Cairo Citadel

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Derrick Lin


Design: Rana Galal
Location: Egypt
Project Type: Student Project
School: German university in Cairo
Tutor: Sabine Muller
Packaging Contents: Coffee, Tickets, Posters
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Paper
Printing Process: Digital Printing

The Cairo Citadel was the seat of government in Egypt and residence of its rulers for 700 years, From the 13th to the 19th centuries. Developing a visual identity created a huge challenge; to represent the contrast existing inside and outside the place and reflecting it in a fresh and modern look. The exploration and research process led to a rich identity inspired by the citadel’s atmosphere and usage. I designed a bilingual logo mark to fit all my target groups and presents it in an opposite way by combining curvy with edgy letter forms and placing them in an opposite layout.

The Cairo Citadel is the small version of Cairo. And while supporting the use of Arabian design patterns as inspiration. The logo was created in a block form that can be splitter into two rectangles that are always located opposite of each other to represent the changes happening in the culture and place in a n abstract way. Black and white are the primary colors they reflect the brand’s slogan which is the City Of Contrast. The secondary color was inspired by the blood created in the Massacre event happened inside the citadel. Lately an experimental sign system was developed with the same concept.

My research process mainly depends on the related designs within the culture and comparing between the old and modern Egyptian’s lifestyle. The goal challenge was to shed the light on the importance of the Citadel that is full of heritage by giving it a powerful and fresh identity that reflects the culture and enhance a person’s visit experience. My research journey for this project had to begin with spending a lot of time with the local and international visitors of the Citadel. I also invested many hours visiting and studying the brand’s atmosphere, different religions, Islamic designs and guides. People who dedicated their lives to share the history and knowledge. They were the key of this project, as they opened my mind to new doors and visions. They taught me how to explore more by myself also I became a Tour guide assistant at the Cairo Citadel for a day. I took a deep dive into art, communications, history, literature and design. And at the end of this exhausting and exciting journey, I started sketching and building a clear and strong brand.

What’s Unique?
Showing the soul of the history and comparing it with the modern life was challenging enough. As I was filling the gaps between the present and the past. To bring that history into today’s world, needed a deep research into all common aspects. At the research showed that the contrast happening within the culture, gives it its identity, power and balance look and feel in order to make it visually simple and unique. Effort and time helped into completing the puzzle and barring the complexity of the history within the turn up of simple and modern design. This place was the heart of a challengeable creative research.