El Hema: Graphic Design for Social Change
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This book colorfully documents and celebrates the highly esteemed Dutch design project El Hema, a two-year project that launched five new typefaces and modeled a collaborative, culturally integrated program that successfully raised the national profile of graphic design in the Netherlands and beyond.
Running first in Amsterdam and later in Rotterdam and The Hague, El Hema became one of the most visited design exhibitions. The initiators of the El Hema project received the Dutch Design Prize in 2007, and ended up in the design collection of the Dutch Museum of the Image (MOTI).
The five new typefaces were the result of the first ‘Typographic Matchmaking’ project initiated by graphic designer Huda Smitshuijzen-AbiFarès. The initiative, subsidized by a Dutch government keen on putting money into projects that could function as agents of cultural integration, brought together five renowned Dutch type designers and five Arab designers. The goal was to create a matching Arabic character set for existing (Latin) fonts. To make this collaboration work intense discussions and exchange of information on design and culture were essential.
This books documents the story in all its details and shows in colored images the range of products and activities that formed the ingredients of this unique social-design experiment and exhibition.
Edited by Huda Smitshuijzen-AbiFarès and Edo Smitshuijzen
Designed by Huda Smitshuijzen-AbiFarès, Farrah Fayyad, and Jad Abou Zeki
Published by Khatt Books, 2016
Hardcover, 200 pages, full color, 8 × 9.6 inches