plastered all over the streets of Beirut, love it!

Now here’s another one that we fell in love with as soon as we saw it, the kamel el sawt poster is another 2 color job with a super brilliant sketchy-like illustration merging an embrace of a man and a woman with the land map of Palestine; each name of a Palestinian city is written in what seems to be a simplified human face. The visual itself is very powerful and touching.

As for the typographical treatment, here’s another examples of less is more. Once more we see a custom made font for the headline and a modern font for the body text.

We shall continue to wander the streets of Beirut looking for hidden gems in a sea of atrocities, shedding light on this forgotten part of design in Lebanon.


Sukleen 1551 and the missing link

By Admin I  So here we are keeping the positive vibes going and trying to inject more diplomacy onto our posts (don’t get too hooked on the diplomacy part, it won’t last!) and the featured campaign this time is “Sukleen 1551” by Clementine.

Being super honest, the ad makes having a fortuneteller in the advertising scene, a must. After taking almost 2 hours of social media investigations and designers/advertising gurus’ failing attempts of decoding this approach, we officially surrender.

1551 is the Sukleen hotline that is available for any inconvenience reports, yet the campaign looks like a runway gone bad, or a 4th degree of concept that makes you fashion aware more than anything else (kinda liked that off-white coat, my Birthday’s next month you know!).

So the decoding process will be launched in a sort of group effort, between us brofessionals and you, target audience. A primary analysis would say that the agency is trying the say that using that hotline will make you avoid going out to throw garbage and ruin your over the top elegance; Another interpretation would totally shoot the first one by simply translating the visual: A trendy individual walking proud with a garbage bag to encourage people to do the same, which does not by any chance relate to having a hotline for Sukleen..

Felt dizzy already!? Scratch those brains and let’s figure out a solution for this jigsaw, that is for sure failing to reach its audience. It seems that finding a common ground of logic is not an option with that agency, lost between the rhyming nightmares (do-re-mi-fa-soldes anyone!?) and the wannabe smart approaches..

But who cares, let’s find some positives! like the not-so-bad art direction for example! (ego iceberg melting quickly.. Global warming y’all)

Now your turn:


The crop of the night 9 Cristals 5 Saphire and 7 Emeralds for Impact BBDO at the MENA Cristal by @Joeayache on twitter

MENA Cristal Results 


By Admin I : Before officially releasing the detailed MENA Cristal 2012 full results we were following minute by minute the distributed awards via social media platforms and online resources since as you know, attending such events can cost a fortune (And yes, we think it’s noteworthy to study bloggers’ participation in high end award ceremonies being a part from today’s influential media.)


The awards were the result of earlier judging held last December in Switzerland and the ceremony took place at Mzaar Kfardebian (Lebanon) for 3 consecutive days from 21 till 23 February 2012.


As a fast summary of the results, LEO BURNETT was mainly dominating the race, grabbing the biggest number of awards for well deserved campaigns and efforts.


to cut it short, let’s all congratulate this selection of winners below, we’re very vey proud of our agencies and as Brofessional Review, we covered and credited many of the award winning campaigns and our expectations turned out to be a hit!!


– Media Man of the year: Pierre Choueiri


– Young director cristal: Nadine Labaki


– OMD media network of the year


– Leo Burnett Beirut advertising agency of the year


– Starcom Mediavest Group media agency of the year!


 – Leo Burnett wins advertising network of the year







Campaign: 2D Revolution Advertiser: Egyptian Tourist Authority
Production House: Independant Artists Agency: JWT Country: Egypt




Campaign: Sad World Advertiser: Zain Group
Production House: City Films Agency: M&C Saatchi Country: Lebanon






Campaign: No Rights No Women Advertiser: No Rights No Women Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon




Campaign: El Balad Baladna Advertiser: Henkel Agency: OMD Media Direction & Impact BBDO Cairo Country: Egypt




Campaign: Loubnani Stamp Advertiser: Bank Audi Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon




Campaign: Fake It All: Stunt Advertiser: Brand Protection Group Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut & Starcom MediaVest Group Country: Lebanon




Campaign: No Rights No Women Advertiser: No Rights No Women Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon






Campaign: Fake It All Advertiser: Brand Protection Group Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon




Campaign: No Rights No Women Advertiser: No Rights No Women Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon



Campaign: Fake It All Advertiser: Brand Protection Group Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon



Campaign: No Rights No Women Advertiser: No Rights No Women Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon


Campaign: Fake It All Advertiser: Brand Protection Group Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon


