Kashida Design Studio

Bridging The Gap Between Calligraphy And Product Design

January 26, 2018
Mariam Nihal

Saudi Gazette

Kashida is a product design studio that generates bespoke design pieces created by 3D Arabic calligraphy. The design company takes traditional manifestations of calligraphy on scrolls and transforms them into functional design pieces. Elie Abou Jamra and Mirna Hamady founded Kashida in 2011. The brand was launched in Beirut and is headquartered in Dubai. Jamra and Hamady are graduates of the American University of Beirut, with a BFA in Graphic Design.

Kashida’s design team is lead by Creative Director, Mirna Hamady, who told Saudi Gazette she designs all of Kashida’s pieces from start to end. “We work on our own calligraphy and then transform it into the third dimension, adding a layer of functionality. At Kashida, all items are meant to be practical and functional, as the brand’s mission is to bring the beauty of Arabic script into our daily lives.”

Each piece goes through an extensive process, from the initial design stage to production and shipping. Kashida offers a wide range of furniture fittings including frames, trays, candle stands to chairs and wall lamps. “It is not easy to release Kashida items since the calligraphy we use is not only decorative, but functional. A clear example will be our Baraka Armchair, where the actual Arabic word is the structure of the chair. Without it, the design will not hold. Manufacturing time varies from piece to piece. However, we have a ready-made accessory collection, which reaches clients within 1-3 days. Furniture takes around 3-4 weeks upon order,” Hamady explained.

Kashida targets the GCC primarily. “We are happy to say that both Arabs and non-Arab speakers are clients at Kashida, which makes us very happy! We love spreading the beauty of our language across the world.”

Social media has helped grow brand awareness and form a new clientele for the brand. “Social media is the tool to showcase your work to audiences from different countries.” For the founders, the challenge remains to be sustaining successful designs with each collection, while preserving the proportions and aesthetics of Arabic calligraphy. “Customer satisfaction is key and are happy to say we work very hard on our customer service both prior and post-purchase,” Hamady told Saudi Gazette. Kashida products will be available in Riyadh soon. For now, they are available in Jeddah at Sinwan Design House and in Al Khobar at Labels.

January 26, 2018
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