Absolute Egypt: The Visual Culture of Egypt


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By Raghada Moataz

A richly illustrated volume that takes you on a visual tour of local streets in Cairo, Egypt, in an attempt to bring attention to the contemporary visual culture of the area.

By documenting local visual culture, particularly in the older areas of Cairo, Egyptian graphic designer Raghada Moataz presents a collection of some of the most mesmerizing vernacular graphic design.

Moataz aimed to make sense and document her local environment, investigating local vernacular graphic design and understanding the history, meaning, and purpose of the work she encountered. Providing further context, Moataz offers analysis that helps illuminate the relationship between visual culture and the way people live, and she shares how graphic design can tell the story of culture.

Absolute Egypt features basic design elements like patterns, colors, and symbols; public designs like street lettering, graffiti, and signage; and printed matter, like books, newspapers, and stamps. The book is a visually testimony that acts as a critical act of documentation, and celebrates a graphically rich environment.

Based on work Moataz originally conducted for her bachelor thesis at the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Arts at the German University in Cairo (GUC), the book was further refined and expanded under the supervision of design lecturer Phillipp Paulsen and with the guidance of Dutch publishing house Khatt Books. Editors Smitshuijzen AbiFarès and Edo Smitshuijzen provided editorial assistance, resulting in this final published volume.

Designed by Raghada Moataz

Published by Khatt Books, 2020
Bilingual, in English and Arabic

Softcover, 240 pages, full color, 6.75 × 7.75 inches

ISBN: 978-9-49-093919-9

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