Ayni Education International


Identity Design

Ayni Education International (now Sahar) creates quality educational experiences in Afghanistan. They empower and inspire Afghanis to build peaceful and life affirming communities. This is achieved through access to education. Blank Space created a brand and identity system that would resonate within Ayni’s communities.

Catherine Gelband, Eliza Hurlbut, and Ginna Brelsford contacted Blank Space for a bid to design a new identity for Ayni. We first met Catherine and Eliza while working with Seattle’s Pacific Crest School. They shared stories of  young Afghani girls attending school for the first time. First grade girls carried their own chairs from home to the classroom.  Students attended classes outdoors under the grueling Afghan sun. It was clear the Afghani children were thrilled to simply have a school to attend.

Our goal was to create a brand that truly reflects Ayni’s mission to build bridges of understanding and mutual respect between Afghans and Americans through education. We created a logo mark that represents focus, collaboration, and community. It was inspired by the pattern in the The Shrine of Hazrat Ali, also known as the Blue Mosque, located in the heart of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan.

Graphic pattern logo for Ayni Education International
Sample brochure design with children from Afghanistan on the cover
sample interior brochure spread about using education to support change

We paired the logo mark with the Amman typeface. A bi-script typeface designed by Jan Gerner, alias Yanone. Amman is one of the largest Arabic–Latin typeface families where both the Arabic and the Latin characters were created in-tandem. The rough construction of each letter reflects the vision of a nation working on building its future. Amman is a modern typeface that bridges the gap between Western and Arab aesthetics.

The color palette reflects the natural colors of the region, shades of browns with a hopeful bright blue sky. The Ayni identity design was translated to a variety of applications such as business cards, brochures, and a website. We are thankful we had the opportunity to create a visual identity for such a worthy cause.

Sample website design showcasing the Ayni Identity and the Amman typeface

Learn more about how Ayni supports education in Afghanistan.