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Mofkera notebooks colourfully combine old and new

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The notebooks are inspired by Egyptian folk culture and everyday items from yesteryear

The designs of notebooks looking like VHS tapes are among the most popular Photo courtesy of Mohamed Meleas

The designs of notebooks looking like VHS tapes are among the most popular
Photo courtesy of Mohamed Meleas

Notebooks are an essential part of people’s professional and personal lives. They contain important information about our everyday life and so it makes sense for the designs to relate to our daily realities. Inspired by Egyptian culture, Mofkera offers sleek designs that remind one of a time long gone. We contacted co-founder Mohamed Meleas for more information.

“Mofkera started in June 2012, when I was still in college and I was fascinated by drawings inspired by Egyptian folk sayings,” Meleas said. “I developed several designs.  After graduation I started drawing the characters of the famous operetta El Leila El Kebeera (The Big Night by Salah Jaheen) in a simple and colourful way and used them for several designs.”

According to Meleas’s website, Mofkera means “notebook” in Arabic.

“It is a new type of notebook that focuses on old Egyptian sayings passed down to us through our ancestors. Each design is different from the other,” the website reads. “Mofkera focuses on forgotten culture with its originality and oriental style but with a modern perspective.”

Meleas is a graphic designer who works in advertising. He uses different materials to make the notebooks according to the design. For example, the notebooks are made with hard or soft covers according to what works with the colourful drawings.

Meleas seeks inspiration from anything Egyptian. “I am inspired by the people I love or any object that I use daily that I am emotionally connected to; things such as an old cassette tape by a forgotten singer,” he said.

Maleas is also working on some designs related to GameBoy, which recently marked its 25-year anniversary.

As a graphic designer, Meleas’s work always starts with the aesthetic aspect. “My process starts with drawing the designs on the computer,” he said. “Then comes the production, which includes choosing the paper, film, print and bundling until it becomes a notebook. Afterwards, I start marketing the new design and distributing it to stores and libraries.”

The notebooks’ fun designs have attracted many customers. “The most popular products are the matchbox notebooks and the video cassette tape notebooks,” Meleas said. “I guess it reminds people of an earlier time and invokes some fond memories for them. This makes me happy as I always wanted to create a product that establishes an emotional connection with the costumer so that it is not just a meaningless item.”

Currently, Mofkera can be found at Diwan, Alef, Al Shorouk, and On the Run. More information can be found on the company’s Facebook page.

 


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