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ديطوتة النمٯر

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Welcome.

First off, let me preface this by saying that I intend in no way, shape, form, or fashion to steal any shine from iamthedorf...we apparently just happened to be working on concepts for the same team @ the same time. he just finished first.

There...now that I done got that out the way...

...Have you figured out what the heck you read in the topic title?

If you've been watching my sig the past couple days, you mighta been wondering what I've been up to. You're about to get your answer. What follows is the "answer", so to speak, to a question I first posed in the "Cerveceros vs. Gigantes" thread over in the Sports Logos forum. The basic premise of that thread was discussing the Latino Heritage Night and special jerseys those teams wore that night. And, while I do believe many teams have done several ethnic heritage celebration nights/events/specials/whatever-the-occasion-may-be, I have yet to see or hear any semblance of a theme or special event for our friends/co-workers/peers/comrades of Arab ethnicity/descent. Having been sent all over this globe in support of various "activities" over the years (and I'll leave it at that), I've developed quite the soft spot for the Arab culture. So, I got to thinking, what if some team set out to create a special themed uniform celebrating those of Arab ethnicity in the MLB?

Well...that's what this concept is all about. The team...the Detroit Tigers. Why? Because Detroit just happens to have one of, if not the largest, concentration of residents of Arab ethnicity/descent in this nation, so it'd only make sense that the Tigers be the team for such a theme.

Okay...now to the hard part.

Firstly, I make no claims to be a scholar of the Arabic language. (For that matter, plenty native-born Arabs aren't even scholars of their own language...in much the same vein far too many native-born Americans ain't got too good a grip on the English language). In fact...I had to go dig up my Iraqi Basic Language CD-ROM to help me refesh what little Arabic I knew already, and help remind me of some more of the finer points. Now, in having said that, here's two basic things you should know about the Arabic language if you didn't know it already: one, the Arabic alphabet has no capital letters--for that matter, the alphabet only has 30 TOTAL letters, a handful of which repeat themselves, and one or two of which aren't even really "letters" at all. (Now, some might say that's no big deal, since the English language has 26 letters. All fine and dandy until you realize there's upper-case and lower-case of each letter, bringing the total to 52 letters.) The other thing is that Arabic reads from right to left. So you can already imagine the inherent challenge in trying to translate/create scripts for this concept. The one thing that did help me out, though, is this: I didn't have to work out a way to write the scripts in "cursive", because Arabic language is already written out like that--in fact, that's the only way it is written, as what we consider "print" when writing does not exist in the Arabic language. So there's your basic backbrief on that...let's get on to the crafting of this concept.

Those scripts...yes. One thing you should know when trying to translate English words such as names into Arabic is that vowels, for the most part, don't exist. Such was the case here in trying to translate "Detroit", which essentially became "dtwt" for the purpose of this translation. Oh...but this posed another challenge, as well. Remember me saying some letters in the Arabic alphabet "repeat themselves"? Well, two of those letters just happen to appear in the word "Detroit"...one of them twice--the "D" and the "t". This posed two issues: one, which ones to use in the "Detroit" script, and the other, which to use in place of the Old English "D" logo? Well...really, much depends on your pronunciation of the word "Detroit". Some pronounce it as "du-TROYT"; others (like me) stress the first syllable, like "DEE-troyt". in any event, the major issue was deciding on which "d" and which "t" to use. The regular "d", called a "dal", looks a little like a backwards "L", and has a regular "d" sound. The other "D" is a more forceful one, called a "Dhad". Since it would seem to be the one indicative of a capital letter, it's the one I elected to use in place of the Old English "D" as the logo--and you'll see what it looks like in the concept. As far as the t's go...the regular "t"is called a "taa"; the more forceful "T" is called a--you with me?--Taa. (You can get the sounds of the more forceful letters right my mashing your tongue down to the bottom of your mouth and pronouncing a word that starts with that letter.) So, essentially, the root word I elected to go with for the purpose of translation read as "dTwt"; however, like I said, I used the more forceful "D" as the logo, because it is more forceful and thus would make more sense to use as a logo (in my mind, anyway). Okay...let me explain the "w" in that root word: the "troy" sound in the word "Detroit" is a sound that's next to impossible to achieve in the Arabic language, so in that case, you'd use the closest consonant sound, in this case, a "w". As for the end of the word--something I ain't mentioned yet--I added an "ah" to the end of the word to enforce the "t" sound at the end. The letter is called a "taa marbutah"...and it's one of those letters that really isn't a letter in the purest form, chiefly because, depending on where it's used in a word, it can either be a short "t" sound, or, at the end of a word, it makes that "ah" sound. So, then, we now have the root of "Detroit" as "d ee T w t ah". (the "ee" I threw in because of how I pronounce "Detroit"). As you can see, it ain't an exact science, and you can see there's more than one solution to translation.

