I once heard someone say that the Latin alphabet offers designers the most room to play with the design of the letters. The fonts in other alphabet’s always look the same, he said. It’s not challenging from a graphic design point of view. El Seed doesn’t agree. His graffitti, or actually calli-graffitti, is in Arabic. And El Seed can play with the Arab alphabet just fine. Calligraphy speaks to the soul more than it does to the eye. It’s an art form in itself, a skill. You can get diploma’s in calligraphy. Not that El Seed has one. He’s a street artist, self taught. El Seed hopes people become more open to Arab culture. El Seed used to add French translations of the Arab texts on his murals, being French himself, with Tunesian roots. But he thought, that if his murals are art, he doesn’t have to add a translation. He chose the Arab language, and encourages us to appreciate it as an art, and encourages non-arabs to learn to de-cypher the text ourselves. Like Europeans would learn to decipher germanic or latin languages, without necessarily mastering them. Let this investigation be a conversation starter. Arab isn’t that difficult, and the letters are beautiful. According to El Seed there are less rules than with latin based languages. His calli-graffitti is more than just expressions on the wall.
His color choices are determined by his feelings. His mediterranean roots can be seen in the warm colors he prefers. There’s no statement behind his color choices. With one exception: purple. The former Tunesian regime used purple, so in Tunesia purple is identified with the old regime. They don’t like it. El Seed was even advised once not to use it in his art for it to be accepted by his audience. His audience is pretty much everybody that drives or walks by. But he choose to use purple anyway. A color has been stolen by the regime, and El Seed insists on taking it back. No one can own a color. No one can steal it. Like public space: it belongs to the people.
Check out more El Seed on his YouTube channel El Seed.