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Our farewell post. Bring some tissues, a polka-dotted dress and make sure to read each admins words to you. Cheers! 

By Admin I: It has been a long journey, 300 posts in less than 2 years, features in Communicate, ArabAd and The Daily Star, a workshop and an event at Beirut Design Week 2013. We have never imagined that a group of young creatives voicing out their opinions can actually change anything, yet we did. We have never imagined that a stupid blog can make a breakthrough in multinationals, be included in their reports, give them nightmares and push their orthodox boundaries, yet we did.

We’re not bragging here (okay, we are), but we’re actually having a moment with what we were able to achieve, whether in reviews or in research. We’re here celebrating the subjectivity that had once a voice, the hidden identity that was never aimed at self-promotion and all the hypocrisy we faced, especially from the Design and social media Mafia™.

This whole experience was as awesome as awesomeness can get, we grew with it and out of it; now we’re a group that knows more, and has more to say elsewhere.

There is no legitimate official reason, and it’s certainly NOT related to any mafia’s threats or pressure. Brofessional Review reached an end!

Thank you all!

By N:  Brofessional review was never a side project, we were not admins in this blog; we were brofessionals. Brofessional review came as a manifestation of our own personal journey in the design spectrum. When it first started, when we decided that we were going to start reviewing what was happening in the design/communication field in the country, we were just starting ourselves our own journeys as designers. With fresh minds and enthusiastic eyes, we delved in this journey and we grew as individuals and designers, so did the blog. And let me tell you, this journey was magic, it took us places, exposed us to works and introduced us to people that otherwise couldn’t have happened.

Through our journey in the design galaxy we met lots of jedis. Here’s a huge spazzy appreciation hug to everyone who supported us and believed in us as we stumbled through this path. Hugs to the people we met, the knowledge they passed on and their pompom cheers.

I probably was the most bipolar among brofessionals. I left, then I came, then I left then I started to write occasional out-of-the-blue posts, and then I simply became N (dropping the admin like diddy dropped the puff).But I love every single moment I spent with the blog and its admins. Hugs to them all, we taught ourselves lifetime lessons.

But what’s a cosmic journey without stormtroopers? Despite our attempt to make it clear, people still took us too seriously. Haters were spawning everywhere accusing us of the most notorious thing, like we ever claimed to be anything other than a bunch of kids with loud opinions. But hey, even Madonna managed to get haters during her erotica phase (not that we are, in any way, comparing ourselves to the queen). And since Ziggy doodle was preaching about the power of love in her TEDx talk, here’s a hug to all of you, may it merge my hateful poison with yours and create a dragon of pixie dust and rainbows. You guys taught me that in this world you either have to be a wolf or a sheep, but I didn’t like your system nor your rules, so I became a hippo.

Until we meet again,

May design be one day resurrected.

Love and cake.

I was once a brofessional, and you guys took me way too seriously.

By Admin NK: WARNING: This post has some serious emotional hate with so much love towards Admin I.

So when I first heard the news, I thought Admin I was being silly, but then I found out that he was serious and I only wished I was in the same continent where he was so I could punch him in the face. Before being an admin, I was a huge fan of Brofessional Review where I used to read and enjoy their old and latest posts until I got requested to be an admin in the blog, it was pretty much one of the happiest moments of my life. Being in the brofessional community was what I always wanted: freely expressing our opinions and most importantly critiquing what we don´t like and what we found impressive in this Lebanese chaos that we call design and advertising. Agencies loved us, even people from abroad were enjoying our posts, and at the same time we received hate comments from people not accepting what we´re doing, not accepting an opinion, and not accepting their identity mentioned by a bunch of brofessionals whom choice is to critique instead of causing drama. But again, unfortunately and with so much pity, this is the Lebanese Chaos community after all. And I could only say that this blog was a brave win-win!
I will miss writing reviews, I will miss reading the awesome posts from the admins, and I will definitely miss saying “holy shit I can´t wait to see what Brofessional Review has to say about this”
With all the love and the disappointment I have right now, Admin NK.
By Admin HY:  Being the youngest between all these admins, I had another take on Brofessional Review.  Some praised it, some ignored it, Agencies took it as a reference and kept refreshing our home page all day.Others didn’t get the point behind the blog and decided to dig deep to know who’s behind it
Some awesome people shared. liked, discussed, agreed, disagreed, opened discussions and embraced the whole idea behind the blog.For me, BR was all about EXPOSURE! I would have never been as exposed to the design and advertising scene in Lebanon if it wasn’t for the blog. And that doesn’t apply to me only! BR helped hundreds of readers, from students, to designers and creatives to be exposed to what’s happening around them (Opinions aside) and gave the chance to argue, take the admin’s opinion into consideration and express their own thoughts!
Being surroudned by design and advertising students for most of the times it was such a magical feelings to see them discuss and question a campaign or an illustration, just because BR showcased it. Brofessional Review was a jounrey of a lifetime, I started as a reader and moved as a occasional contributor.

