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Josette and Wissam discussing their collaborative social design project StereoTypo, in the Hamra offices of PenguinCube

November 24, 2012

Photos: Hussein Farran


Members: the PenguinCube design team
Focus: StereoTypo started as an independent project by the members of Beirut-based design collective, PenguinCube.  They created a series of playful exercises with their own font comprised of cartoon-like images  “inspired by a bomb-decorated Beirut and the terror-monger, post 9/11, Arab image”.   In the words of the creators:

StereoTypo is above all, tool for social commentary. With a collection of symbols and icons representing stereotypes commonly associated with Middle Eastern people, places and actions, StereoTypo is a font that aims to not only identify these common stereotypes but also to give the user a tool through which they can create their own statements either through composition or intervention. For this reason it is available as a completely free for use font. PenguinCube is a Beirut based design studio that has, despite its day to day commercial produce, always invested time and energy in self-commissioned, socially relevant, projects.

Stay alert and stereotype this!

A font.
A comment.
A bunch of ideas on your average stereotypes.

Activities: Some of the creative exercises built around in this font include: A newspaper paired the font images with fake writing, mimicing mainstream media’s profiting off the use of historical truisms.  Huge life-size cut-outs of the font images decorated art exhibitions, where visitors can pose with them for photos (at the Homeworks exhibition organized by Ashkal Alwan in 2005, Beirut). A facebook page invites users to download the font to create their own compositions.
Active: 2005 – Present
Contact: See the font at and

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