Media Design, Visual Arts
Maece Seirafi was born in San Francisco, California but was raised in Damascus, Syria, where most of her love of letterforms, art, poetry and calligraphy was cultivated. In 2005 she graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles with a BFA in Communication Arts. Arabic calligraphy and Latin letterforms remained a strong, central theme throughout her work at Otis. After an extensive Type Design class with the renown type designer Leah Hoffmitz, bilingual identities in typography led her to pursue and complete an MFA at the Graphic Design program at the California Institute of the Arts in 2010. She studied under several talented design visionaries such as Louise Sandhaus, Lorraine Wild, Ed Fella, Michael Worthington, and Jefferey Keedy. Seirafi continues to explore the nuances of Arabic and Latin typography, and how bilingual identities could be further developed typographically. She is an independent graphic designer heavily involved in several local Arab American projects as well as multicultural organizations. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
Maece Seirafi’s work is recognized by INDEX DESIGN:Designing Water’s Future 2010 book CalArts Magazine Summer 2010 issue Communication Arts July/Aug 2009 issue INDEX DESIGN: AIGA/Aspen Design Challenge 2009 Finalist Certificate of Outstanding Achievement from Department of Water and Power 2009 First Place Logo Competition 2007 for Reach Program Otis Best of Show Exhibition 2005, Communication Arts.
Raised in the culturally rich city of Damascus, Syria, it's hard not to be inspired by Byzantine mosaics in mosques, ornate calligraphy on facades, and earthy rich tones of color. As part of an artistic family (artist mother, poet father) Maece Seirafi’s parents helped mold her understanding of beauty between the written word and its calligraphic form. Inspired by poetry merging with art, Seirafi’s upbringing resulted in her studying letterforms, typography, calligraphy, painting and drawing—Arabic culture informing both her art and design. Calligraphy has an intricacy of beauty, language, and highly stylized form. That it’s also linguistic communication enhances it as art. Sketching and drawing by hand and experimenting with various materials and inks, and then taking these experiments to the computer in further permutations, Seirafi says “Endless experimenting with form is crucial to my practice of getting letterforms to where structure, style, and poetry as language meet harmoniously.”
“My current work is deeply rooted in the Arabic culture. References to patterns, mosaics, calligraphy, and geometry can be seen in my pieces but above all the beauty of the word resonates most with me.” I attempt to achieve equilibrium between the English language and the Arabic language, often working to emphasize a strong Arabic presence within the work echoing cultural and faith-based traditions, and their roots in Seirafi’s native Damascus.
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