VISIBLE RHETORIC: 

A love of verbal expression has long been characteristic of Arab culture. Oral poetry flourished during the Jahiliyyaamong both nomadic and sedentary Arabs, and with the birth and rapid proliferation of Islam, Arabic poetry, both sacred and secular, continued its popularity among conquerors and conquered alike. Formulaic expression is an essential component of verbal art among the Arabs. This is especially true among Muslim Arabs, for whom memorization of at least portions of the Quran is extremely widespread; it is not uncommon for believers to commit the entire holy scripture to memory. Of the numerous formulaic forms in the Arabic language, probably the most pervasive is the proverb. Proverbs can be defined as   "familiar, fixed, sentential expressions that express well-known truths, social norms, or moral concerns". Unfortunately, the use of proverbs by -educated young Arabs has decreased due to globalization and westernization. For my seed project I have developed a system to categorize and analyze Arabic proverbs in order to underscore the layering of rhetorical figures. Since graphic design is about typography, organization, and elucidating information, it is the perfect medium to reveal the nuances in language that are often overlooked. My designs aim to show the subtle, yet exciting aspects of Arabic language and hopefully entice people to and reignite an interest in this form of oral heritage. I have focused my research at this stage on colloquial proverbs from Egypt, hoping to show that the subtlety and complexity of the Arabic language is present unknowingly in our day to day language, and that even illiterate people may use these proverbs daily yet they are truly a treasure trove of linguistic complexity.