How To Use Arabic Calligraphy To Create A Logo Design
When it comes to design, using calligraphy can lend your logo deftness and dignity. Calligraphy is defined as "decorative or handwritten lettering," or "the art of producing decorative writing with a pen or brush." It's a visual art that is font-based or related to lettering.
When most people think of calligraphy, they probably have in mind an old-fashioned fountain pen, or a long feather, or a hollowed bamboo stick, with a slanted nib and some artistic flourishes. But, of course, there is more than one way to do calligraphy. Chinese calligraphy, for instance, is often done with a thin brush. Arabic calligraphy, or khatt, can be created using a pencil, pen, brush, or a calligraphy pen.
But Why Arabic calligraphy?
This distinct form of calligraphy was originally used for communication, like most typefaces, fonts, and forms of writing. However, with its aesthetic appeal and general usage, its uses began to branch out. According to Smashing Magazine, it became commonly used for "architecture, decoration, and coin design."
The aesthetics come in to play when the Arabic text is wrapped around some object, such as a boat, a lion, a sword, a peacock, a vessel and so on. The only thing that might hinder one’s choice for a calligraphic logo, especially an Arabic one, is the use of right text and the placement of accent marks. These accent marks add the depth and intensity a design has to offer. If these aren’t taken care of, you could end up delivering the wrong kind of message!
As complicated as it sounds, it's an art that needs to be carried out with a keen eye for detail. But, look on the bright side, Arabic calligraphy may prove to be a stand-alone logo design when its aesthetics are combined with your business values and goals.
Steps to Create Your Own Arabic Calligraphy Logo
As a tight-on-schedule business owner looking for a unique company logo, there are a number of shortcuts to take. Mastering Arabic calligraphy isn't necessary in order to design an amazing logo that benefits from the graceful aesthetic this type provides.
Don't fret because we've done all the hard work for you. Follow the steps for designing the perfect logo with aesthetically appealing Arabic calligraphy.
Step 1: Start by making a rough sketch of your desired form. Scan it and paste it on the Adobe Illustrator artboard.
Step 2: Next, create three layers in the layer panel. The first one is the 'Drawing' layer, where you will see the hand-drawn sketch and lock it. The second one is the 'Trace' layer, where you will make the strokes by tracing the lines of the sketch. The third layer is the 'Word', where you'll add text.
Step 3: Next, clear the fill by pressing 'X' to bring it forward and press the ‘slash’ to clear the fill. Press the 'X' button again.
Step 4: Double-click on the stroke and change to a bright color using the color picker option.
Step 5: Now, selecting the trace layer, press the 'P' button to choose the pen tool. Zoom in and start tracing your design.
Step 6: Adjust the strokes so they flow in a smooth manner. Set all and press 'Ctrl + S' to save the file.
Step 7: In this step, apply the brush strokes, adding the accent marks and the dots of the characters in the design.
Step 8: Select the whole design and apply black strokes. You can hide the Drawing layer to see things more clearly.
Step 9: Now apply the default Adobe Illustrator strokes. Select the whole design except the eye (if you're making a bird or peacock, for that matter). Now change the stroke weight to 2 pts.
Step 10: Choose a mid-text character and choose a different type of calligraphic brush. Adjust the angle and its width. You can choose a different calligraphic brush for each character and fine-tune each of them.
Step 11: If your design requires accents and forms, you can go by creating an art brush as per your desire (as shown in the video). Keep playing with the strokes and their angles and width until you create a stunning Arabic calligraphic logo.
Step 12: Once you're done with the design, convert the brush strokes to objects by selecting the overall design and paste it on to the 'Word' layer. While selecting the design, go to the 'Objects' menu and select 'Expand Appearance'.
Step 13: Adjust the strokes and add finishing touches. If you want, you can choose the design and add colors as per your requirements. If you want to add more depth, you can also use some background, colors, or even gradients to this logo.
Results to Expect From An Arabic Calligraphic Logo
The demand for Arabic calligraphy logo is rising each day as we see the design realm reaching far and wide. Take it from a designer who not only creates logos in Arabic script for the local companies in the UAE but also translates international brand names into Arabic calligraphic forms.
Without a doubt, the shift from a left-handed script to a right-handed one might seem challenging, but what adds more to it is the conversion of letters that might not work at all times and for all cases. As a designer, if a large chunk of your audience comprises of Arabs, using a logo that responds to their locality determines a strong brand presence, and ultimately, gets heavy approval.
If you’re designing for a brand that opts to reach out to international audiences and chooses the calligraphic option, it might provide an incentive as a seal of their authenticity. It might seem like an out-of-bounds option for big brands, which can leverage into creating a stylistic icon.
For the sake of artistry, an Arabic calligraphy can do as much good as an English one. The versatile world of Arabic calligraphy has imbibed the general design concepts only to add a new dimension to the logo design world.
As you keep adding intricate patterns and particular vernaculars, you tend to introduce unique logo design concepts that set your logo apart from the crowd. This traditional art may benefit on many fronts due to its mesmerizing beauty. The point of it all is to pay attention to how you’re joining the letters and how you merge them into various forms to add that element of conscious beauty.
What more you can expect from an Arabic calligraphic logo? Sure, there can be criticism from the audience who isn't familiar with the translation of the exotic language. It, however, depends on the creativity of the designer and the branding strategies of the brand to craft a distinct logo that is set apart from every generic one. Some Helpful Considerations…
Some Helpful Considerations…
- If you're using an English word or letter done in the style of Arabic calligraphy, it's definitely recommended that you make sure that the font will be legible. This may take a little tweaking. Exposing it to a test audience is a helpful step to make sure that the look is as easy to read as you want it to be.
- If you're using an Arabic word for your logo, then investigating some basic words or concepts and the look that they have is a good starting point. These will help you gain an understanding of how you can wrap different types of Arabic script around your finger.
- Consider also the option of combining your chosen lettering with graphics. If you just want a solid, standalone wordmark or lettermark, that's okay too, but the lettering can be augmented with graphics that either complement the Arabic aesthetic or provide a counterpoint to it.
- Take some time to look at other Arabic calligraphy logo designs and pick out what you like or don't like. There are a lot of options out there, so even if you share an aesthetic with someone else, there is plenty of room to make it your own.
- As illustrated in our tutorial, you can explore and employ different objects and creative patterns to experiment with your logo design and develop your knack for this beautiful art form.
To date, Arabic calligraphy still retains its charm for more than 1400 years. Also, not to mention its popularity that boomed in the entire world. With its rich ethnic diversity, it has caught the eyes of designers and brands alike who would love to explore the intricacies suited to this text and its pattern only.
And since this art takes skills and time to master, we have shown you the most basic steps to create your own Arabic calligraphy logos. Follow our tutorial and keep practicing your design until you develop a certain level of understanding with how this language works. We hope our tutorial serves to be the ultimate guide you need to practice this traditional script and taste some versatility and flexibility in your skills and ideas.
By Tarif Khan, Head of Design,
Connect with him via firstname.lastname@example.org or