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Every year Art Dubai invites an artist or collective to participate in creating our visual identity in the build-up to the fair each March. While the logo remains in its constant flux, each year the visual campaign is reinvented and takes on a new aesthetic. This process echos the originality of our programme and flexibility of our model of an art fair.

In 2009, we collaborated with Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin; in 2010, with Sinisa Vlajkovic; in 2011, with Sam Irons; in 2012 with Kemistry Design and Dubai-based photographer Mohamed Somjiin 2013, we turned to the UAE community-at-large; in 2014 the campaign was based on a collection of various images from previous editions of Art Dubai; and in 2015 the visual identity took at its starting point the Art Dubai logo itself. Between 2011-2016 we worked with Hani Charaf of Kemistry Design, a creative studio based in Dubai. 

Art Dubai’s new identity for 2011-2012 is based on an open system combining two elements: graphic block abstractions of the Arabic letters forming ‘Art Dubai’, together with a new English typeface. The blocks morph into different configurations, mimicking the ever-changing nature of the contemporary art world, and our home city of Dubai, plus the process of building up the art fair and gallery stands each year.

The new visual identity does not limit itself to a logotype; it is rather a system aiming to reflect Art Dubai’s programmes, which include a diversity of projects and initiatives; it represents the fair’s aim to constantly revisit and develop its programmes, and be a particularly flexible, innovative model of an art fair.

Continuing Art Dubai’s tradition of working with an artist to create a new campaign each year, we have also collaborated with Dubai-based photographer Mohamed Somji on the images for 2012. The identity for Art Dubai 2012 references the dates of the fair – that it falls within spring – and is inspired by the history of the city, the details of life that could appear universal in nature yet are particularly UAE. The flower patterns that form the background images for posters, adverts, invitations, entrance cards and so on were photographed by Mohamed Somji and Hani Charaf all over Dubai: from the tablecloths in local Mindi restaurants, to the shops in the textile souk, to curtains in official buildings, found objects and neighbourhood furniture.