Campaign: No Rights No Women Advertiser: No Rights No Women Agency: Leo Burnett Beirut Country: Lebanon


Campaign: I Am Egypt Advertiser: Egyptian Tourist Authority Agency: JWT Country: Egypt


Food : Leo Burnett Cairo – Cono is different – Egypt : CRISTAL + GRAND CRISTAL

Drink : Leo Burnett Beirut – Keep walking – Lebanon : EMERALD

Insurance / Banking / Financial Service : Leo Burnett Beirut – Bank Audi “Go out there” – Lebanon : EMERALD

Services : M&C Saatchi Beirut – MTC touch 3.9G Speedy & Amigo – SAPPHIRE

Public interest campaign : IMPACT BBDO Beirut – Cheyef Halak – SAPPHIRE


 Food / Drink : JWT Beirut – Heineken – What’s Christmas without Red & Green – EMERALD

Ambient: (all product categories) : JWT Beirut – Heineken – What’s Christmas without Red & Green – EMERALD



Leo Burnett Beirut : NoRights No Women – CRISTAL + GRAND CRISTAL

Impact BBDO Beirut : Cheyef Halak – CRISTAL

Leo Burnett Beirut : Fake it All – The closest things to you can be fake – EMERALD


Leo Burnett Beirut : Fake it All – The closest things to you can be fake – CRISTAL

Impact BBDO Beirut : Cheyef Halak – SAPPHIRE

Leo Burnett Beirut : No Rights No Women – EMERALD



Impact BBDO Beirut : 90 Years Fransabank – SAPPHIRE

Leo Burnett Beirut – Roses from the Sky – Lebanese Army – EMERALD


Conception of the Idea

Impact BBDO Beirut – Cheyef Halak – CRISTAL

Good Job you guys!!

For the complete results check this link


Celebrating Stefan Sagmeister: Liberating our local advertising

By Admin N : We were working on our book design project when my teacher, for inspiration, told us to check Stephen Sagmeister; and so I did (nerd, I know!). Imagine my surprise when I saw in his portfolio that he was the brains behind the AÏshti identity and advertising campaign!

Now Sagmeister managed to establish himself among the elite designers in the world, having a great eye for typography. Who can forget his Aiga Detroit poster where his interns carved all of the info into his skin in order to visualize the pain that seems to accompany most of their design projects? I absolutely love the guy!

Aiga Detroit poster

He even published a book back in 2008, titled: Things I have learned in my life so far.
A genius work where, in pursuit of happiness, he managed to turn the answers into typographical treatments on billboards and signs using different media and compiled in a book with a very interesting interactive cover. See for yourself:

As previously mentioned, Sagmeister is also the designer behind the Aishti new identity and packaging, the ingenious very minimal orange box and black type that creates great contrast and a very elegant look.

“Aishti Identity Identity and packaging design for Aishti, Aizone, and Minis department stores. For Aishti’s new identity, we honed in on the dots above the “i” in the logo and created a series of graphic patterns which were used across Aishti’s stationary, wrapping & tissue paper, gift cards, garment bags, credit cards, stickers, and more. The Aishti gift bags each feature a surprise inside: kissing couples. Aizone bags featured optical illusions inside the bags. For the minis brand we created a series of characters which were interactive with the shopping bag handles.”

The controversial AÏshti 2011 ad campaign featuring a naked woman; the ads were seen as sexist and another example of “sex sells”, which made us wonder about the audience’s cultural and artistic background, kind of blinded by the chaos of random advertising approaches and reached a point where identifying art from eroticism became an almost impossible task to accomplish.

AÏshti Advertising Campaign, a luxury department store in Beirut. We honed in on Aishti’s signature orange gift box, making it the visual centerpiece of the campaign. The box becomes a symbol for the brand, turning into an object of luxury. Campaign images were used in newspapers, magazines, and billboards in the Middle East.

Great color contrast!

Here’s another one, may be my favorite!

Sagmeister Inc.’s rebranding of Aizone in 2010 focused on strong black and white patterns which reflects the dynamic, vibrant nature of the brand. The Fall / Winter 2010 campaign debuted these patterns through typographic optical illusions. For the Spring / Summer campaign fashion models were incorporated into the signature graphic patterns. Working with renowned body painter Anastasia Durasova, we painted the models to match Aizone’s patterns and photographed them in patterned environments.

We might be featuring a very small sample of Sagmeister’s works, but this selection relating to local advertising simply shows that there is no excuse for lame advertising approaches and we don’t have to adapt to the copycat land we live in, we can be innovative and lose the boundaries we always use as excuses for being too generic and lacking creativity.

