My love affair with Arabic calligraphy

Arabic calligraphy by Khawar Bilal
Wide brush Arabic calligraphy by Khawar Bilal

If you have been following my work, you might well know that I have a thing about Arabic calligraphy. I always try to find a place for it in my design projects. That I am not an Arab is as sure as the night follows the day. But a fondness for Arabic calligraphy runs in my blood, and it also encourages me to modernise Latin script, sometimes adding a touch of Arabic to it.

I am a designer by profession, and therefore I always let my imagination run wild when it comes to branding, packaging, publication and user interface (UI) designing. But the thing that fascinates me the most is Arabic calligraphy, which also helped me get into visual arts.

Whenever I stumble across a masterpiece of Arabic calligraphy, I freeze in my tracks and try to take in every detail of the art. Just like a Romeo has come face-to-face with his Juliet. But thanks to technology, capturing Juliet on camera saves such awkward stares these days. So I take a photo and get back to it in my spare moments.

But here comes the catch: there are some projects where it is necessary for me to let go of my love affair with Arabic calligraphy, simply because such projects can’t be ’Arabicised’. I feel really fettered on such occasions. I have to be very careful all the while during the project in order to prevent my real self begins to creep into my work.

3 thoughts on “My love affair with Arabic calligraphy

  1. the most beautiful example of arabic calligraphy I have seen is the mosaic work on the outside of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem……I was so awed by it I stood staring at it for hours.

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