We were asked to refresh the website of world-renowned master calligrapher Haji Noor Deen, with the aim of making it more user friendly, and highlighting the elegance of Sini calligraphy.
Our relationship with Haji Noor Deen dates back more than 15 years. As well as working on his popular book, Arabic Calligraphy in the Chinese Tradition, published in 2006, we designed his original website.
Despite having served him well over the years, his website had become outdated – especially with Adobe ending support of its Flash software at the end of 2020. As a result, he needed something fresh, elegant, engaging, and user friendly
Starting with the visual elements, we wanted to put Haji Noor Deen’s unique style and artistic identity front and center, so we traced some of the illustrations, strokes and patters of his artworks, and inserted them onto the website.
We originally focused on gold as the main colour accent, but later added red as a way of accentuating the eastern and western art influences in Haji Noor Deen’s works. We also used a headline font that mirrored elements of calligraphy; for example, the superscript dot above the letter ‘i’ is designed to reflect the nuqta - an essential diacritic mark in calligraphy.
One challenge we faced was creating a shop payment system, which was inhibited due to the website’s home-base location. We solved this by creating a single form submission system – a fix that worked for people around the world as soon as the new website went live, with sales being generated from four different countries shortly after launch.
After one month, traffic to the website had exceeded expectations. Without any promotion or advertising, the website had received 3,300 page views and 575 visitors from 47 countries - a result Haji Noor Deen was very happy with, as we continue our successful long-running relationship.
Below: Our previous design for Haji Noor Deen's book: Arabic Calligraphy in the Chinese Tradition, 2006, including the logo, business card, and brochure.