Last note to our readers: No matter who you are, how good you are and wherever you work or study, if you don’t know what’s happening outside, you’re nothing! (it’s a jungle out there) (ok that was very dramatic) (ok sorry I’ll clam down)

Loads of love,

The Brofessionals. 

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By the Panda and a bunch of helpers: So It was an awesome opportunity to be able to have some fun with a group of amazing people during Beirut Design Week. We decided to host a Guerrilla advertising workshop simply because it suits most what this blog is about: balls and purposeful irritation. The workshop held at the awesome Alt-City, started with a brief presentation about the use of Guerrilla strategies in advertising, showcasing some examples and making a clear distinction between Guerrilla and Ambient media. The Panda was there and helpers took charge of grouping the participants. We ended up with 3 groups and the work started.

When we started planning for the workshop, we insisted on having an outcome. You know all those workshops that present something taken from a search engine, yes? We refused to do that. The purpose was brainstorming together over the brief that clearly stated the following: participants need to: 1- create and develop a character to become the next apolitical president of Lebanon (could be anything), 2- promote that president using Guerrilla strategies.

And hell it was hard. 

After a mix and merge of people coming from very different backgrounds (I seriously mean ‘very different!’), the groups reached 3 results and we managed to execute 2 of those ideas (prototyping and testing phase only).

Group 1: The next president is a woman called ‘Nabeela’ and she’s a random picture bought from Souk-el-ahad. Nabeela behaves exactly opposite to any politician. She says what politicians are scared to say, embraces her hypocrisy and channels it. Nabeela in a way represents a character that will break the norm, the cliches and the political etiquette to make a difference. The team planned to stage social media buzz, TV interviews faking the presence of this character and causing a serious dilemma.

Group 2: The next president is called ‘7azem’ (means firm), he represents the absolute non-hesitation in taking decisions. To promote their president, the team used reversed psychology and started questioning everything, alter street signs and intervene on public spaces to show the need for Mr.7azem.

Group 3: This group decided to play with balls (we had no say in that, they took their decision). The group’s president doesn’t really exist because to them, a president does nothing but ‘play with his balls’ (translated from Arabic). To promote their sarcastic approach to presidency, the team hit the streets with a chair and 6 eggs (also taking in mind the Lebanese insight of eggs) and challenged the crowds in Hamra to go creative and do whatever they want to do with a chair and eggs. The audience sensed awkwardness first (like duh!) yet some (mostly middle-aged) got the idea on the spot. In the end our society does identify with ‘doing nothing’ but that.

Feedback varied, and being a blog that stirs things up, we do take criticism unlike many, so here’s what Dany Njeim from TBWA-Beirut had to say (not edited):

Day one: I​t was nice to see young students and graduates (called ‘helpers’) managing the workshop and bringing it to life, we usually hear plans and ideas but never see anyone executing them. Even though, I expected to see an old person (to be helped by the ‘helpers’) in the domain sharing their experience and tips for success by presenting the Guerilla marketing in details, its evolution, how to generate it from an existing insight and idea etc.

The introduction was entertaining and fun, having the annoying Panda in the room, and seeing a cool infographic presentation of the Guerilla marketing with a few examples of it.
Out of the sudden, time warp, ‘here the brief’.
Such a type of media cannot be simply introduced in a few words, especially for people who are not familiar with the advertising domain. OKAY now we can all be creative but I thought the main reason of the workshop is to give an ‘intensive session of Guerilla marketing techniques’.
The brief was simple, yet sensitive. ‘Representing the next apolitical President of Lebanon” by applying a Guerilla stunt down the street is not quite safe, especially at this time, in this city, this regime, during the late political/military clashes all over the country.
Eventually, all the participants were shocked and felt awkward upon hearing the plan.
Day two: Following the shock factor and being afraid of the regime who dragged a guy to the jail just because of his tweet, around 80% of the participants didn’t show up the next day for the obvious reasons.
The application of the Guerilla down the street was not planned properly, was random and spontaneous; which led to the ‘we-all-saw-this-coming’ fail.
So mainly, it was good to try, I am sure that the participants who were not related to the domain were entertained by the brainstorming session, but the few fundamental problems were the absence of a professional leader and lack of communicative information that were supposed to be declared containing the full schedule of the workshop.It was a really good move for a group of students, enjoyed your fun spirit; unfortunately that did not meet my expectations.

 

To wrap it up, we really enjoyed hosting this workshop. It was our first attempt to do something interactive and fun, to share experiences and brainstorm together. We truly believe that most of our readers are as opinionated as we are, and we’ve always enjoyed that to the fullest. The purpose was again to question and challenge ourselves and audience and go with them to the streets and get inspired.