Have I confused anyone yet? (Truthfully...how many of you thought you'd be getting an impromptu Arabic lesson in a Concepts thread???)

The "Tigers" one was a little easier. The Arabic word for "tiger", I believe, is "Namor" (my CD actually has it written two ways for some reason), so, again, eliminating the vowels, it leaves you with "n m r". (Now, to achieve the plural form in Arabic, there's another thing you gotta do to the word that involves some of those letters that ain't really letters...but I ain't even finna get into that up in here or else y'all would REALLY be lost.)

The script would then basically end up looking something like this (and remember, you're reading from right to left):

ديطوتة النمٯر

(And thus...now you know what that says in the thread title. ^_^ )

Okay...on to the art of the concept now...

...For starters, the basic look is pretty much the same as the current Tigers set, with only a few minor enhancements. Chiefly, I noticed that the Tigers jerseys have placket and pants piping but no sleeve piping, something that looks a little mismatched to me, so I "corrected" that. Also, for the purpose of this concept, the "Tiger through the "D" is the primary logo. Before anyone asks, no I did not take the time to try to recreate a "tiger through a Dhad" logo for this here concept set; I did, however, apply that Dhad to the tiger-striped diamond logo and utilized it as the sleeve patch for all jerseys in this set. For the sake of doing so, I also included a navy alternate jersey. Now, with these jerseys, one thing you will notice is that the scripts are set straight rather than vertically sheared like the current "Detroit" script is. Two reasons behind that: one, as Arabic reads from right to left, it would essentially be reading down and backwards, in a sense. The other thing is this: not one time in the six year timeframe that I've been flown around and dropped off in different parts of this world doing the deployment thing have I ever seen Arabic script set like that (and I've touched down in at least four different Arabic-speaking countries). I've seen script arched over top of a circle in several print ads, but never diagonally sheared, waved, flagged, or any other kind of warped shape, not even on their football (soccer) jerseys over there, or any other jerseys, for that matter. So...I set them straight across here. (As an aside, any real fan of graphic design should really study the body of work in the graphic design industry in Kuwait...it's some of the best you'll see anywhere. That's my word.) Oh..and, since this should go without saying, the numbers are already Arabic (as BallWonk thankfully took the time to clear up in the other forum), so there was no need to convert those. (And no I ain't even try to kill myself converting the NOB's...quite frankly, I'm sure the MLB wouldn't have done it, either.)

Okay...so, having explained all that (and probably causing several headaches in the process), and without any further ado, here I present what no doubt has been one of my most challenging concept projects since I been doing this...my nice little package for the Detroit Tigers: Special Arab Heritage set.

DETtigers-idp.png

DETtigers-sg1.png

DETtigers-sg2.png

DETtigers-pma.png

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Very ambitious. Really like the Detroit alt logo... clean and simple. Would love to see the Reds and Phils (hint hint).

Shukran.

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I like this a lot. As someone else that is familiar with Arabic culture and the language, I can really appreciate what you did here, and I think you nailed it.

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This is really, really, really cool. I love the creativity and you did very well on this concept. I would honestly love to see this in action, and I can't spot or speak of any flaws at all here. Wonderful job, keep up the great work!

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Not bad man, great presentation as always. But something about it (probably just because it's Arab letters, not your fault) just make it seem awkward. I guess I'm just not used to it, but it just looks kinda weird.

