This thesis investigates verbal and visual language through a lens of translation, queerness, and diaspora. Looking at graphic design as a reconciliatory space, I make use of its formal and typographic systems as devices to tell stories, examine cultures, and negotiate conflicting principles.
Abjad Orientations is a process of shifting the focal viewpoint to reorient myself and/or my audience and allow for a closer probe of our cultural reality. My eclectic identity as a Queer, Muslim, multilingual Arab living in the United States drives the form and content of my design inquiries to reconcile one or more aspects of my selfhood.
In Abjad Orientations, I utilize subversion, translation, commemoration, and reorientation/disorientation. These methods serve to analyze the dynamics of our complex world and question aspects of it that have always troubled me. In the midst of our political and humanitarian crises, I find myself asking: Can graphic design create better—albeit sometimes ephemeral—realities? Can it promote dialogue rather than commodities? By interrupting discourse and re-contextualizing conventions, this body of work attempts to undermine normative systems of thought and making. It celebrates hybridity, liminality, and sometimes illegibility, with nuanced, poetic gestures.