Designing a sign for the MN Council of Churches
We are in a context of increased disrespect for Muslims. From hate crimes to a presidential campaign where fear and hate speech seem to becoming more of the norm. Perhaps Minnesotans, as our best selves, could turn the tides with a shared narrative of respect that stands in quiet opposition to the bigotry and hatefulness.
A sign design to place in the yards of communities with a simple message, "To Our Muslim Neighbors: Blessed Ramadan," during the Ramadan season; the beginning of consideration for an opportunity to grow a movement this Ramadan.
My approach to the project's functionality was simple: Displaced Muslim hatred is due to ignorance and the lack of understanding. The streamlined solution, from a design perspective, is making people want to understand Muslim religion, culture, etc… versus continuous stubborn hatred.
The Blessed Ramadan sign should beg the question, “What is Ramadan? Why is it important? Why am I seeing these signs?”
My initial thought was the sign should be brightly colored, and for two reasons: The color palette of Ramadan is very bright, full or oranges, pinks, purples, golds, greens, and blues and because June’s seasonal color palette mirrors those tones. The end result was a color palette consisting of complementary colors orange and blue, to mimic dusk and dawn of the Ramadan season.
Typography was going to be the most important part of the design, specifically for the words, “Blessed Ramadan.” I eliminated the idea of using any Devanagari scripts because this was an American sign, primarily designed to support the Ramadan season, to sit on the lawns of non-Muslim homes and mimicking Muslim fonts would be confusing. I knew that a sans serif might feel too modern and a serif might feel too academic or scholarly. I experimented with a handful of slab serifs, both old and new. The final verdict was a typeface called Museo, a semi-serif which felt progressive, celebratory, and sincere while at the same time, conveyed an emotional layer, is taken seriously and thought-provoking.
I am thrilled to have been a part of this project because it has opened my eyes to Ramadan—what it is, when it takes place, and why the tradition takes place and moving forward, what steps I can take to dilute the displaced hatred for Muslims.
Make a donation to get a Blessed Ramadan sign by clicking here.