Rebranding Australia’s largest Islamic school
When we set out to create the new branding for Malek Fahd Islamic School (MFIS), we were acutely aware of the profound responsibility involved. It was crucial to craft a brand that balanced the sometimes differing perspectives within the community. We found that the task was not just a professional undertaking; it was a mission grounded in deep appreciation and respect for Islam as a way of life.
The new logo was a key part of the rebrand process, and one that we’ll delve into in this post. Read on to see how we handled working at the intersection of faith and creativity – listening to the community, drawing from historic inspiration, and more.
Faith in action
Our first step in reimagining the brand of Malek Fahd Islamic School was to undertake a Discovery phase. This was an intensive sprint where we engaged with a diverse array of perspectives within the community to get a deeper understanding of the context and possibilities.
During these early explorations, we found that Islam had a profound impact in shaping every aspect of the educational environment at MFIS. Here, the practice of faith was as significant as the belief itself, and this principle was evident in the daily rituals of the school. The more people we spoke to – teachers, students, parents, community members – the more we saw a common thread emerging: certain aspects of Islamic practice served as unifying forces, transcending all individual differences.
The five pillars of Islam form the bedrock of every Muslim’s life, and they play an important role in the environment and identity of the school. However, in particular, the pillar of Salah (prayer) stood out to us. It is a pillar, a practice, that is incredibly important within the school, and a demonstration of the profound sense of community and shared devotion that defines the Islamic faith.
During a school day, the Adhan (the call to prayer) is broadcast across the campus, including in offices and meeting rooms. This practice serves as a unifying moment for the school community. It’s a reminder of the commitment to regular prayer and reflection, demonstrating how the spiritual aspects of school life intertwine with the educational and administrative.
Salah binds the community together, not just within the confines of Malek Fahd Islamic School but across the world. Billions of Muslims share in this universal act of devotion, transcending all geographical and cultural divides. It soon became clear to us that the essence of Salah – its discipline, its communal nature, and its role as a constant in the lives of muslim – would need to be reflected clearly and confidently in the design of the new brandmark.
A legacy in motion
The process of developing the brandmark was a journey into the heart of Islamic art and history. We delved into centuries-old Islamic traditions, seeking inspiration from the rich tapestry of Islamic geometric patterns that have adorned the walls of mosques and madrasas, the pages of sacred texts, and the intricate layouts of historical gardens and architecture. These patterns are not merely decorative; they carry within them the principles of mathematical precision, spiritual contemplation, and the representation of the infinite nature of Allah (God).
Our exploration into Islamic geometry was enlightening. As we delved into this rich heritage, we recognised that the essence of every Islamic pattern, existing for centuries in various forms across the world, begins with the fundamental shape of a circle, a profound symbol of unity in Islamic philosophy.
A defining pattern
When you gaze upon the finished work of an Islamic pattern, whether it adorns the walls of a grand mosque or the pages of an ancient manuscript, not all the construction lines are visible. Yet, these patterns all share a common origin: a circle that has been meticulously divided into equal parts. The circle’s significance in Islamic art is not merely symbolic; it is the structural starting point for every geometric pattern.
These divisions set the stage for all the geometric possibilities to come. The number of segments within the circle determines the types of shapes that can be created: stars, hexagons, octagons, and complex interlacing networks. It is from this precise, calculated beginning, that the intricate beauty of Islamic patterns emerges.
With this insight, we began to explore the interplay between certain geometric patterns and the space around them. Eventually we landed on an emblematic arrow-like figure pointing towards a common focal point. A simple yet elegant representation of faith in action.
The logo’s precise linework is underpinned by the purposeful use of negative space, which captures the essence of oneness and equality that is central to Islam and the new visual identity of Malek Fahd Islamic School. This is most profoundly observed at the middle of the symbol, which distinctly creates a shape reminiscent of the Kaaba.
In daily prayers, Muslims from every corner of the globe turn towards the Kaaba. The Qibla (direction) found in the symbol is not only significant for prayer. It also dictates the orientation of mosques, the position animals are faced during slaughter, and the recommended direction for making Dua (supplications).
The final component of the brandmark was the typography used for the school name. In selecting a font type to complement the logo, we aimed for one that would resonate with the intricate geometry used. The typography needed to embody the same principles of balance and precision, mirroring the emblem’s careful interplay of lines and space. We sought a typeface that was not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional, ensuring readability while echoing the spiritual and architectural elements inherent in the art.
Ummah unified in faith
The act of unity, faith and practice mirrored in the final brandmark is designed to represent the synchronicity of the Malek Fahd Islamic School community. It is an embodiment of this community’s faith, as it turns towards Mecca in prayer, and its dedication to all that underpins the prophetic practices (Sunnah).
The brandmark is also designed to stand as a reminder of the school’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders: leaders who seek to positively role model their faith, embodying the values of Islam in every facet of their lives before, during and after their school days.
If you’re interested in the process of how we reimagined the brand story of Malek Fahd Islamic School and other projects, or are curious about what we could create together, please get in touch by emailing email@example.com.