Monday, January 30, 2012

Introducing young talents: Lama Shehadeh


Following up on Metel Ma Shelta, meet Lama Shehadeh, one of the three designers behind this brilliant campaign which has now made the local news. 

If you have been hibernating in some faraway cave or accidentally slipped in a coma for the past few days, allow me to assist you and get you up to speed. To learn more about the campaign, how it came to life, what is to be expected and get to know Lama's two best friends and Metel Ma Shelta co-creators, jump to Cleaning Up Our Streets... And Minds.

And now finally, introducing Lama Shehadeh, a graphic design student also minoring in business administration at the American University of Beirut. Growing up, she was immersed in the world of visual arts and from an early age she knew she would become a designer one day.

Lama Shehadeh
"I come from a family that has an insight on arts. Both my parents are architects and my mom draws with coal and chalk."

What drove you to study graphic design? 
I just had it in me ever since I was 6. Whenever I had a group project I wanted to be the one who's responsible for the design part. I took a personality test when I was 15 and since then I knew that I was meant to become a graphic designer.

Who is your favorite designer or visual artist? 
Stefan Sagmeister.

Where do you get inspired for your projects? 
Basically it's design books. I usually flip through and random things that are happening with design can sometimes inspire me to create something new.

What is your most inspired project? Why do you consider it to be your favorite? 
I think it is a book jacket I did for the story "Alice in Wonderland". I created the illusion of hole inside the book. I had to cut every page, it was like a stack of 70 sheets. I also had to come up with techniques to make it look deeper. I put a lot of effort and thought to it.

"Alice in Wonderland" Book Cover
© Lama Shehadeh

What areas of design interest you the most? Print? Multimedia? Etc. and why? 
I lean more towards print (Corporate Identity and Publication). Print is so precious to me. I enjoy doing it, thinking about it, and applying it. What smells better than a book? A book that you got to design yourself.

What in your opinions are your best qualities as a designer? 
I would like to think it is originality and the ability to respond well to criticism.

Your worst? 
Not enough patience.

If you hadn't been a designer, what profession would you have chosen? 

If you were stranded on a desert island with only one item, what would it be? 
My phone.

What design softwares you cannot possibly survive without? 
Adobe Illustrator.

Are you a MAC or a PC and why? 
MAC it's really practical.

If you were a font, which would you be and why? 
Helvetica Neue. It's elegant and clear. It also comes with a variety of weights (light, ultra light, bold…)


Outside of design and visual arts, what are your hobbies? 
Swimming and traveling.

You are one of the creators behind the Metel Ma Shelta campaign. Why do you feel it is important for you, as a designer, to use your professional skills for social work? 
Sometimes we might all have the urge to change and tackle certain social issues. As designers we learn to come up with original ideas that draw attention. It also teaches us the right way to communicate with our audience in order to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Metel Ma Shelta has allowed you to meet your audience up close and personal. How does it feel having your work touch your audience directly and be part of this direct interaction? Do you enjoy it or do you prefer the creative side of your work, when it is just you and your computer?
Of course I'd prefer the interaction especially when it comes to awareness campaigns because the whole point is to affect your audience.

How do you think this campaign changed you as a designer? Did all the exposure you got affect the way you plan to pursue your career? Did you learn new skills and qualities about yourself which you would like to focus on? 
This campaign gave me a huge responsibility as a designer. Now that we've set certain goals in this campaign we can not stop here. This has inspired me to pursue this type of campaigns throughout my career instead of being purely corporate. Of course now that it is more interactive I would have to focus more on social skills.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 
I would want to open my own design studio. Hopefully I would've launched by then (or be a part of) a campaign that works on achieving women's rights in Lebanon and the Arab World.

In one word, if you were a... 


Trololologram (9gag)

Texture or fabric? 

Song or music composition? 
Tell Me Baby - RHCP


American History X

Book or literary piece? 
The Kite Runner

Famous character (real or fictional)? 
Peter Pan

Since you are a graphic designer, I must ask, if you were a logo, which would you be? 
Disney Logo

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