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Stari Most

identity, 2019
Stari Most (literally “Old Bridge”) was a 16th century Ottoman bridge that crossed the river Neretva, connecting the two halves of the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Old Bridge stood for 427 years, until it was destroyed in 1993 by Croat military forces during the Croat–Bosniak War. After the war a project was set in motion to reconstruct it, with the rebuilt bridge opening in 2004. The bridge is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most recognizable landmarks, and is considered an exemplary piece of Balkan Islamic architecture.

For many, including my mother, Stari Most’s destruction symbolized a shocking tipping point in the Yugoslav wars where suddenly nothing was sacred: not life, liberty, art or even shared cultural history. I made this identity for the UNESCO World Heritage site to commemorate Stari Most’s painful past and to visually symbolize unity and hope for Mostar’s rehabilitation. Set in Balkan Sans—a bi-script Cyrillic and Latin typeface designed in 2012 by Nikola Djurek and Marija Juza—the identity hinges on the Balkan sprachbund, a linguistic phenomenon of shared features between the Bosnian, Montenegrin, Croatian and Serbian languages.

© Aleks Dawson, 2023. All rights reseverd.