UAE. Multi-lingual software developer WinSoft is launching the Arabic Typography Design Contest, with ten prizes worth more than US$16,500, at this year’s GITEX exhibition in celebration of UNESCO’s International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures, 2010.
Typographers, graphic designers, calligraphers and artists are being invited to illustrate in text their vision of a world where a dialogue between cultures will be both natural and enriching.
Working from the theme of bringing cultures closer together, contestants are asked to use Arabic typography and graphic design to illustrate words inspired by the idea of a rapprochement between cultures. Contestants are free to use their own words or words extracted from an Arabic text or poetry.
Entries – which can be submitted until the 15 January, 2010 – must have been created with WinSoft’s Tasmeem and Adobe’s InDesign (Middle Eastern version), as well as any other desired design publishing tools; both of these are available in free time-limited versions on the WinSoft website.
WinSoft’s CEO, Kamel Gaddas explained that his company has been profoundly attached to the ideals of UNESCO’s Rapprochement of Cultures since it was founded in 1985. “UNESCO’s Universal Declaration states that ‘Heritage in all its forms must be preserved, enhanced and handed on to future generations as a record of human experience and aspirations, so as to foster creativity in all its diversity and to inspire genuine dialogue among cultures.’
“By launching this contest,” he added, “we hope to promote Arabic culture by highlighting the richness of Arabic typography to an international audience, while at the same time contributing to the celebration of UNESCO’s International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. Submissions will be prominently displayed on our web site during 2010.”
Winners will be decided by a two-fold process. Contestants will be judged by a panel of experts in the field of design and Middle Eastern culture and tradition, including Aref Hijjawi, Programme Director of Al Jazeera News Channel; Nadine Chahine, an award winning Lebanese type designer; and Joe Karkour, Regional Business Development Manager, Adobe Middle East. The results will depend on the overall impact of the submitted work, typographic skills and creativity.
“The public will also have the opportunity to vote for their preferred entry through our website: www.winsoft-international.com/contest. There will be ten winners in all, with the overall winner receiving a copy of Adobe InDesign Middle Eastern version, a copy of Tasmeem 4 and 15 Arabic Tasmeem fonts with a combined value of around $4,900,” Gaddas concluded.
Gitex Technology Week, which is being held at Dubai’s International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 18-22 October, is the Gulf’s largest exhibition dedicated to ICT professionals. It will feature over 40 conference sessions with over 100 specialist speakers.