Syrian refugee reaps rewards after starting graphic design business

A Syrian refugee who fled to the UK after the war is now helping Arab business owners create and translate signs and menus.

Mohamad Danou launched Blackburn-based Tashkeel Design last year and has already secured 12 customers in the food and takeaway industry.

Mohamad arrived in England in 2013, leaving behind his home country, and decided to pursue a more creative path of graphic design.

The University of Salford graduate said: “When I moved to the UK I decided to find something I love to do and start a career in it.

“I started by taking photography classes, but then I found my true passion with graphic design.”

Being bilingual, Mohamad was able to help a large community of native Arabic speakers advertise and promote their businesses. His portfolio of work includes restaurant menus, signs, posters and logos for various businesses.

He said: “My clients were struggling to advertise and promote their businesses due to the language barriers they faced, they struggled to explain exactly what they needed from other designers.

“I have been able to help several businesses and this has been a huge selling point for my business as the majority of my clients have been referred to me by word of mouth.”

Mohamad chose to name his business Tashkeel (shaping) because the business has shaped his career since he fled Syria. While studying at the University of Salford, Mohamad enlisted the help of [email protected], the University of Salford’s business incubator, to boost his business.

Launch was created in 2018 with the idea of ​​helping students and graduates grow their own businesses. Under a six-month support program, users have access to a wealth of support from the team, including training, advice, office space and financial assistance.

Mohamad added, “The launch was key in helping me understand the legal and financial element of starting a business.

“It was really helpful to have mentors around you to guide you and make the best decisions for you and your business.”

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