Some people, when confronted with terms like "branding" and "logo" think crass commercialism. Well, there is an aspect of that in what I am trying to accomplish: I would like the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies to better "sell" its "products." Here they are:
– Only US National Historic Landmark outside the United States
– Oldest American diplomatic building, and the first ever in an Arab, Muslim, or African country
– Research center in Morocco of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS), with an 8,000 volume library
– Teaches Arabic literacy and life skills to women in Tangier's medina
– Organizes State Department-funded CLS Arabic for American students, administered by CAORC
– Hosts American and Maghribi scholars under AIMS grants
– Museum collection of Moroccan, American, and European artists, plus historic maps and engravings
The latter function gave its name to this place for years, the "Tangier American Legation Museum," TALM, with its corresponding private foundation in the United States, TALMS ("S" for Society). The people of Tangier tend to call it the American Consulate (which it ceased to be exactly 50 years ago) or the "Old Legation."
TALIM, meaning education in Arabic, is of course much more than a museum. Our mission is education in all its forms. Cultural diplomacy, citizen diplomacy – we do that too, on the ground in a particularly important way: we are among and surrounded by Moroccans: our neighbors, our employees, our public.
That public now needs to identify logo with Legation with TALIM. With the help of Abdel Latif, master plaster artisan at Tangier's official handicrafts center, we now have a fitting reproduction of our emblem for display. Frank D'Astolfo of Rutgers University, whose TALIM logo design won the 2004 Logo Award, has combined Moroccan and American flags, the Legation's medina street and mosque, Tangier's sea blue and the Rif mountain green in a symbol of everything that links TALIM and the United States to Morocco and Tangier.
Migrating from TALM and TALMS to TALIM did not please everyone, but I think the move was a wise one. Now we want to embrace it, and show the world our logo and what it means.
The Legation has a museum, but we are not just a museum.
TALIM – meaning education.