Ideas, type and design… maajoun!

AIGA Chicago commissioned short videos from designers around the world. They asked them about the places and techniques they use to do their work, to collaborate, to create. AIGA solicited a peek at their space and a taste of their vibe, delivered in whatever format they saw fit.

By Admin I : I knew about maajoun but being a bit of a pessimistic designer, I always thought that design studios in Lebanon vary between the too commercial leaning towards “design prostitution”, and what is too conceptual, struggling between the burdens of establishing a name and still preserving high design standards; a struggle indeed. This whole dilemma is definitely in the process of “remolding”, just like clay, “maajoun”.

ideas, type & design. We love type, design, words, challenge and exchange of thought. We also love coffee talks and good vibes. We hate strict rules, bureaucracy and stereotyping.

I recently got convinced that maajoun is finding a balance in the Lebanese design scene, it is basically because their initial idea was to find balance between commercial and self-initiated projects. Lara Balaa, a design practitioner and instructor labels her courses as “designer in context” dealing with cultural patterns, storytelling and other multidisciplinary orientations, which are also her fields of practice in maajoun, clearly shown in the AIGA chicago video.

Interesting type design experiences enriched by the socio-cultural drive of maajoun makes you really wonder about the true value of design practices. In this country, design is only a tool, an underestimated tool for other media, it is mainly the mediocrity of advertising that’s responsible of this unaware, unhealthy status quo.

Yes we do review advertising desperately seeking to spread design awareness, we’re wicked and overestimating our powers, but we strongly believe in that role. It’s reversed psychology taking form.

Being a designer in 2012 is this country in particular is not about visual work anymore. this field requires more than brochures, branding and 2d designers, we have a bigger role, we’re all social designers, whether we like it or not; the challenge is not anymore behind Adobe platforms, it is generated by the collective energy of people, their everyday life.. It is indeed moldable, adaptable and malleable just like clay.. “maajoun”.

Check the video above, and hold it as NO in the face of every design hypocrite!

maajoun is by: Lara Balaa, loves to observe and question the sense and the nonsense that surround her. She knows her way around visual communication, editorial, and Arabic type design. She also has a strong affinity for storytelling, research and writing.

Khajag Apelian: Being the charming rule-bender that he is, Khajag (aka KJ) loves challenge and often sees the glass as half-full. He’s got a sharp eye and much insight into book design, exhibition space, and multilingual type design


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