Viewing Archive ~ June, 2010
I have known Ahmed Hafez (aka Fizo) for almost 10 years to the date, I first met this extremely talented individual when I was attending The College of Fine Arts in Zamalek. He is one of the founding fathers of infamous Egyptian design troupe Fileclub, he has been one of the few individuals that have inspired me constantly over the years. I was fortunate enough to snag some of his time for a Quick Q&A session.
Can you give us a brief introduction of yourself?
My name is Ahmed Hafez Younis, you can call me fizo, i’ve been around for a little more than three decades, currently i work as an associate creative director in promoseven egypt and i guess that makes me a sith or a Darth rather than a Jedi.
Bonus Starwars reference, nice .. What do you consider to be your earliest creative memory?
My mother still keeps some scribbles i’ve done at the age of 4, they’re a series of illustrations for different animals in the zoo. The thing is i was old enough to know that the lion is king, so instead of 4 legs i decided he should have more, a little more than 10 legs actually.
Before you sit down to work, staring at that blank digital canvas, what triggers your motivation to start giving it?
Well, I don’t know about a trigger, its not like i wait for my muse or anything. Being pro for that long i guess makes you more capable of summoning your talent and tools at will. Ibelieve this whole thing for me became more like a process of translation, its like my mind speaks an alien language even to myself and the white digital canvas is where i get to understand and explain to the world.
Excellent I like where this is going, can you tell us a bit about the process of how you transitioned from someone who studied Arts to becoming a professional Graphic practitioner? Who were your biggest influences at the time, what inspired you become a Graphical creative problem solver?
Before we get to that i need to make something clear, I work in advertising now, in my position im not really an art director anymore. The borderline between copy and art is almost non-existing in modern advertising. I dont get to work with my hands in terms of everyday practice and I really think that is what’s triggering the flow of personal work, graphic design is more of an escape to me now, i.e. i create the problem then solve it.
But the graphic designer in me was the natural evolution of the art student, although graphic design was never my major, but i was always drawn towards design in general. There was always something interesting in the difference between a designer and a painter or a sculpture ” and then there was digital” a new world to explore, new tools, new ideas, new perspectives, new names suddenly emerged other than dali or picasso, names like Dave mckean and David Carson, it was the late 90s and change was in the air, i just surfed along with friends who shared the same passion, you know the names.
Looking at your body of work, it’s obvious you enjoy experimenting with Arabic Typography/Calligraphy, Sometimes pushing boundaries of what is custom or the the norm. What do you consider to be the pro’s and con’s of designing with that language in mind? And where do you see it heading in the future?
What I do with Arabic Calligraphy or Typography could be considered as crimes, for academic people me and “my kind” butcher the language by not abiding to its rules and roots, i simply believe in evolution,and by evolution i dont mean “Turkey killing the alphabet all together” kind of evolution, when we where children we just had to break some toys to know what’s really going on in there, think of it this way, if i can break it maybe i can pick it all up again in a different way. Thats not a crime, is it??
I believe the problem with arabic typography in design, is a conception rather than a designer problem or language problem, arabic typography has been blamed and still is being blamed for all mediocre and shitty designs all across the arab world , lots of people think that it just doesn’t look as “cool” as latin “3o2det khawaga. (editors’ translation: The foreigner complex)
The future is where we come, we have to change this conception, and i think we’re doing just fine.
Do you think Graphic design is currently being used to it’s utmost capacity in modern day Middle Eastern / Egyptian culture?
Of course not, i believe graphic designers didn’t fully digest the middle eastern / egyptian culture just yet. its a heavy meal, the inspiration, the details , everything, i believe there’s a lot to be done yet.
Can you share some of your favourite pieces?
What are some of the websites that you frequent on a regular basis?
Thanks for your time, keep on keepin on!
To view more of Fizo’s work you can head over to his Dripbook page here.
Ah, the beauty of being able to find out what the time is, simply by the means of letters. Pure Bliss. Designed by biegertfunk, this investment in time will cost you only €885.00.
Available for purchase at the biegertfunk store.
Hi, I'm Ibraheem Youssef
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