“Graphic design is in every single place round us and has the ability to permeate conversations and form narratives,” says Wael Morcos. “It not solely accentuates tales but in addition imbues them with nuanced depth. It’s a method to precise our current zeitgeist with up to date urgency.” Morcos is a Lebanese American graphic designer whose work spans the creation of up to date Arabic fonts, model campaigns for firms together with IBM and Nike, and designing books just like the Sharjah Architectural Triennial publications.
For his method to typographic and graphic design that comes with cultural and political histories to create socially related visible identities and campaigns, Morcos receives a 2024 Vilcek Prize for Artistic Promise in Design.
Representing Language, Representing Ourselves
Morcos’ ardour for Arabic typography grew after he moved to the USA from Lebanon—first to pursue research on the Rhode Island College of Design after which to construct a profession as a graphic designer in New York. “I used to be drawn again to my native language, tradition, and tales I see myself in. Designing in Arabic from New York Metropolis is maybe an act of resistance,” he says, “but in addition an act of reaching out, inviting others to interact, make the most of, and be impressed by it.”
If you design a font, you’re designing a software for individuals to precise themselves.
“Our language is as a lot auditory as it’s visible. If you design a font, you’re designing a software for individuals to precise themselves,” says Morcos. “I think about typography probably the most potent software in a designer’s arsenal. It has the power to amplify the that means of phrases and to advocate for illustration.”
Morcos describes typography as a product of the time it was created and in addition as having a life that extends effectively past. “Arabic typography wanted our assist to be reimagined, redesigned for a contemporary context for contemporary lives,” he says. His fonts have been distributed by means of institutional channels like Google and different publishing platforms, bridging the hole between custom and modernity, “carrying on with how we symbolize our language and due to this fact ourselves.”
Amplifying Arab American Tales
As an immigrant, Morcos finds himself drawn to create work that resonates with him personally and connects his nostalgia for Beirut and Lebanon along with his life in the USA. He not too long ago championed the event of Mizna’s I Need Sky, a literary journal that shines a highlight on the experiences of LGBTQ+ Arabs. By means of a fusion of multi-script typography, lettering, and illustrations, Morcos illuminates the narratives of a various queer group that yearns for understanding—drawing inspiration from the legacy of illuminated Arabic homoerotic poetry and talking to the up to date struggles and triumphs of this group.
Dedicated to amplifying Arab American voices, Morcos is a co-founder of 1on1 initiatives, a Brooklyn-based collective that works to raise the tales and experiences of Arab and Muslim Individuals by means of arts, performances, and applications. “You miss a whole lot of your outdated self and all of the help system you took without any consideration again at dwelling,” he says. “I attempt to use my design apply to re-create a few of these contexts which are essential for me.”
About The Vilcek Basis Prizes in Design
The Vilcek Basis Prizes in Design rejoice immigrant professionals in graphic design, industrial design, and product design whose work has profoundly impacted their particular discipline and design, design considering, and apply extra broadly in the USA.
The Vilcek Prizes for Artistic Promise in Design particularly acknowledge immigrant designers age 38 and youthful whose work represents an important contribution to their discipline and exemplifies the potential for design to alter and form how individuals work together with their world. In 2024, the Vilcek Basis awards 3 Vilcek Prizes for Artistic Promise in Design, recognizing industrial designer Juan Carlos Noguera (b. Guatemala) and artist and designer Maryam Turkey (b. Iraq) alongside Morcos.
Study extra concerning the Vilcek Basis and the 2024 Vilcek Basis Prizes in Design at Vilcek.org.
Wael Morcos is a 2015 PRINT New Visible Artist.