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Those scripts...yes. One thing you should know when trying to translate English words such as names into Arabic is that vowels, for the most part, don't exist. Such was the case here in trying to translate "Detroit", which essentially became "dtwt" for the purpose of this translation. Oh...but this posed another challenge, as well. Remember me saying some letters in the Arabic alphabet "repeat themselves"? Well, two of those letters just happen to appear in the word "Detroit"...one of them twice--the "D" and the "t". This posed two issues: one, which ones to use in the "Detroit" script, and the other, which to use in place of the Old English "D" logo? Well...really, much depends on your pronunciation of the word "Detroit". Some pronounce it as "du-TROYT"; others (like me) stress the first syllable, like "DEE-troyt". in any event, the major issue was deciding on which "d" and which "t" to use. The regular "d", called a "dal", looks a little like a backwards "L", and has a regular "d" sound. The other "D" is a more forceful one, called a "Dhad". Since it would seem to be the one indicative of a capital letter, it's the one I elected to use in place of the Old English "D" as the logo--and you'll see what it looks like in the concept. As far as the t's go...the regular "t"is called a "taa"; the more forceful "T" is called a--you with me?--Taa. (You can get the sounds of the more forceful letters right my mashing your tongue down to the bottom of your mouth and pronouncing a word that starts with that letter.) So, essentially, the root word I elected to go with for the purpose of translation read as "dTwt"; however, like I said, I used the more forceful "D" as the logo, because it is more forceful and thus would make more sense to use as a logo (in my mind, anyway). Okay...let me explain the "w" in that root word: the "troy" sound in the word "Detroit" is a sound that's next to impossible to achieve in the Arabic language, so in that case, you'd use the closest consonant sound, in this case, a "w". As for the end of the word--something I ain't mentioned yet--I added an "ah" to the end of the word to enforce the "t" sound at the end. The letter is called a "taa marbutah"...and it's one of those letters that really isn't a letter in the purest form, chiefly because, depending on where it's used in a word, it can either be a short "t" sound, or, at the end of a word, it makes that "ah" sound. So, then, we now have the root of "Detroit" as "d ee T w t ah". (the "ee" I threw in because of how I pronounce "Detroit"). As you can see, it ain't an exact science, and you can see there's more than one solution to translation.

I've come across this problem from time to time at work when I'm designing something in Hebrew, which, like Arabic, has several ways of producing the same sounds, and no easy ways to produce other sounds. What I've found myself doing is looking up the word I want to transliterate on Wikipedia, clicking on the link to the Hebrew article on the left sidebar, and copying that article's title to get the generally accepted phonetic spelling.

Anyhow, I like this project, both in conception and execution. It thoughtfully acknowledges a strong local constituency without being patronizing or half-assed, and it is a faithful extension of the team's brand.

Did you consider putting the Dhad on the right chest, or the number on the right side on the road jersey, to accommodate the right-to-left shift? Also, did you experiment with other Arabic fonts? The one you used seems a little more calligraphic than the Detroit Tigers use in English. I am not too familiar with Arabic fonts, but I'd imagine there's a wide variety out there and that there's something a little less formal.

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I've come across this problem from time to time at work when I'm designing something in Hebrew, which, like Arabic, has several ways of producing the same sounds, and no easy ways to produce other sounds. What I've found myself doing is looking up the word I want to transliterate on Wikipedia, clicking on the link to the Hebrew article on the left sidebar, and copying that article's title to get the generally accepted phonetic spelling.

Anyhow, I like this project, both in conception and execution. It thoughtfully acknowledges a strong local constituency without being patronizing or half-assed, and it is a faithful extension of the team's brand.

Did you consider putting the Dhad on the right chest, or the number on the right side on the road jersey, to accommodate the right-to-left shift? Also, did you experiment with other Arabic fonts? The one you used seems a little more calligraphic than the Detroit Tigers use in English. I am not too familiar with Arabic fonts, but I'd imagine there's a wide variety out there and that there's something a little less formal.

I did think about swapping everything around on the jerseys--placement of the Dhad and numbers included--but, really, the key thing stopping me from doing that is that I wanted it to at least hold the image of the regular jersey--that is, I didn't want to make it too different. I guess the way it is now, it's be akin to the mid-'90s Cincinnati Reds in a way. As for the "font"...that was an area I really wanted to explore, and did, but the thing is, without me having a real good grip on Arabic script like I used to, I didn't want to warp the scripts too much and cause loss of recognition. If you look in my sig, however, you can see one of my attempts at trying to modify the font. (By the way, it reads "brandONE does Arabic".) There's a pretty good variety of fonts out there, but in this guise, I didn't want to try to press it too much, especially since I'm back to a novice level on basic Arabic script and language.

Good points, though.

And thanks to all who've C/C'd this so far.

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I'm not sure if this would work or if it would be a ton of work, but what about doing the player names in Arabic?

