Proud to Present: a sumptuous, artful brand for Arabian print company, Tawasul
We couldn’t quite believe it when we had an email at the end of last year from Muneera. She told us that she was planning to set up a bespoke print company in her home city of Qatar, which would specialise in exquisite, hand-finished stationery printing, using highly skilled techniques to produce stunning custom finishes. If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll probably know that we have a background in print and a fascination, bordering on obsession, with the art of bespoke techniques (Dan and I nearly lost our minds when we got the opportunity to use a 100 year old Heidelberg press to produce our wedding stationery!), so we leapt at the chance to work with Muneera on her new business. And there was one, rather important, detail which made the project all the more fascinating… as Muneera would be trading in Dubai, her brand needed to be developed in both English and Arabic. We’ve never worked in Arabic before, so this was a steep learning curve!
Tawasul means ‘to communicate’ in Arabic. And that’s really the purpose of the brand; to help clients express their style and evoke emotion through the stationery that Tawasul will design and craft for them. While Tawasul will be producing a wide range of stationery for different purposes, Muneera intends to specialise in wedding stationery. In fact, the inspiration to create this business hit her when her brother was planning his wedding - they simply couldn’t find a company in the Middle East that would offer the beautiful, bespoke stationery they wanted. Weddings in Dubai are incredible; lavish, extravagant affairs with huge guest lists and no expense spared in creating an event that gets everyone talking. For brides, their wedding stationery is their first opportunity to give guests a flavour of their wedding - the chance to express their style and hint at what’s to come. There’s a huge opportunity for Muneera to create an exciting brand that offers something very different to the Middle Eastern market, and for that she needed a brand which set the tone for the gorgeous work and flawless service that she’ll be offering.
Colour psychology season personality
The seasons which best represent Tawasul are Summer, with a hint of Winter. Summer brands are graceful, elegant and feminine. They have a timeless elegance to them; they’re artistically gifted and have a keen eye for design. They can’t stand clutter – space, balance and proportion are important to them. To the Summer personality, detail is everything. They’re perfectionists and strive to ensure that what they deliver is nothing short of exceptional. The Winter personality is intelligent, opulent and high end. They’re self assured and confident; just like the Summer personality they have a strong visual style and are more likely to set trends than they are to follow them. They have a distinctive style that puts them in a league of their own – they’re highly specialist and whatever they do, they do well – they often occupy a market leading position.
I absolutely love this brand. It’s rich, sumptuous and elegant - perfect for a brand which is all about art and glamour. In developing this brand, we learnt an awful lot about Arabic type. It’s beautiful and nuanced, steeped in meaning and tradition. With Muneera’s guidance, we chose a traditional Kufic style within the primary logo which happened to feature two small diamonds within the lettering. We decided to develop this diamond shape which has worked so beautifully within the brand, and this has created a stunningly beautiful theme throughout the aesthetic. To counter the geometry of these angular shapes, we used a technique called paper marbling to create a pair of gorgeous patterns. I love the opportunity to introduce hand crafted elements within a brand - whilst all that we do is custom, it’s really very special to actually get your hands dirty and make something. The wonderful thing with marbling is that it’s utterly unpredictable; the ink hits the water and takes its own path. And while you can guide it, shape it and coax it toward the pattern you want, it ultimately does its own thing, creating a fleeting pattern that you capture with paper before it vanishes forever, never to be repeated.
As I’m sure you can imagine, developing a brand which was so entwined with a language and culture that none of us had experienced before was extremely challenging - but I’m so thrilled with the results. Most importantly, Muneera was completely over the moon with the brand and is now preparing to launch her exciting new venture. You can follow her journey on instagram @tawasulstudio.