In 2003 Qatar commissioned a young graphic designer to create a new graphic identity for the nation. The award-winning logo was intended to reinforce the history, values, religion, and language Qatar shares with other Arab countries and, simultaneously, the commitment to progressive development that aligns Qatar with the West. The contradictions ultimately prove too much for a typeface—and even for the nation—to sustain. Ultimately, what is branded is not a nation but a marketing-driven entity circulating amid flows of labor, capital, and image—a nation fetishized, a nation-as-corporation.

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