Cheers to Alt-City and BDW13, to the Panda, the helpers, the sweetest Joumana Ibrahim for giving great feedback to groups and most importantly to you guys!!

Beirut Design Week 2013 – The Review

June 24 was the date; Beirut Design Week launched its second edition after a very successful first year filled with Design talks, workshops and a conference.

We didn’t wait almost 10 days to release a review post for nothing. The point was to ask as many people as we can in order to develop a well-rounded point of view, simply because being in partnership with the event this year automatically makes us biased. Okay, so we did have a workshop on our own (you’ll see the full outcome in few days), and we had the honor to be the last event at the week’s closing conference where we interviewed 3 designers (Sarah Hermez, Leen Sadder and Ghassan Salameh) and gave a live-blogging experience to the attendees.

So briefly BDW13 was rich; a huge schedule to follow, numerous designers, open-houses and exhibitions with a missing element: content. Well, com’on guys, the issue here is that you made your own contributions to Beirut Design Week more like a food and booze fiesta instead of really thinking a step further. BDW13 had a committee of Lebanon’s well-known designers that practically couldn’t implement any rules/constraints on participation or on the quality of workshops. No, it is indeed not acceptable to have a huge load of workshops with no design content. I mean ‘Do your own jewelry, slippers, flip-flops, jewelry again and so on’ is not really design. You again lacked content.

The week was split into areas. Each area was assigned a day that was practically about a tante opening her luxurious collection of design findings with some cheese and wine, you know for additional entertainment, not to forget about Mr. ‘Nada Debs wannabe’, and some other craft-class design productions, again lots of booze and orange-sprayed bodies.

AIGA Middle East launched its activities during BDW, with a party and a live survey as well as many interesting workshops such as the Arabic Lettering workshop by Maajoun (BDW people, it doesn’t hurt to have some more focus on Arabic Design), the ‘Design it, Brand it, Donate it’ by Kashida and a fish in sea, Interaction Design and The craftsmen tour.

We won’t really bore you out with the worst coucou workshops on planet earth (you can check the visuals we prepared), or the most unprofessional social media ‘experts’ that stopped doing their work after knowing that BR is a part of the week, but we can wrap up this review by saying that Beirut Design Week is almost a mission impossible at a country where designers use mafia strategies for expansion and recognition (most of them at least). We’re proud to be a part of this beautiful initiative, hoping for more content next year, more talks, more tangible design topics for everyone, instead of the idealistic euro-inspired ‘design can save planet earth’, because we need a socio-culturally aware design week, tailored by and addressed to Lebanese aspiring design talents.

Beirut Animated 3 – The Review

By Admin I: yes we are the type that gets panic attacks for not being able to attend all interesting design event happening in Beirut, but we always manage to report as much as we were able to witness so you can move your fat asses and go next year. Guys, it’s such a shame to have an almost empty room at a panel discussion in an animation festival. It’s such a shame because the majority of you hipster designers, spend your days and nights nagging about the field and getting more and more constipated about it (excused, I know). So Despite the fact that most sessions lacked audience (except the Lebanese and Arab short animation films session), Beirut Animated proved a very high level of organisation, great content and innovative events.

Let me start with the Panel discussion about independent animation in Lebanon (Moderators: Lina Younes, Saud Boksmati), that featured Lina Ghaibeh, Chadi Aoun, Mahmoud Korek, Myriam Sassine, David Habchy, Ahmad Beiruty, Amine Alameddine, Emil Adaimy, Rachel Mouawad and the one and only Reina Abbas. Most of the discussed issues were indeed what is currently needed for animation to become an industry in Lebanon, such as animation schools for example or a whole animation program starting from traditional techniques and on, and the fact that our universities are mostly ‘Dakakeen’ animation with one or two courses stuck in a whole Design program (the panel was surprisingly in Arabic! Hallelujah). Okay you’re actually right, but at one point the debate shifted to ‘nehna bel Alba’ and ‘nehna bel AUB’ in an endless attempt to use their eau-de-javel buckets. Guys, with all due respect, the students you called arrogant and ignorant were able to break through locally and internationally. Those same students are in competition with you, and add this reason to why we have no industry, it’s mainly because educators are afraid of professional competition from their own students, and students are too sick of the design education system that’s based on mass production in most of the cases. Reine Abbas was the most intriguing member of the panel, being brutally honest of how random is design education at universities that treat students as clients.

The second event at Beirut Animated is the Lebanese and Arab short animation films session, which was a delight to watch, but again varied from the overly conceptual works that you actually pretend to get just to fit in, and the brilliantly animated stories such as the super insightful Hoffili-Berber Wedding by Lotfi Mahfoudh from Tunisia, Fouad by David Habchy and Joan Baz and Inside-Out by Rachel Mouawad.

