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How The AnonymClassic Logo Was Created

Kalīla and Dimna – AnonymClassic / Arabic Literature Cosmopolitan

The Kalīla and Dimna – AnonymClassic logo constitutes a blend between Latin and Arabic scripts. The choice of fonts makes the combination of different writing systems and graphic styles harmonize. This is achieved through juxtaposing the early Islamic monumental Kufi script, in the modern typographic adaptation of B Esfehan Bold, with the Latin title of the project set in Nexus, the signature script type of Freie Universität Berlin. Kufi is one of the earliest writing styles of the Arabic tradition, characterized by a rectangular ductus and aesthetic minimalism, which conveys a modern feel to the eye.

The logo combines the Arabic initials of Kalīla, called "Kāf" in the Arabic alphabet, and Dimna, called "Dāl." In the geometric Kufi aesthetic, both letters have the same shape and differ only in size. Following the method of Arabic calligraphy, both symbols are superposed to form a compact parallel shape that is open at the top and the left. The two parts are not interlaced to ensure that the graphic may also to be used as an independent style element in other contexts or media. The logo further takes up the traditional blue color of the project’s host institution Freie Universität Berlin, as does the logo's inscription. Both also quote the logo of the pilot project Kalīla and Dimna – Wisdom Encoded.

The rectilinear features of the Arabic font correspond well with the Latin characters in the logo, effectively conveying the linguistic interaction that takes place within the project. In other words, this geometric agreement succinctly reflects the correspondence between Arabic, the language of the texts under study, and English, the language of research in the project.

This image also symbolizes a vital aspect of Kalīla and Dimna: namely that of the frame. The logo symbol combines the Arabic initials of the book’s title in a frame-like structure, embedding the "Dāl" within the "Kāf," which is a nod to the many concise – yet significant – tales in Kalīla and Dimna that are embedded within longer tales, and which are in turn embedded in the primary narrative of the book – the narrative of its inception.

The AnonymClassic logo was created by Nadia El-Obaidi, inhouse graphics designer at Freie Universität Berlin, also holding a B.Sc. in Architectural Engineering by Baghdad University, Iraq.

by Nadia El-Obaidi, CeDiS, and Oualid El Khattabi, student researcher at AnonymClassic