Commercial Bank of Kuwait Logo

Posted by Mark

Commercial Bank of Kuwait logo

Many of you might not know this but the Commercial Bank of Kuwait logo was designed by one of the best design agencies in the world, Pentagram back in 1979. Not only that but the designer who worked on the Commercial Bank identity, Alan Fletcher, is also among the most influential figures in British graphic design history. I decided to share with you what Alan Fletcher said about the Commerical Bank project back in the 1980’s and also the idea behind the logo itself.

The text below was written by Alan Fletcher

Designing in the Middle East requires certain cultural adjustments to one’s normal working pattern and lifestyle. The Gulf States are seven hours’ flying time from London with a time difference of three hours. Travel by Arabic airlines is like arriving in the Gulf before you’ve left. It’s a dry journey – no alcohol. At midday, Muslim passengers are likely to say prayers prostrated in the aisle; one wonders about the flight deck! Normal working hours are 8.00 am to 1.00 pm, and even then a government survey indicated that the oil-rich Kuwaiti only works an average of ten minutes each day. Friday is a holiday but they work Saturday instead. Appointments, are not necessarily appointments, and frequently involve hours (if not days) of waiting.

The Commercial Bank of Kuwait had catered only for institutions and businesses within the Gulf States until it decided to expand into international markets and enter retail banking. The new policy created the need for an appropriate visual identity. Since the bank had neither the experience nor resources, it appointed Tony Vines, via Ogilvy and Mather, New York, to set up a marketing department and create a new identity within eighteen months. Vines flew to London in 1979, interviewed various advertising agencies and designers, and on reaching a rapport with Pentagram commissioned us to work on the program. His fast response to locating a design resource set the pace for the hectic schedule that followed.

In architecture the term ‘fast tracking’ describes the method of designing whereby the architect keeps one jump ahead of the builder. In this case the severe deadlines and cultural differences made it more of a jump in the dark. The brief stipulated that the corporate identity and design style should be Arabic in flavor, but be understood internationally. The symbol, in particular, was required to mean something to both an Arab and a Westerner. Designing within these constraints reduced the normal available options. The two different scripts precluded using the alphabet to form a logotype such as Unisys, or initials such as IBM. An abstract mark would take too long to establish. A pictorial device might have encouraged the client to insist on a heraldic solution such as a scimitar crossed with palms. However the design of the symbol proved to be the least of the problems. Designing from right to left, in a script and language one didn’t understand, and within an unfamiliar culture, required keeping one’s head fast on its feet.

The new Commercial Bank symbol is an amalgamation of calligraphy and image. the words commercial and bank are rendered in kufic, a geometric script, to make a decorative star, recognizable by anyone as a distinctive pattern and, additionally, readable to an Arab. The dual language identity has English type in Paul Renner’s Futura with a compatible Arabic script especially drawn by Ahmed Mustafa.


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Kuwait Times on Al-Rifai Crash

Posted by Mark

This is from the article in Kuwait Times about the Al-Rifai crash:

A Kuwaiti woman crashed into shop in Salmiya with her four-wheel-drive vehicle. The woman put her vehicle on in drive instead of reverse and then accelerated quickly. Her vehicle crashed into the shop and broke the glass door causing KD5,000 worth of damage. [source]

Ok so it turns out the woman WAS Kuwaiti but the biggest surprise here is the KD5,000 in damage. According to this picture, looks like the only thing that might have been damaged was the computer at the register, how did they get 5,000 worth of damage?

Thanks Q8techdrive


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The pilots call it: Top Gun

Posted by Mark

I just started watching the movie Top Gun. Never watched it before and hopefully its pretty good. So far the intro of the movie feels dejavu but I guess thats because I have watched the movie “Hot Shots” a ton of times and its basically a spoof to Top Gun.

Update: what the hell, Tom Cruises partner “Goose” is the dorky Dr. Mark Greene from ER! He had hair! I also just saw Val Kilmer, didn’t know he was in this movie. The sherif from Picket Fences is also in this movie.

Update 2: Just finished watching the movie, it turned out to be pretty good. I am glad I finally watched it. Now I feel like watching Men At Work for some reason..


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Kuwait Explorer

Posted by Mark

Susan, a regular reader of the blog just passed by and gave me a copy of the newly released Kuwait Explorer “The Complete Residents Guide”. I have been skimming through the book and at first glance it looks really clean and very nicely organized. I am going to spend the next few days reading it and then give my review on it but so far it looks like it going to kick Kuwait Pocket Guide’s ass. You should be able to find the book at Virgin and the Kuwait BookShop in Muthana Complex. Here is link to the book on Amazon UK. [Link]


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My Diet a Success

Posted by Mark

90kg

Back in September I posted on Miskan my weight which was 90.6KG. As some of you who know me since “Moblogging from Kuwait“, I used to be a fast food junkie. I used to have McDonalds nearly daily and if I wasn’t having McDonalds I was having Burger King, Hardees or some other burger place. Anyway back in September I decided to cut back on the junk and start eating better. Well I got on the scale yesterday and I am now 84KG. Since September I have had McDonalds only a handful of times, Hardees only twice and Burger King also twice. I still eat food from the food court but I don’t have any burgers and I rarely have french fries or anything fried. My diet has been a success!


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Paul Mitchell

Posted by Mark

Paul Mitchell

Someone really has a problem with spelling. Notice how opening is also spelt wrong. [source Q8techdrive]


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Cookie Monster

Posted by Mark

Cookie Monster

Look at what Ananyah is sending me! [Link]


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Malak Al Taouk

Posted by Mark

malak al taouk

When I was in Lebanon over Christmas someone who does some work for this famous sandwich place in Lebanon called Malak Al Taouk told me they were going to open up a branch in Kuwait soon. “Malak Al” means king of in Arabic while “Taouk” is a Lebanese word for marinated chicken cubes which are usually grilled on an oven or BBQ. The taouk sandwich at Malak Al Taouk (their specialty) is really really huge and very cheap costing around 650 fils. The ingredients of the sandwich are: lots of taouk, lots of French fries, lots of coleslaw and lots of ketchup. On my last trip to Lebanon I took some pictures of the sandwich to share with everyone and I totally forgot about them until yesterday. The sandwich I took pictures of though is their “super” taouk sandwich which comes with cheese and ham as extra. As you can see from the pictures the sandwich is wider then a 330ml can of Pepsi.

Picture next to Pepsi can
Close up shot of whats inside


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Pizza Hut called AGAIN

Posted by Mark

This is hard to believe but Pizza Hut’s management currently are ranked very high in my best customer service list. I just got a phone call this time from the Pizza Hut district manager who once again apologized for what happened. He told me that Pizza Hut owed me one and to take down his number and next time I feel like having pizza to call him and tell him which branch I would like to go to and he would make sure I would be taken care of. If I didn’t want to go out they would send dinner over to my place. I thanked him again and told him everything is OK now. I still can’t believe this is Pizza Hut I am dealing with, I never expected them to care this much about their customers. Pretty cool.


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Forum Stats

Posted by Mark

Today we finally got over 100 users signed up in the forum. So far the forum has been exceeding my original expectations. As of this post there are 878 posts and 81 topics in the forum and on average there are 41 new posts a day. If you haven’t already checked the forum please do by clicking on the forum link on the top of the page or following this [Link]


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