The name Abjad is inspired by the Semitic, consonantal, linear writing system. Based on word roots, the Arabic script is one that uses this system, and is written from right to left.
Abjad Design is an interdisciplinary design studio based in Dubai. We at Abjad thrive on using design language as a tool of communication and expression, in which we work with various mediums that allow us to conceptualize and arrive at creative solutions that are unique to each challenge.
We provide complete design services such as branding, print design, layout, packaging, illustration, environmental graphics, product design, motion graphics and web design. Abjad Design’s interdisciplinary work serves all sectors including government, corporate, and startups, with a particular focus on the cultural and educational segments. We are also keen on contributing to the education of the growing design communityby offering design lectures and workshops.
Our mission at Abjad Design is to inspire and contribute to the growth of contemporary Arab design in the region and around the world.
Abjad Design incorporates the traditional methods of design thinking with contemporary aesthetics in experimental ways that preserve the human touch in our digital world.
Chief Growth Director / Co-Founder
Diana Hawatmeh graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a BSC in Visual Communication. She worked for several years as a graphic designer in the fields of branding, publishing, and television in Dubai and the Netherlands. Diana has worked under companies such as Brand Union, Dar Dubai Printing & Publishing, Arab Media Group, and Tarek Atrissi Design. She has also worked independently as a graphic designer developing numerous projects within Arabic typography. Her work has been published in “Arabesque - Graphic design from the Arab World and Persia” and “Bold Visions - Modern & Contemporary Arab Art in the New Century.”
Chief Creative Director / Co-Founder
Sheikha Bin Dhaher is an Emirati graphic designer. She holds a BSc degree in Visual Communication from the American University of Sharjah and an MA degree in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London —with a focus in typography and language.
In 2010, she co-founded, with Diana Hawatmeh, Abjad Design, an interdisciplinary studio based in Dubai where she takes on the role of Creative Director. She was granted the Young Designer Award at the UAE Arab Woman Awards in 2014. In 2019 her collaborative design installation, A Hidden Quintet, was exhibited at 1971-Design Space. She actively engages in design research and workshops when given the time and opportunity. Sheikha derives her inspiration from many things such as literature, music, history, and nature. She enjoys illustration and both Arabic and Latin lettering. Storytelling lies within the essence of her work.
Maher is a multi-disciplinary design director with a deep fascination for the visual culture in the Middle East as well as the history of graphic design practice in the Arab world.
Since perusing an M.A. in Graphic Branding and Identity at the University of the Arts London, Maher has worked with some of the most established brands across the MENA region such as Expo 2020, Shahid, Batelco, Meraas, and many more.
Senior Account Director
After graduating with a marketing degree, he started his career in Dubai in Advertising at Dentsu. He had the privilege to work on multinational brands such as Toyota, Canon, Bridgestone & EMAAR. Dealing with clients from different nationalities and cultures sure had its challenges however it turned out to be one of his strongest skills. After years of experience in Advertising, Branding and Business development he wanted to branch out & work in Digital Activations, using Immersive Experiences (VR/AR) and latest technologies to promote brands efficiently.
Haya Haj Mourad graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a B.S in Multimedia Design. Her role at Abjad is to accomplish tasks through delegation and coordinating effectively with the team within a set time-line as well as understanding problems and making timely practical decisions. Her particular interest in design management and marketing courses, lead to her to initially work as a designer and slowly get in into the management and marketing field. Her experience with agencies as well as working on the client’s side helped her to better understand how clients think and gain leadership, design management, and communication skills.
Account Director / Brand Strategist
Jemicah Dela Cruz has a background in Design Management from the American University of Sharjah. Her experience working in the design and event industry has given her the chance to develop the sensitivity towards how brands can create a lasting impression. To her, well designed brands can be a powerful tool in creating value in people's lives.
Head of Strategy
Akram is a seasoned industry professional with over two decades of experience in strategic brand building across various sectors. He held many senior management and strategy roles in various global agencies (McCann-Promoseven, Brand Union, Fitch, DDB, CBA’Memac), all part of the major global groups from the likes of WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic.
He is clear and natural thinker on brand building with a personal approach in managing complex projects. He developed brand strategies for a wealth of leading brands in various sectors from Nation Branding (in Africa), to Corporate, Real Estate, Hospitality, Logistics, Finance to Consumer.
