Qasim Arif قاسم عارف


I’m Qasim Arif and ILLM is my moniker. I experiment with contemporary Arabic calligraphy and typography influenced by my passion for the classical tradition and Hip Hop where inspiration has been taken from the art of graffiti.

The name
The name ILLM is a blend of the word ‘ilm which is Arabic for knowledge, and the word ill which is used in the Hip Hop culture to define something as being cool. The combination of the two words is a reflection of the type of artwork I create, which is to use a creative style of writing and developing letter-forms to inform, highlight or simply share my story and vision.

The work
ILLM initially started as a personal project to delve into the unexplored world of contemporary Arabic calligraphy and typography, but I was fortunate enough to be noticed by dope brands.

I am honoured to have worked with: NikeGoogleFacebookInstagramRed Bull and Daily Paper among others.

What I Do
  • Calligraphy
  • Lettering
  • Graphic Design
  • Branding
  • Art Direction
  • Murals
  • Workshops
  • Talks

Exhibitions & Performances

Published works


  • 2017
    • 🇳🇱 Royal Academy of the Art (The Hague, The Netherlands)
  • 2016
    • 🇬🇧 Muslim Lifestyle Expo (Manchester, UK)