Mayda Freije Makdessi / Co-Founder, Creative Direction, Design & Illustration

Mayda Freije Makdessi / Co-Founder, Creative Direction, Design & Illustration

Mayda received a Master of Science degree in Communication from Pratt Institute in New York City. Mayda’s solid New York experience involved working with high-profile agencies such as Union Design, Pentagram and Futurebrand. She holds a diversity of talents including concept development, graphic design, illustration, and Arabic calligraphy. She has produced numerous award-winning projects and has been featured in several publications. Her art murals were also chosen for the ‘Building Dreams’ Children’s Playground Improvement Project in New York City.

In 1995 upon relocating to Beirut, Mayda established her own studio and has worked with a very diverse clientele. In 2010 she expanded her horizon and joined forces with Nadine Hajjar, a corporate branding specialist working in New York. With one, a very creative designer and artist, and the other, more structural and corporate minded, the two bring a wider range of services to the table. They work very closely together, if not side by side then via Skype on a daily basis.

Additionally, Mayda teaches at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the American University of Science and Technology (AUST). She gives workshops on creativity and design at the Beirut chapter of Behance, a platform for creative professionals. She is a dynamic member of Assabil, The Friends of Public Libraries Association founded in Lebanon in 1997, promoting reading to the young through story telling and activities at various public libraries in Lebanon. She is an advocate of ‘inclusive’ designs and books for children with additional needs, initiating hands-on workshops on creating stories, choosing proper imagery and language, and engaging children in reading.

Nadine Hajjar / Co-Founder, Information Architecture & Design

Nadine Hajjar / Co-Founder, Information Architecture & Design

Nadine’s career spanned a wide range of challenges at some of New York’s most established design companies – among them Billboard Publications, Vignelli Associates, Siegel & Gale, Interbrand, and Futurebrand. Becoming more intrigued by corporate branding as time went on, she funneled her vision into extracting each client’s core value and studying the presentation of information, ensuring the message is clear and consistent throughout all touchpoints.

Today her particular interests lie in the presentation of information, where the customer experience can easily undermine or reinforce the brand promise. 

Born in Beirut, Lebanon to a German mother and a Lebanese father, Nadine is multilingual and has traveled extensively. She left Beirut in 1982 with an Associate Degree in Advertising Design, studied Journalism at the University of Minnesota then refocused on Communication Design at New York’s Parsons School of Design, graduating in 1985.

Rima Rifai / Graphic Design & Data Graphics

Rima Rifai / Graphic Design & Data Graphics

Rima is an award-winning designer, expert at anything infographic. Over the years she has produced numerous projects for an impressive roster of clients, including:
- U.N. (escwa, undp, unops, unfpa, aciac, undesa, unesco)
- World Bank Institute
- Ministry of Economy & Trade and the Ministry of Social Affairs (Lebanon)
- Order of Engineers and Architects (Lebanon)
- American University of Beirut
- Turning Point Publications (Tennessee)
- Landscape Dimensions (California)
- docomomo International (non-profit organization devoted to the documentation and conservation of buildings).

She is also very active with a few non-profit organizations – providing branding, design and illustration services for clients such as:
- International Board on Books for Young People
- Goethe Institute
- Children’s Cancer Center
- Faculty of Health & Sciences, Balamand University
- Dar Al Aytam (orphenage).

Other activities include teaching design and typography at the American University College of Science & Technology (AUST) and Université du Saint Esprit Kaslik (usek).

Rima studied Desktop Publishing at Saddleback College in California; earned a BA in Fine Arts and a certificate in Graphic Design from Beirut University College; and completed 6 courses in the School of Business at the American Unversity of Beirut.

Shawki Youssef / Arabic Calligraphy

Shawki Youssef / Arabic Calligraphy