Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cheese and Design...

What a wonderful Idea, I thought; they are going to reintroduce the long forgotten Beirut International Marathon... It was to be held in Downtown Beirut, where the toll of the war was most devastating. Another "plus" to this concept, was the date it was going to be held at: April 13; the same date the war "“started"”...

For once, I was thrilled! For once, no one was just trying to forget the war instead of looking the beast in the eye. For once, we were remembering again! We were going to debate! Perfect! The first step towards healing! I love my country! (yalla nchallah, nchallah!)
The marathon was held, and to me, it was a grand success, and well covered by the media.
Time passed, and then a couple of weeks back, I got this advertisement poster by email:
Another race was to going to be held in Sour (Tyre) this time!

Despite the fact that it should have, again struck me as good news, my reaction was totally different. Logically, it should have merited the same reaction, thrill and respect, the Beirut Marathon reaped from me. Instead, I was both appalled and speechless! By God, who the hell designs these posters? I just want to know, who was it that got this ingenious idea of clumsily hanging a giant, disproportionate medal, on historical ruins...

Do we lack good designers in Lebanon? Are we missing state of the art, pirated software? Hardware? Just explain to me why and who thought this poster would fly. Who thought that this poster was attractive enough?

I understand that we have a lot to say, and often we spit everything out in one outburst... I also understand that at every chance we get, we try to pass our own political subliminal messages (Just watch any Sagesse vs. Riyadi basketball game). But for the love of God, we have to start structuring our ideas! it is about time. We would have been forgiven, if it were immediately after the war, but now that a fair period of time passed, we owe it to ourselves to start filtering what we need to say, and what we want the international opinion to gather.

They hit you with a poster, all charged and crammed with hundreds of messages. No hierarchy whatsoever, and of course, it is always recommended you state your love for The South! AAAh, Ya habibi ya jnoub!

Here'’s how I see it happening in the graphic design department:
- How would you like the poster designed?
- It'’s a race, so put in a medal... We also want to remind the international community that we have a great history, and that we have Phoenician origins.
- Okay! I'’ll emboss a Phoenician ship on the medal. Is that all?
- Yeah well, make the medal bigger... Oh yes, in Sour, we have ruins... put in some ruins, and state that we got rid of the landmines.
- mmmm what else...
- The south, we need to evoke the south! Try to find some supportive words for the south... It suffered a lot and we have to acknowledge that in every thing we do, and every message we send out.
- But we already wrote that the race is in Sour.
- No no, I don'’t just mean the South as geography!
- ya habibi ya jnoub? (my beloved south)
- Yes! I guess that will do.
- There is still something missing though, I can'’t put my finger on it...
- What?
- I don'’t know!
- I think it is enough! It is already crowded.
- Wait! I found it! Fuchsia!
- mmmm Fuchisa... Like that?
- Yes, I like it... print it!

I can see Mies van der Rohe (one of the great architects) spinning in his grave... Does the saying "“less is more"” ring a bell to you Mrs/Mr. designer/patron of the marathon?

On behalf of my compatriots, I would like to apologize to you Mr. Mies! I can assure you that we have better designers; we usually can do much better than that! It'’s just that... Damn! Where are those designers when you need them?



At 9:19 AM, Blogger laila said...

:) yeah it's..not good
well at least the marathon is back

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

honestly, it's like they weren't... inspired!

At 11:25 PM, Blogger _z. said...

that's the least one could say...


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