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.
Art 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.”
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.
Senior Account Manager
Haya Haj Mourad is a Senior Account Manager that 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.
Jemicah Dela Cruz is a Senior Account Manager with 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.
She has worked on a variety of brands for several years and has had numerous interactions with clients and their target audience. Her experience has given her the chance to develop the understanding as to how brands create a connection with the people that matter the most to them.
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.
Adeeb Nami completed his degree in Marketing from the American University of Sharjah, and completed his Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Surrey. Adeeb’s experience in different industries, ranging from startups to corporate, allowed him to develop skills in copywriting, project management, and social media. At Abjad Design, Adeeb balances his projects to oversee different levels of strategic planning, creativity, and client relations.
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.
Sally Mallat is a Lebanese bilingual designer with a passion for art and history. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Visual Communication and a minor in Design Management from the American University of Sharjah (AUS). In her graduating semester, Sally was a part of a collaborative project to create the Arabic typeface, Azal, under the supervision of Pascal Zoghbi. Being part of Abjad allowed her to expand and strengthen her skills in print and other media such as illustrations, editorial, and packaging.
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.
Nora Zeid is an Egyptian illustrator, designer and animator based in Dubai. She graduated with honors from the American University of Sharjah with a BSc in Visual Communication and a minor in Illustration and Animation. She enjoys collaborating with people from other fields — architects, musicians, or fellow artists — and exploring the endless possibilities that stem from inter-disciplinary art and design. Nora aspires to later pursue a career in academia so that she could one day teach young designers how to make good, innovative design, while applying that knowledge in a fast-moving and practical world.
Maryam Moustafa is an Egyptian multimedia designer specializing in animation and illustration. She studied at the American University of Sharjah and graduated with honors Magna Cum Laude. She is a passionate storyteller with an eye for design. She participated in 2 film festivals, winning an honorable mention and a people’s choice awards, and having one of her films screened at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. In her projects, she aims for a playful and high energy style that reflects her attitude towards design.
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.
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.
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