20 October 2008

Saga of a Calling Card

(enlarge pictures for larger view)

I've been asked countless times if I had a business card or calling card, and my answer has always been an awkward nay. So I set out to create one. I started with the first one below. I wanted to incorporate images from my paintings as well as my Arabic geometric design work. I included one of the most recent paintings from my Land Memory series, as well as a cropped section of an earlier watercolor portrait. I also included my name written in a Kufi script I developed in Adobe Illustrator recently; (I will post about this script in the near future.)

But I did not like the design. It looked too contrived, too organized; and the Arabic geometric designs on the left felt too random, and looked too small and detailed to be visible with any accuracy when printed in such a small format as a business card. So I played with it some more and enlarged them:

and considered some other background color options, including this one:

But Alas, it still felt too, I don't know, blah. So I experimented with a vertical design, in which I decided to showcase only one painting, and came up with these two variations of one design:

but I was still dissatisfied. So I called Radfan Alqirsh, a good artist, graphic designer and filmmaker, and he took the elements that I had been playing with and came up with the first design below. At first, I was shocked. How could he chop off my painting like that? and how could he cover it up with so much stuff? and how are people supposed to see the Arabic geometric designs if they are all white and faded like that? But still, there was something about the design that captivated me, yet I would not succumb to admit it to myself.

I decided to sleep on it. Literally. (I was watching old episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents on my laptop, in bed, and actually fell asleep a bit too close to the laptop, which sat on the mattress next to me.) When I woke the next morning, I took another look at Radfan's design, and decided that I liked it very very much. It not only focuses on quite a dramatic section of my painting, but it also does a marvelous thing with color, juxtaposing that blue-green with a nice pumpkin red-orange; and I also love the way the pattern of Arabic geometric motifs disappear in the white areas of the painting, and come through in the dark areas, as if to follow the curve from left to right. But I still wanted to expose at least one of the geometric stars, so I added a bit of color to one lonely star, and Radfan liked it. So finally, this is the one I'm printing.



poshlemon said...

As a graphic designer by degree, I must say that all the stages you went through are very revealing of a good understanding of using digital art for creating a professional 'identity'.

And if you have the time to develop a complete corporate identity, go ahead. You don't need to print it out or anything, but when you may need it, it will be there on your laptop. I am sure you will come up with something great.

I love the final output. I love the fact that you highlighted one star :) although, if it were me, I wouldn't. It sort of shifts the balance and harmony of the whole card. In other words, more is less and less is more.

Regardless, it is great work :) I am so jealous now hehe [a good kind of jealous]. You got me excited about creating a few business cards for myself. One for poshlemon :) and one for the phd student :)

Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

hi poshy,

i see your point about the shift of balance with the star to a different emphasis, i agree; and while i am personally attracted to the modernist notion of less is more, and it occupies a certain role in my aesthetic brain, there is also the purpose that romanticism serves for me personally. i debated with and without the star... and finally leaned (visual-compositional pun notwithstanding) towards allowing a certain oddity to shine through.

so you say may develop a business card for poshlemon, and another for the phd student.. whoever she is.. hmmmm.. i wonder who she is.. so mysterious..

Anonymous said...

sure, you take the citrus one's critique, but when I say it you get angry and cry until I leave or praise your work.

Ibn Bint Jbeil said...

i did NOT get angry! (but i did cry a litle . . )

poshlemon said...

I didn't know I'm called 'the citrus' one ;)

Anonymous said...

hi ,im a frequent visitor of ur blog and i really admire your art and your ideas because i cannot but feel absorbed by the beautiful minds of artists and their heavenly gift (im so far from being an artist of any kind) yet here i have to agree with poshlemon the card without the highlighted star is much better..Goodluck

transient said...

sorry poshlemon, but it seems a deviation from civility has rendered an anonymous monoker placement of "citrus one." hope you are amused and not angered.

Khaled Bazzi said...

Just to say this is a very inspiring blog -- and the artwork in this post is even more so.

Keep up the great work!