Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Graphic Design

First Advisor

Bethany Johns

Second Advisor

Hammett Nurosi

Third Advisor

Maya Krinsky


This thesis investigates verbal and visual language through a lens of translation, queerness, and diaspora . Looking at graphic design as a reconciliatory space , I make use of its formal and typographic systems as devices to tell stories , examine cultures , and negotiate conflicting principles .

Abjad Orientations is a process of shifting the focal viewpoint to reorient myself and/or my audience and allow for a closer probe of our cultural reality . My eclectic identity as a Queer , Muslim , multilingual Arab living in the United States drives the form and content of my design inquiries to reconcile one or more aspects of my selfhood .

In Abjad Orientations, I utilize subversion , translation , commemoration , and reorientation/disorientation. These methods serve to analyze the dynamics of our complex world and question aspects of it that have always troubled me . In the midst of our political and humanitarian crises , I find myself asking : Can graphic design create better—albeit sometimes ephemeral—realities ? Can it promote dialogue rather than commodities ? By interrupting discourse and re-contextualizing conventions , this body of work attempts to undermine normative systems of thought and making. It celebrates hybridity , liminality , and sometimes illegibility , with nuanced, poetic gestures.



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