As for the concept, it's unique and awesome. That's about all I can say.

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Really creative concept. I've always found faithful translations (as in not "Los Rangers" and "El Heat") to be an area ripe for merchandising. Aesthetically, I love it. While yes, the script you used is rather calligraphic, I think part of the project sort of requires it to look as quintessentially Arabic as possible. There are plenty of ways to write in Hebrew other than the traditional script (I use the same "totally illegible" approach I use for the Latin alphabet), but when you're really trying to hammer that home, you have to do it that way.

Here's my question, though, and this is more about the viability of an Arab Night than the concept: to what extent is there a sense of pan-Arab identification among Arab Americans? I believe a plurality, if not majority, of Arab Americans are Lebanese Christians, who don't have a ton in common with, say, Iraqi Muslims. In what very little experience I've had, Lebanese Americans prefer to identify as being Lebanese rather than Arab, since there's a pretty straight line between the Arab culture and antisemitism/terrorism/Islamic fundamentalism in the minds of many. How many Lebanese, Assyrians, Syrians, would want to take part in Tigers Arab Night?

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Really creative concept. I've always found faithful translations (as in not "Los Rangers" and "El Heat") to be an area ripe for merchandising. Aesthetically, I love it. While yes, the script you used is rather calligraphic, I think part of the project sort of requires it to look as quintessentially Arabic as possible. There are plenty of ways to write in Hebrew other than the traditional script (I use the same "totally illegible" approach I use for the Latin alphabet), but when you're really trying to hammer that home, you have to do it that way.

Here's my question, though, and this is more about the viability of an Arab Night than the concept: to what extent is there a sense of pan-Arab identification among Arab Americans? I believe a plurality, if not majority, of Arab Americans are Lebanese Christians, who don't have a ton in common with, say, Iraqi Muslims. In what very little experience I've had, Lebanese Americans prefer to identify as being Lebanese rather than Arab, since there's a pretty straight line between the Arab culture and antisemitism/terrorism/Islamic fundamentalism in the minds of many. How many Lebanese, Assyrians, Syrians, would want to take part in Tigers Arab Night?

That's a very good question...one I ain't got an answer for.

There's so many different ways this here could go...but the point you raise is a valid one concerning the viability of something such as this. True, I've come across many people of Lebanese descent in my day. (In fact, one of my closest comrades from my old job is Lebanese.) But I found during the time I spent in the Detroit area that there was a large--and I mean LARGE--concentration of Iraqis over there. Don't know how that is now (this was several years ago when I was there). I imagine, however, if Boise ever stood up an MLB team, this type of thing would go over very well there. (At last check, Boise was one of several budding "Arab havens" out in the western U.S.)

It'll be interesting to see where this one goes now, now that you done popped open that can of worms. It'll give me a little more to think about than I did originally.

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Boise also boasts a bevy of Basques. Euskara: concept THAT.

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Boise also boasts a bevy of Basques. Euskara: concept THAT.

Don't tempt me. ^_^

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It's all greek to me......

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Some pronounce it as "du-TROYT"; others (like me) stress the first syllable, like "DEE-troyt".

Oddly, I almost always emphasize the second syllable and say it "d'TROYt," but when it comes before "Pistons," it comes out not quite as emphasized as you have it up there, but there's definitely more of an E than a null vowel. I used to think it was a black/white thing across the board, but even the whitest of the white guys on Sportscenter (guys like Neil Everett, John Buccigross, Stuart Scott) make a point to say "DEE-troit Pistons." I suggest we just pronounce it the French way.

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I don't know much about baseball, but it does work for me.

I love the way you present your concepts and this is a quality work, that's for sure.

Brilliant idea, though.

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This is very well done (I say that without any way of knowing how accurate your script is.)

Question about the little dots (sorry, don't know the right term) over the letters - if you were to do the Phillies in this style, could you make those into stars, or would they have to remain in that standard shape for some reason? We're at the point with American-English that nobody really cares how you manipulate and / or butcher it, but would it be a bigger deal to improvise like that in Arabic?

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You know, I would love to see more people do this in other languages (Japanese and Russian spring to mind). I think it's a pretty interesting thing you're doing and I can't wait to see more.

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You... Are... God!

Great work, man.

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Great concept. Very nicely done, and well researched. The only problem I have with the whole presentation is that Grandy and Willis are lefties, and Magglio looks awfully pale. :P

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