Looking Beyond Language


Cairo-based design studio 40Mustaqel brings a fresh perspective to the heritage of Arabic language.

40MUSTAQEL’s visual vocabulary and tool kit arose out of a complete immersion in a visually rich city like Cairo, learning about what works on the street and what stands out against the city’s visual onslaught of the signmakers, local printers, and calligraphers that use the streets as their canvas.

Dissatisfied by the excessive focus of latin driven design solutions, they knew early on that they wanted to feature and work with the material of the Arabic language and its letterforms, with an approach that reflects attention to process, an affinity for collaboration, and a commitment to carve out spaces for self expression.

The studio now fluently speaks with vibrant colors and intricate typography, relying heavily on customization and keen eyes trained on the streets of their city.