Interview With Shadi Al Hroub From Dubai

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Shadi Al Hroub

Taking yet another win in the MUSE Creative Awards for the third year in a row, listen to what Shadi Al Hroub thinks when it comes to rebranding a company!

Interview with the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards Winner - Shadi Al Hroub

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

I am an award-winning leader and creative director with over 16 years of experience and 9 years of research in branding, including 29 international awards at the prestige level around the world.

I have extensive experience in creative direction, packaging design and branding as well as multimedia. I've worked as a professor at various American universities.

I've had the privilege of working with some of the most innovative brands and organizations in the world including Leo Burnett, Hilton Worldwide, Jordan Aviation, Royal Falcon, Jordan Duty-Free, Samsung Electronics, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, G2000 AG (formerly G2000 Clothing Group), Hublot Watches and The One by Young Couture as well as various NGOs including UNRWA, International Trade Center (UN), Global Health Development and USAID.

I served as a judge for the Stevie Awards for Creative Communications & International Business, evaluating entries from DHL, Nivea, Pepsi and Coca-Cola, among other big names. I've been 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 campaigns from companies like Porsche, McCann Stockholm, FOX Networks Group Spain, BBC, Jaguar and eBay.

Additionally, I was the chair of the Media Awards Judging Committee for our 17th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. And I was a team facilitator for the World Design Challenge on Sustainable Packaging that tackles UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, and a peer reviewer for the Journal for Artistic Research.

Finally, I was a judge for the next creative leader of the USA 2021 & 2022 by One Club for Creativity, Biennial exhibition 2022.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?
I have increasingly specialized in the design medium at international levels because of my strong interest in advertising and creative design from a young age, which was sparked by everything around me having been designed.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
I determine the creative vision of a brand or project and manifest that vision by creating digital and print installations, as well as establishing budgets and timelines and managing client relationships.
4What does “creativity” mean to you?
Creativity can strike you at any time—a bright idea may hit you during a late-night walk, while taking a shower, or any other moment when your mind is free from distraction.
5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?
Creativity is essentially the process of problem-solving. We see a problem in an object or situation, we analyze it and try to remove those flaws. This will happen in all designs, whether they're artistic or practical. There is great prestige attached to the word “creative.” Creative people apparently magic up ideas—wonderful solutions to the most complex problems.
6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.
If you pay attention to detail, are patient, and like solving problems, then you are well on your way. To develop a unique style that expresses who you are as a designer and what your work means, consider using a combination of colors and imagery to support your focus or theme. Think about the cultural references and landmarks that establish a common frame of reference between you and your audience.
7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?
What really matters is not how good you are today, but 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 instinctive; it’s in the “eye of the beholder.” Whether you find a particular piece of art beautiful or not depends on your natural instincts and the way your brain processes the visual information presented to it.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?
I'm a citizen of the world and have no allegiance to a single country.
10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
We strive to make life better by design, and our purpose is to create value through products, processes, and performance. The MUSE Creative Awards can help us gain recognition for our work, setting us apart from the crowd. It boosts team morale by recognizing individual achievements and helps build credibility for our firm.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
I love having the privilege of branding. It is a very rewarding experience. We took part in this project as part of The MUSE Creative Awards to be able to share our joy at 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 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?
For today's consumers, social and environmental responsibility is becoming more important.
13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
As my first award came over 10 years into my career, I don't see awards as what changes me as a designer. 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 entertainment industry has been driven by consumer behavior and expectations, especially among younger generations who demand instant access to content, anytime, anywhere.
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?
In the coming years, the creative industry will continue to expand and play an important role in society. The uniqueness of this 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?
As we look for new areas of development, we must also encourage innovation and development. 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 an award or being recognized for your achievements.
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.
We may never know what the future of design looks like, but we can try to imagine it.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?
I am inspired by a variety of people, places 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 that will stand up against trends and remain fresh over time.

Winning Entries

Rebranding - Salalah Mills | 2022


They say that when you rebrand yourself, you're building a personal identity. But what if your whole identity is just an image, and your life is just accidental? In today's world, the sources of things are concealed: in the packaging of consumer goods, in the components of buildings, even in the food we eat - it's rare to know who grew it or made it...
(read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Shadi Al Hroub

Taking yet another win in the MUSE Creative Awards for the third year in a row, listen to what Shadi Al Hroub thinks when it comes to rebranding a company!

Read our interview with Nathan Atkinson here too, while you’re at it!