Beirut Animated went all around the city with ‘mouhawalat tahreek qitar‘ a collaborative short film produced as a result of a workshop held at the Mar Mkhayel train station. Waraq collective had a good share of the festival as well, with their Hully Gully trope at Luna Park Rawcheh, where they made use of the trope being one of the oldest animation techniques to create a live interactive installation that shows an animation cycle on a certain speed.

Designers and animators of Beirut (in case you exist), you’ve missed on a lot if you haven’t been to this year’s festival; the thing is that it’s once each two years (consider changing that metropolis dudes) and has whatever this field needs to improve: talent, will and good work. It only lacks your presence, yes, you, the arrogant visual artsy fartsy crowd of Beirut.

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Last year’s BDW reviews: 01 02 03

Beirut Design Week 2013 goes BR: NO. We’re kind of anticipating your questions when it comes to Beirut Design Week 2013: we’re not going to tone down criticism because we’re a part of this year’s event. We made it more awesome and stuff, but doesn’t mean we sold our balls to the devil. (excuse my refined vocab).

To be quite honest, some improvements are quite evident if compared to last year’s visual mess for example. The Helvetica overdose was substituted with Frutiger (and Frutiger Arabic – do I hear too ‘lazy’ to design?) which already looks better. Colours are more consistent and serious, the website is clear and everything seems to fall into place correctly including the online video (A bit deja vu, but works quite well, knowing that no agency is behind it). On the other hand, BDW13 comes with workshops indigestion, between the huge amount of participants, lots of design bullshit Pluto based ‘thinkers’ and some DIYs. A lot of those. (Some workshops are quite interesting such as Maajoun, Kashida, ours, ours, etc..)

Let’s not give away too much when it comes to reviewing content, we’ll be covering BDW13 extensively next week, but we’re honestly taking advantage of this post to promote Brofessional Review’s double contribution:

A Guerilla Advertising workshop, a call to have fun breaking some rules, and a surprise ‘Brofessional Show’ at the week’s closing conference at LAU. We’re very honoured to take part in such events, knowing that the organisers are more of a ‘one man show’ trying to take this field a step further rather than sticking it to a tantes Ashrafieh audience.

Can’t wait to see you all, BR’s going to rock! (inserts a well deserved hair flip + cat fight SFX).

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Beirut Animated and the busiest June ever!
 
By Admin I: Okay so we’re stressing here at BR! It’s indeed a busy period in Beirut where all events are tightly scheduled one after the other, making June the ‘must be in Beirut’ month!
It starts this weekend – actually tomorrow – with Beirut Animated (though sticking to ‘Beirut moutaharrika’ even in Latin is much more interesting) an animation Film Festival featuring Arab films, international independent films, retrospectives, special programs, workshops and discussion panels.

“Beirut Animated is organized once every two years by The Metropolis Association. The festival aims at promoting animation in Lebanon by showcasing International, Arab and Lebanese animation productions. Moreover, the festival seeks to become a platform where professionals from Lebanon, the Arab region and the World can meet, exchange and discuss issues related to animation, its production and development”

I have personally attended the last version of the festival 2 years ago, and let me tell you, the works featured were of a great value, presenting new techniques and rich stories to an audience that struggles between the local artsy-fartsy scene that’s not able to get a step beyond a hipster-fake attitude in film-making, and a European ‘imported’ wave of films making more buzz then any Lebanese film festival simply because ‘les tantes ashrafieh’ prefer “Le Festival du Cinéma Européen‘ over any other initiative.

 
The 3rd edition of this non-competitive festival will take place from the 14th to the 18th of June, 2013 at the Metropolis Empire Sofil in Ashrafieh and will be touring in 4 key cities of the Arab world: Tunis, Tangier, Cairo and Dubai.
 
Looking forward to attend, encourage and review! 

MTV Lebanon gets inspired* again! 

By Admin I (Thanks to ‘NM’ a lovely reader): so we really appreciate and encourage local channels working to enhance their art direction, modernize their image and make up for the bad content bla bla, but it seems that some TV stations (okay it’s MTV Lebanon) have misunderstood the concept.

Guys, sitting allday on Vimeo drooling over animations and creative works should inspire you to do stuff of your own, to ‘create’ instead of copy-pasting. It’s such a shame to see another inspired* TVC done by the same station! Months ago, it was ‘Men El Ekhir’ with a copied promo, this time it’s their morning show ‘Alive’. The same pastels, the split-screen, the cake, the huge letters, the sky and more than one similarity that could make it a coincidence.

We don’t have much to say, other than the fact that we don’t expect much from local tv, especially if the logo is a TF1 copy, and most of the promos are inspired*. In the end TV reflects audience not vice versa and the question of originality is very very secondary in a country where Lara Kay is more famous than the amazing Tania Saleh. Go figure!Screen Shot 2013-06-04 at 10.20.17 PM