Whether it is through designing stylish business cards, fancy fliers, elegant calendars or iPhone wallpapers with catchy sayings, Asma M. Kherbash’s expressions of creativity cannot better encapsulate contemporary graphic design into commercial and editorial illustrations, logo and identity designs as well as apparels and t-shirts. Her design studio named 'Komraids' houses samples which have been recognised in ‘The Image of Business Cards Today’, a collection of the most creative business cards around the world, as well as in Arabesque, a book which showcases selected amazing works from the Arab World and Persia.
The Khaleejesque team corresponded with the Emirati graphic designer to know more about how Komraids progressed to this high level globally, when still being in its initial stages.
Khaleejesque: First question seems to naturally pop up. Why the name ‘Komraids’?
Asma Kherbash: It’s just an off-base name I picked!
Your website shows amazing samples of your work. Some of them for advertising fliers, others for iPhone Wallpapers and a calendar too. How do you market your designs to the public?
I never liked imposing myself on people, so when it comes to marketing, I try to be as subtle about it as possible. I made that calendar a few months ago as part of a promotional mailer. Word-of-mouth is an effective method of marketing, but sometimes you need to get the ball rolling and get the word out there yourself. Putting my work out there, whether on a website or on someone's iPhone, helps get people's attention.
Your creativity has been showcased in a book with the most creative business cards around the world and has been included in the book Arabesque.How did your work reach this high level? How was it getting recognised?
I was surprised when my work was selected to be published in those books. Overall, I believe there's no point in doing what I'm doing if I feel that I'm not progressing in terms of quality.
When did you actually start graphic design and how did it gradually develop?
I studied graphic design, and after graduating, I had trouble deciding what to do next. Then I received requests to design newspaper ads, business cards, logos, etc. I took those jobs, thinking it was a good way to spend time and make money until I figured out my career path.
During that time, I began reading various design booksand magazines, and slowly began to realize there was more to graphic design than advertising and corporate identity. A few months later, I registered my name and began working on my first website.
How do you think the field or area of graphic design looks like in the UAE and the region?
I don't think I can put it more eloquently than Bill Cahan, “Clients have no trouble paying $5,800 for an hour in a Gulfstream corporate jet or $425 for a month of parking. But God forbid they spend $3 per on a glossy annual report.”
KT: Can you tell us about your current projects?
Right now, I'm focusing on setting up a bigger studio. I've been looking around for equipment that I couldn't fit in my current home office. I'd also like to work, leave for a while, and come back to find the mess I left is still in its place. It's hard to do that when you share your space with other people.
How does the future of your work look like to you? How do you plan to further develop and broaden your designs?
Typography has always been an elusive art for me. I'm set on going down that path to see where it takes me.
Finally, what do you have to say to support and encourage other Emirati and Arab creative minds like you to express this creativity in any way they can?
More work, less social-networking.
To view samples of Komraids' amazing products, visit www.komraids.com
-Khamael Al Safi