Designer transforms Arabic words into illustrations of their literal meanings

Architect and graphic designer Mahmoud Tammam has translated his love of word manipulation into a delightful series celebrating language. Based in Alexandria, Egypt, the creative started the project as a “personal challenge.” He explains, “I manipulate Arabic words and transform them into their meaning, and I made a total of 40 illustrated words.”

In addition, the pronunciation of these Arabic illustrated words is included on every picture to help you sound them out.

Using the Arabic characters, Mahmoud Tammam fashions their sloping curves and dots into the bodies of animals, pieces of fruit, and distant landscapes. His pictorial manipulations are seamless and elegant; fusing words and images so well that it’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. This bridges the gap between language barriers-even if you can’t read the language, you can look at Tammam’s illustrations and instantly understand what you’re reading.

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