Thursday March 30th, 2023
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11 Awesome Designs to Look Out For At This Year's AUC Senior Exhibition

These 11 awesome designs and designers are already killing it in the Graphic Design world.

Staff Writer

The American University in Cairo's graphic design major is extremely focused on teaching its students world-class design techniques, with an Egypt-centric twist. Every graduating class has been creating brilliant new fonts, designs, and prints all inspired by Om El Donia. And this year's class has already been making waves. 

The Graphic Design graduating class of 2017 is the most promising yet and they're going to be showing what they've got at their third annual AUC Senior Design Exhibition hilariously named 'Alt w Shidd' (That's a photoshop joke for you less artsy types,) and it opened in the Sharjah Gallery at the new AUC campus in New Cairo and is open till the 22nd of December.

There are so many awesome projects to look out for this year and Dr. Ghalia El Serbaki, the professor in charge of the exhibition, is especially excited sharing "I have so many amazing students and they're creating such interesting projects. Some of them are creating community based projects, some of them are creating tech based projects, and some just doing aesthetic projects, but they're all going to be so great." 

These 11 projects were so awesome we just had to talk to the students behind them:

The Book of Shapes - Soraya Mahmoud

Inspired by Brielle, is Soraya Mahmoud's awesome project 'The Book of Shapes,' which is basically an enhanced and more comprehensive version of the traditional touched language. "I noticed during my research phase that a lot of the visually impaired population in Egypt doesn't really understand the world around them and are highly dependent on a sighted person so I wanted to create something that would help them actually understand what the world is like, and not just rely on what people have told them about it" Mahmoud explains. The book brings together 40 designs that have been simplified to geometric shapes to make it easier to use.

ⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖ - Amazigh - Farahzada El Shihy

Zada is famous for the fantastically creative doodles El Shihy's been doing for years that's inspired by African culture, specifically the Amazigh language. Her graduation project, a collection of stamp kits and a fabric line, inspired by the forgotten Amazigh-speaking tribes in Siwa. "While I was researching, I went to Siwa and noticed that they use these Amazigh symbols on dresses and fabrics, so I started asking people there about their meanings. Some of them had to do with envy, others with brides and marriage, some had to do with nature. So I decided to create a stamp kit that comes with a book explaining what each symbol means, and its significance." The project's main goal is to bring awareness to this extremely rich culture that is otherwise completely forgotten in modern Egyptian society.

Teeeet - Rowan Maher Abdelsalam


This is a brilliant idea this country has needed for years. Teeeet, in short, is an app that's a survival kit for public transportation in Egypt. The mind behind this idea, Rowan Maher Abdelsalam tells us "I started with microbuses and tried to create something that would be a complete guide. So I did a part where it explains the actual routes the microbuses go, how much they cost, how to stop one, the hand singles one needs to to get to where they want, and then the part when you're actually one the bus, where to sit, like for example if you have a lot of bags you want to sit in front because there's a lot of leg space. And then the last part is how to get off the bus, so the steps are: raise your voice, then elbow the person next to you and jump off." Abdelsalam actually thought of everything while creating this app, she even created a dictionary for the words you might here like 'Yasta' and 'Abla' and even created a playlist for the type of music you would expect to hear on a microbus. The designer is hoping to develop this idea to all types of transportation in Egypt. The app will be available on the app stores soon. 

Noor's Journey to the Planets - Dania Zegallai 

"My project is titled 'Noor's journey to the planets'. It is an illustrated book for children that incorporates Quran versus in the storytelling." Dania Zegalli tells me "I have noticed that a lot of the Islamic children books narrate stories of the prophets or other prominent stories in the Quran. However, the Quran is a lot more diverse. The aim of this project is to engage children's imagination when reading the Quran, thus enhancing their relationship with the it." Noor is a curious girl who is always seeking knowledge and up for an adventure. One night she was staring at the moon and was astonished by its beauty. She could not go back to sleep thinking about "How did it all begin?". She reaches out for the Quran where she was certain to find answers. And that is when her journey begins.  

National Olympic Committee Rebranding - Hana Issa 


Athlete and former player on the national team, Hana Issa's project is a complete rebranding of the National Olympic Committee. Including a new logo for it as well as for each individual sport, and goes as far as a redesign of their book. "Athletes don't actually know what the Olympic committee can do for them and that was what I was trying to address with this project" Issa tells me.

Al Qahera - Rana Magdy

Born and raised Cairene Rana Magdy wanted to create something for the city that we all know and love so dearly. "It's basically a branding project for Cairo, but I didn't want to do a logo, so I created a system where the only thing that's doesn't change is the actual typography, but everything around it is taken from symbols from Cairo landmarks." The designer is hoping that this will connect people to the city like never before.

WGYC - Amjad Embaby Saleh

The idea behind WGYC, or We Got You Covered, comes from a struggle that every Egyptian has faced: finishing government paper work. It's the struggle of waiting in long lines and collapsing when it's actually your turn because you've been waiting in a small, sweaty room for the past six hours with no food, no water, and virtually no clean air to breathe. Amjad Embaby Saleh, the mastermind behind the app tells me "I just wanted to finish all my paper work while I'm in bed, so this was the perfect project." WGYC is a platform where you login with your national ID number and you have access to all kinds of governmental services like renewing your passport, or issuing a birth certificate on your phone. Its basically pocket Mogama3 el Tahrir. Saleh is currently working on getting the app on the App Store and everyone who's heard about it is just counting the hours till that happens.

Ankh - Yara Hussien Refai 

There's definitely been way too much hype around meditation and spirituality in Egypt over the past couple of years, but strangely enough most of the spiritual practices in Egypt are actually not Egyptian. Which is odd since ancient Egyptian culture is already extremely rich with spiritual practices for the mind, body, and soul. "I created a journal inspired by ancient Egypt that is basically a guide to all the ancient Egyptian spiritual practices and exercises that the pharaohs used to practice. Like for example, ancient Egyptians had their own type of yoga so that's its own section in the journal."  

Toroz - Lobna Zoghieb

Toroz is an Egyptian brand with a focus on reviving Egyptian culture through fashion. People are living in a highly competitive world that requires a strong, unique cultural identity in order to gain global recognition and achievement. "The main aim of this project is to revive traditional Egyptian style but in a more contemporary way to fill the market gap and offer local alternatives for foreign-inspired designs. Through producing an Egyptian inspired brand, not only would it revive the culture but it would also help in creating a sense of local pride and creating work opportunities for diminishing crafts in Egypt," Zoghieb shares.

Egyptian Governorates Creative Rebranding - Malak Mehrez 

If you've never seen the visual identity for each individual governorate then you're actually quite lucky because they are basically the definition of tragedy. Malak Mehrez and anyone who has ever even looked at them knows that. So she completely redesigned them in this awesome project. "I wanted to create a distinct identity for each of the governorates that would reflect its identity and make its people proud of it. My aim was to create a unified representative system that would promote the governorates to the relevant audiences. The triangular outer shape is inspired by the pyramids, a significant element of Egypt as a country as it reflects its history and identity as well." Mehrez explains.

Folk Motion - Hania Hindy

Dancer, and one of the Ballerinas of Cairo, Hania Hindy created a full-blown website dedicated to Egyptian folk Dance. "To me, dance is the most powerful form of expression and I've always felt Egyptian folk dance is dying out and people don't really care about it so much. I wanted to make a record or archive of it where people can go and look at it." The website is basically a complete dictionary of dances and costumes for anyone who wants to learn about this forgotten art form."