Akram holds a Masters degree in Architecture (M.Arch) followed by 4 academic years in Communication Arts. He fluently speaks Arabic, English and French.
Zeina Yasser holds a Bachelor of Science in Design Management from the American University of Sharjah. She interned at Abjad Design Studio and at Khoj Lab during her last year at University. During that time, she worked on a number of projects involving strategy and graphic design. She is particularly interested in design strategy and its impact on a brand.
Zeina currently works at Abjad Design Studio as an Account Manager which allows her to work on her skills in multiple realms including professional communication, branding, graphic design and strategy.
Afra Bin Dhaher is a Dubai-based visual artist and communication designer holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Visual Communication from the American University of Sharjah. Her diverse practice involves informing viewers, translating experiences, and portraying emotions. In her work, she enjoys adding elements of surprise that invite the viewer to question and engage with the work produced leaving them either looking for an answer, a change of mind or even with a sense of excitement.
Her work has been exhibited locally and internationally while also featured in multiple publications. She is the recipient of several awards including first place for the 2012 Hamdan International Photography Awards, and Sheikha Manal’s Young Artist Award in 2010.
Mira Clare Cervantes is a lot of things but foremost, she is an artist. She discovered her passion for art at a very young age and has had her heart set in the arts ever since then. She graduated from De La Salle University Dasmarinas in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology. Once she got her diploma, she pursued a career in graphic design knowing that it was the creative path she wanted to take. Mira believes that art and design don’t exist in a vacuum. It is a reflection of the human experience, an encapsulation of what makes life so interesting.
Rodolfo is a Portuguese brand designer that lived and studied in Lisbon, is currently working and living in Dubai since 2013. Set to be a brand designer since he was a teenager, his profound interest in American culture, movies, and games opened the door to exposing him to all kinds of great graphics…in particular ‘logos’. During his career, he had the opportunity to work with various teams and agencies like Landor and Brand Union. Rodolfo joined Abjad Design in 2017 and continues developing local and international branding projects with his team.
Erwin Valencia Macasaya is a designer who started in website creation and transitioned as a graphic designer in Dubai. Back in the Philippines, he studied Computer Science at the Ateneo de Naga University. He is most passionate working on projects ranging from web, digital, illustration, and print. He also dabbles on UX design and social media at times. He continues to develop his skills and keeps adding to them as he aspires to constantly update his craft.
Moan Al Hussein is a Syrian motion and 3D designer based in Dubai. He studied in Damascus, Syria, and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University as an interior designer with the second highest mark in the department graduations. After graduation, he followed his passion for motion and 3D design. He became specialized in 2D/3D motion graphics, 3D product design while still enjoying designing interior spaces.
He is also very interested in the environmental volunteering field and he was a volunteer for the Syrian exploration and documentation society for 4 years.
Daniel graduated from University of the Philippines with Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Business Management (cum laude). He completed a 2 year-long Technical Course in NUS Business School in Singapore with a focus in Financial Studies focus on budgeting. In addition to his professional work, Daniel is an active licensed humanitarian who volunteered in many countries, such as Syria and Iraq. His most notable contributions are his input in the growth of several firms and industries such as “The Mallorca Industries” a sub-managed by San Miguel Corporation in the Philippines; Dell International Services (US Based), TELUS Telecommunication (Winnipeg, Canada), Interior, constructions, Creative and Art Studios in Dubai, UAE.
Studio Operations Executive
Riza Montales is a holder of a BSc in Business Administration. She worked as an administrative assistant for 3 years at Tihama Global PR, as well as Omnes Media. She aspires to pursue a successful career journey by maintaining impeccable organizational skills and developing new skills along the way.
Administrative & Operations Assistant
Born and raised in Dubai, He graduated from Manipal Dubai Campus and holds a Master’s degree in Operations. More than 9+ years of experience in the advertising industry.
He initially worked for production companies which helped him gain the experience and also his interest in operations and production management. He worked intensely with major clients for their custom gifts/launch events/campaign collaterals/Signages etc.
He is also a passionate Cricketer and was the team captain during his college days and lead his team to various inter university competitions.
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