HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN A DESIGNER? WHEN DID IT ALL START? 

I was born into a family of creatives and musicians so my path was somewhat predictable especially the day I used a crayon on the wall of our small family home before I could even walk. Not a good idea at the time and my mom made it painfully clear :-/ 

First forward through the years and as fate [and hard work] would have it, I am now a Senior UX and Brand Designer - amongst many other titles that the industry bestows upon us. Surprisingly though, all my projects start with colored pens and paper... and now mom’s quite proud :-)

Zineb Alaoui Architecture. Location: Fez, Morocco

WHAT ABOUT EXPERIENCE. how does one get to where you are?

I have been fortunate to work in several countries in Africa and Europe for small and large outfits as well as non-profits, but more importantly I've had the best mentors over the years including my own brother who introduced me to the trade at a young age. He is still my go-to person for guidance and direction.

I started off designing for print and on my first job I had to clean up old logos so they can be used on press adverts. That experience gave me the interest to create better logos and with time I mastered the skill.

LW fashion brand: Location: Nairobi, Kenya

While working as a Junior Designer at GREY Advertising I was assigned to brilliant art directors and copywriters and learnt advertising and package design for consumer goods. We handled brands like Unilever, EABL and BAT. That experience was priceless.

A few years later I moved to Tanzania and worked with a leading ISP as an in-house designer and while there I was introduced to web design. I was hooked and immediately took initiative to learn all I could on how to design for this new medium.

Zineb Alaoui Architecture. Location: Fez, Morrocco

My craving to learn and do more was insatiable and a year later I set off to Europe where I worked for a few design agencies and also attended film and photography school. This took my work to a whole new level.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TOOLS OF TRADE?

I would say next to pencil and paper it has to be my ever inquisitive and analytical mind. As creatives we have a unique way of solving problems and I use that to bring clarity to complex visual communication issues - be it a mobile app, website or an ad campaign. 

Besides the usual desktop suites my current workflow is Sketch + InVision. That is a match made in UX heaven. I'm also testing the early access version of InVision Studio and it’s quite promising so far.

WHERE DO YOU DRAW INSPIRATION FROM?

I'm a huge enthusiast of other design disciplines and particularly automotive design and architecture. I am especially drawn towards mid-century work by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and modernists like the SAOTA studio. I actually have more architectural books than any other design subject. Music is also a big part of my life especially hip-hop and jazz. The right playlist can inspire a concept and take the project to new heights. 

Matope Luxury Beauty line. Location: Nairobi, Kenya

how do you spend YOUR SPARE TIME, ASSUMING YOU HAVE ANY :)

Well it gets crazy as you know it but I've learned how to take a break when necessary. I value my personal time a lot more now that I'm older. A good run in the morning or basketball late in the afternoon helps to clear my head and shine new light on a project. 

LASTLY, ARE YOU AVAILABLE FOR NEW PROJECTS?

Yes I am available for remote work and can be easily reached on email or skype.