Interview with Shadi Al Hroub, Creative Director of Gate 10 LLC, Oman

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Shadi Al Hroub

Shadi’s expansive experience in both design and communications allows him to manifest the creative vision of the brand or project through digital or print installations.

Interview with the 2021 MUSE Creative Awards Winner - Shadi Al Hroub

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

I have 16 years of experience in design and communications, including over 9 years of research in branding and advertising specifically. I have won more than 23 international awards at the prestige level. My experience ranges from creative direction, packaging, branding, and Multimedia (both traditional and digital).

I worked as a professor in creative design in various American universities and creative consultant at Leo Burnett, Hilton Worldwide, Jordan Aviation, Royal Falcon, Jordan Duty-Free, Samsung, Macdonald, G2000, Hublot, The One, International Trade Center (UN), and various international NGOs such as UNRWA, Global Health Development, and USAID. I was a final judge for the Stevie Awards for Creative Communications & International Business Awards where I evaluated DHL, Nivea, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and more big names, I was a final judge for Future Ideas Amsterdam, Adobe Achievements Awards 2014 - present, the A’ design awards, and Grand Jury Panel at Vega Digital Awards where I evaluated Porsche campaign, McCann Stockholm, FOX Networks Group Spain and more.

I’m currently Grand Jury Panel at Global Trend Awards 2018 where I evaluated BBC, Jaguar, eBay, Sony Pictures, Nike, and Chair the Media Awards Judging Committee of our 2020 (17th annual) Stevie Awards for Women in Business. I'm currently working as Sr. Creative Director and Creative Partner at Gate10 for marketing, Oman.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

My career has led me to specialize increasingly in the design medium at international levels. The reason for this is because from a young age I have always had a very high interest in advertising and creative design because everything that is around us has been designed and this has always fascinated me.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

Establishing our creative philosophy, objectives, and strategies that will lead us to creative output. As a creative director, I determine the creative vision of a brand or project and manifests that vision through digital and print installations, plus establishing budgets and timelines and manages client relationships.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?

Creativity will hit you just at the moment you're in a silent, brightly lighted room.

5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

Creativity is essentially problem-solving at its core. You see a problem in an object/situation, you analyze it and try to remove those flaws. This process will be undertaken in all designs.

6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

If you pay attention to detail, are patient, creative, and like solving problems, then you are well on your way. Try to establish a new style. A style is a tool; it’s the thing you’re using to hit the target. Think about the colors you want to use and what those colors mean. Think about the imagery that supports your focus, the pace that attracts your audience. and the words that communicate to them. Think about the cultural references and landmarks that establish a common frame of reference between you and your audience.

There is great prestige attached to the word “creative.” Creative people apparently magic up ideas—wonderful solutions to the most complex problems.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

It doesn't matter how good you are today. What really matters is how fast you progress and what steps you take every day to improve your designing skills.

8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

Like a heartbeat. Beauty is, and always will be, in the “eye of the beholder.” Your decision about the beauty or lack of beauty in a particular work of art is instinctive and natural. In fact, you probably won’t even have to make that decision; you’ll just either be captivated by a piece of art or you won’t.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

Not really, I'm a citizen of the world.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2021 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

Our purpose is to make life better by design. Our vision is a world where the role and value of design are recognized as a fundamental creator of value, enabling happier, better products, better processes, and better performance. The MUSE Creative Awards can boost our firm reputation, setting us "apart from the crowd." It also gives our team morale a boost by highlighting team and individual achievements, plus help to cement our credibility.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

My favorite project is branding. It's a very enjoyable project. We participated in this project in the MUSE Creative Awards to share this moment of winning. The millennial generation is looking for more than mere services. This generation wants to place its loyalty into brands that stand for something – and conversely, they’ll shun companies with negative messaging behind either their brands or their practices. The truth is that millennials are highly socially conscious and philanthropic. They believe in giving back: 87% of millennials donated to at least one non-profit organization. In keeping with this charitable spirit, Generation millennials look for and form strong bonds of loyalty to brands who put their social responsibility forward and give back to the community.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

Social and environmental responsibility is an increasingly important factor for today's consumers.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

Well my first award didn't come until over 10 years into my career so I don't see awards as what changes me as a designer per say. I see them as a byproduct of just making good design. They affirm abilities and recognize talent.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

The creative industry has been driven by changing consumer behavior and expectations, especially among younger generations who demand instant access to content, anytime, anywhere. My most favorite three things are:

- Creative studies

- Innovation

- Branding news & views

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

The creative industry is growing and will continue to play an important part in the future. The uniqueness in the industry is the diversity of people making it happen.

16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

There is a need to find new areas of development that encourage innovation and development, and research shows that culture and creativity have an increasing influence on both sustainability and resilient growth.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Design is a great way to make a living. It can be fulfilling, helpful, and your work can have an impact on people and culture. This is worth remembering when you are receiving a creativity award.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

Music, Adobe Collection software, and pencil.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

I'm trying to figure out what the future of design will look like, we’re at a bit of a loss.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

I find inspiration in a variety of people and things.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

The concept is the foundation of any successful design — it’s like design DNA. Before I touch the computer or even start sketching, I figure out what I am trying to say conceptually. The concept provides the direction for the entire project. Without a solid concept, it's almost impossible to create a lasting design.

22Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?

Thank you!

Winning Entries



The millennial generation is looking for more than mere services. This generation wants to place its loyalty into brands that stand for...
(read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Gate 10 LLC

Gate 10 is a creative agency whose name represents a gate that they are opening for their clients towards their ten (10) marketing services.