Articles have mentioned your Style=Fart philosophy, do you feel that being trendy in design is a disservice to the concept?

No, if it’s for a trendy client or project. Yes, if is not.

Cafe Super Brazil and storytelling 

By Admin R : When it comes to coffee, I’ve always thought: How do advertising agencies seduce consumers with an unconventional ad? It’s indeed a hard task for creatives to move from traditional approaches for such a traditional product; So after brainstorming comes the light bulb moment: A fortuneteller and a cup of coffee: It’s fun, real, mysterious and highly relates to our culture! hurray let’s shoot it.
The idea is not bad until you hear the “clairvoyant” speaks. She’s classy, blonde, English Educated with a light French accent, and has a 5 stars workplace – lucky her!

Isn’t coffee a popular product targeting all social classes? After all, “Cafe Super Brazil” is not “Lavazza”, and its target audience is not usually an elite class of people.

Another note: The TVC portrays women drinking “Cafe Super Brazil” and waiting for the fortune teller, which makes “her” the central unit of this whole approach, as if those women only drank the coffee to use it for fortunetelling disregarding its good rich taste… No flavor nor quality is a USP here, but stories “khabbriyeh-As said in the headline”, which makes it personal and lovely, but what about the coffee?!.

Does this approach sound “real” to you?!

Here’s what a faithful reader thought of this ad in an email asking for our opinion, adding a well spot point that makes this campaign highly questionable:

Guest J : “I don’t know if you guys agree, but I have mixed feelings about this campaign. My first impression was that it’s nice and very well done.
But the more I see it, the more I say: REALLY?! Do we really need to keep stereotyping Lebanese women as the ones who keep waiting for fortune tellers’ opinion, specifically about men?
As a girl, I refuse to be seen that way, I am sure this goes for most working ladies, who work their ass off during the day and might not even have time to drink coffee, more specifically no time for “tobb el fenjen” and wait in the queue for Mrs. Whatever fortune teller”

I’d rather watch ABOU-NAZIH commenting on the political circus in the Lebanese parliament.

(Video will be added when officially published online)

A foreigner in Beirut: The wayfinding guide

By Guest M : There’s another thing that can be as shocking as the “hi, kifak, ça va” for the Lebanon-loving foreigner: addresses!
While here in Italy almost everything has its specific information talking mapping and signage, in Beirut I had to deal with: “it’s near place X” or “3rd floor building Y”. This kind of directioning is not coming totally out of the blue since we use that in informal conversation, but what’s striking is that in the land of cedars this takes a glow of officiality since even magazine listings bring on this kind of indications.
So imagine a guy walking around to avoid Beirut’s traffic jam and trying to reach a place having a dialogue like the following:
– Sorry where’s the XYZ venue?
– Easy, near 123 restaurant!
– Oh and, ehm, where’s that restaurant?
– Cinema X building, second floor
– and where…..
Ok, ok I’ll be easy on you but seriously this kind of conversations can last countless times!

So, how to solve way finding issues in Lebanon?!

Admin I recently introduced me to a guide about wayfinding in Beirut called “Addressing Beirut” which consists of a pack of cards, simplifying this complicated process into practical easy steps. This guide is by “Tammam Yamout” a TedxBeirut 2011 speaker (Tammam is a co-founder of PenguinCube, a Lebanese design firm).

so briefly, the steps to reformulating your Lebanese address are:


Identifying “Grade A” landmarks (official or religious landmarks that won’t be relocating in the foreseeable future), “Grade B” landmarks (functional or institutional landmarks that are difficult to relocate), “Grade C” (shops or outlets that may close or change), “Grade D” (might literally change overnight like graffitis or trees), identifying “Dead” landmarks and finally using the right landmarks usually between “Grade A and B” for a starting point.

Street Types:

Knowing roads between “zaroub”, “cheri3” and “Autostrad” and believe me Lebanese do really misuse those words! Then you should know your junctures (mafra2, msallbiyye and ronpwein). The next step is to specify choices on a “Y” junction between right and left and finally identifying inclined roads without referring to the road as uphill or downhill.


– Giving address from far to near (from landmark A to B) then “go with the flow” following the flow of traffic, avoiding dialogues while giving an address, avoid using distances and time (a la Libanaise time estimates can get confusing!). You should finally give clear directions (mainly left,right,straight and U-turn) and a final “design” related note: Less is more, and rhythmic pausing while stating an address can be quite helpful!

Good luck and thanks to PenguinCube, Addressing Beirut became much easier!