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Interview with Hamda Al Naimi

Home > Designer Interviews > Hamda Al Naimi

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Hamda Al Naimi (HAN) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Hamda Al Naimi by clicking here.

Interview with Hamda Al Naimi at Monday 3rd of May 2021
Hamda Al Naimi
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
HAN: I'm a multidisciplinary graphic designer with a passion to positively contribute to the world through design. The desire for discovery and love for the arts pushed me to travel across the globe, all the way from Dubai to San Francisco. Honestly looking back, I've always been a visual thinker. As a kid, I drew and doodled to simplify the complexities of learning in school. I’ve always asked myself how do you connect with people when you find it hard to express yourself verbally? When you cannot solve mathematical equations the traditional way? Through one word, Art. Soon, I discovered a passion for art and design and that became my design philosophy as a professional. A designer who strives to take the most tangled concepts and presents them in the simplest way possible. As a career, I've joined various organizations, from creative agencies to tech companies.

FS: What is "design" for you?
HAN: Design means solving a tangled problem in the simplest way possible, while still staying true to the narrative.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
HAN: I'm passionate about print design but enjoy designing for multifaceted projects. There is always something new and exciting out there in the design world.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
HAN: My favorite design changes, as I'm constantly inspired by everything around me.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
HAN: I believe it was an article layout for a fashion show, I remember it being blue.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
HAN: Adobe Indesign and Illustrator are my favorite but I'm currently learning Glyphs and excited to work on a new typeface.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
HAN: Walking down the streets of San Francisco.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
HAN: I focus the most on the narrative and story telling because it's what drives the design decisions. Story telling is essential in building a connection with the audience especially when it's sincere.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
HAN: I'm always excited during the initial phase of design followed by some anxiousness but I always end up on a high. That incredible emotion of feeling proud and exhilarated.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
HAN: Joy, joy, and more joy!

FS: What makes a design successful?
HAN: A successful design is when it can effectively solve a problem by being functional, relatable and not afraid of making statements.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
HAN: Looking at the use of design principles as well as innovation and uniqueness.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
HAN: I believe any project can serve a purpose and be socially or enviromentally responsible. It’s essential for designers to remember the intention behind their design and its place in the world, perhaps by asking questions like: are we designing for inclusion, encouraging confidence and courage, recreating social norms or are we utilizing environmental-friendly materials?

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
HAN: I think design is about getting more involved in social movements and raising awareness. It's exciting to see brands becoming more inclusive and supporting a social cause rather than painting unrealistic narratives of what one should be.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
HAN: For inspiration, I feel like looking at other people's work is important, as well as looking back at history and what others have done. But what I find the most inspiring, is what is around us. Looking at the space we are in, the people, nature, culture, and so on. It could open new doors to new ideas and create connection and empathy.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
HAN: My design style changes according to the voice of each project. Every project is different and has its own style and characteristics. But, I always stay true to my philosophy and that is to present the message in a clear and cohesive design.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
HAN: I'm from Dubai and have lived there most of my life, but moved to San Francisco in 2014 to pursue my masters degree. I enjoyed living in San Francisco so much that I ended up staying after graduation and working for great clients. As for my cultural heritage, I do not believe it affects my design but I’ve learned a lot about topics that might be seen as taboos in my country. I fell in love with the transparency and the freedom of communication in design about various topics such as gender, sexuality, recreational or medical-use cbd, and naturally driven products.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
HAN: By encouraging designers to be themselves and share their opinions and present their ideas even when they're just a passing thought. I believe honesty and kindness is the best way to select a good designer, because a great resume and portfolio can’t say everything about a designer.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
HAN: With any project I always like to find a concept or a story to tell. In my opinion, thats how you can connect with the audience. so Before I start designing, I gather as much information as I can about the problem. I then brainstorm ideas and come up with different narratives. That's when information become visuals, from there the design takes shape.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
HAN: 1-Graphic Design Play Book 2-A yellow mechanical Pencil that I got this from my professor way back in grad school 3-Stainless steel ruler 4-Old records 5-Used test papers

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
HAN: I’d tell them to start by being themselves and treating others with kindness. We recieve continuous feedback in the design world, both negative and positive. I encourage young designers to share their work and not let the negative criticism stop them from sharing. In fact, negative critiques are lessons to be better and positive comments are a reminder to continue shinning.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
HAN: The positive side of design is that it never gets boring, you can work with many different clients and continue learning new skills which you can do in or off-site. The negative side of being a designer is that some clients or employers ask designers to do too much, things that are not related to design.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
HAN: We all know how to use softwares and make a design look exceptional but being a good listener and treating clients well is an important skill and can make the designer exceptional.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
HAN: Adobe indesign and illustrator are my most reliable softwares. As for inspirations, I enjoy looking at old design books because looking at the past may inspire us just as much as looking at new designs or maybe even more.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
HAN: I usually take a break and go for a small walk to clear my mind.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
HAN: In graphic design, that's a hard question to answer because it depends on the scope of the project. Some projects may take a week while others may take up to a year.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
HAN: What can a graphic designer do to get a job at a certain company? or Can I learn graphic design without going to college?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
HAN: Designing for digital projects, because I come from a print design background, transitioning into the visual design field came with some challenges at first but it also gave me the skills to understand the differences and commonalities between both mediums.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
HAN: I truly enjoy projects that serve some sort of a purpose, or at least try to find something meaningful in a project.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
HAN: Being a person that always strives to learn new skills, I'm looking forward to design typefaces that can be shared online as well as using it for a project I'm hoping to share soon.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
HAN: I have worked in a team and as an individual.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
HAN: I'm currently developing a typeface, but it's still a work-in-progess.

FS: How can people contact you?
HAN: Through my email or website.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
HAN: I'd like to remind students and young designers out there to hold on to their passion and keep growing. To never stop learning new skills and be open to new opportunities because they could take them to incredible places.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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