Fikra’s philosophy is deeply rooted in exploring the intersections of Islamic values, culture, and design. To communicate Fikra’s philosophy, it was necessary to create an identity that was equally important in both languages, Arabic and English. An icon was designed, derived by working directly with geometric primitives — circles, dots, and lines — creating a simple and recognizable form that reads “Fikra” in Arabic. Because of its unique shape, a custom English wordmark had to be created to echo the Arabic. Eventually, the entire English alphabet was designed.
It only made sense to compliment the English and develop an Arabic version as well — creating a visually cohesive Arabic and English font for Fikra. However, the Arabic posed an interesting problem. Fikra’s icon has oversimplified characters that challenged very basic principals in the Arabic script, it begged the question, “what happens if the Arabic font was directly derived from the logo?” This proposed an opportunity to experiment and further investigate the Arabic script and its legibility — to try to understand and find the limits of readability and recognizability of Arabic letterforms.
Three different versions were created to test how, where, and when the text becomes readable or not. The first version being the most abstractand directly derived from the logo, making the text almost unrecognizable. The second version was less abstract that evolved from the first one. And, the third version was the most readable.