Salma Aly Hacking Design | هاكينج ديزاين

  • Kaiako / Lecturer
    Haytham Nawar
  • School
    American University in Cairo

Hacking Design is a DIY kit for designers that allows them to hack or print over existing prints. The kits includes the drawing device and an open source typeface designed for the machine (it’s regular and scribbled alternative). 
The drawing device comes with a manual that guides the user on how to build the device and install the software. This device was a result of researching the digital and manual aspects of design, and how they can be merged together to produce the best outcome. It combines the accuracy of digital printing to the ink range of manual printing.
The typeface Ekhteraq was designed for the drawing device. Ekhteraq is an Arabic open source typeface. It has no contrast and is squared. This gives the typeface a raw aspect and this makes it suitable for adding prominent text over prints. The typeface comes in two styles regular and scribbled. The scribbled version is inspired by graffiti overlaying and the scribbles used on paper when one decides to change existing text.   
Finally, I used the kit to print posters for a campaign as an application example. The campaign demonstrates how the font and kit could be used. The campaign I created “Da Tarekhna el Masrook” or “This is our Stolen History” is a campaign about Egyptian looted artifacts that are currently displayed abroad. In this campaign, I printed on posters that are used, to market and celebrate our artifacts, abroad to express my anger and frustration.
There is a common theme between the kit, Hacking Design, and the campaign, “This is our Stolen History”. That theme is accessibility. Designers should have access to design tools and resources, regardless. Design is not about exclusivity it is about conveying messages. Similarly, Egyptians should have access to their artifacts and art history. History is a crucial factor in our development. Design and history are about the continuity of creation and not starting from scratch.