The Nuqat Creative Conference may have ended, but the amazing work they did kept going. Back in November 2015, the Jordanian branding duo known as Wajha, led a three-day workshop about branding. A social design initiative, Wajha takes on branding projects for free. While many people would gasp at the notion, Wajha views it as ‘giving back.’ Taking over a small business that can’t afford branding services and bringing them into the modern world is what Wajha stands for. So for Nuqat’s 2015 conference, Wajha’s workshop attendees – sponsored by Elevation Burger – took over three locations in the Al Mubarakiya area of Kuwait City and breathed life into their storefronts. Now, we get to see what the young designers envisioned for these otherwise-neglected storefronts to be.
The Wajha duo, made up of Ali Almasri and Hussein Alazaat, come to us with a background in design. Celebrated for their ability to give makeovers to small businesses, the pair have done incredible things with the forgotten shops of Kuwait City. The storefronts they branded were for the First Night Salon (صالون الليل الاول), The People’s Tailor (خياط الجميع) and Rawabi Al-Sharq for Live Chickens (روابي الشرق للدجاج الحي). The storekeepers received new storefront designs and branding materials, thanks to the Nuqat workshop sponsored by Elevation Burger.
“We launched the workshop with Wajha in the hopes of giving new life to neglected local businesses,” said Wakim Zeidan, one of Nuqat’s founders. “The designs were developed by the participants of the Wajha workshop conducted during Nuqat 2015. The best designs were then selected, refined and made ready for the production process that was sponsored by Elevation Burger. The participants were thrilled to join the workshop when they knew that their work would eventually hit the streets, quite literally.”
Ali Ashkanani, CEO of TABCo Food, the operator of Elevation Burger in Kuwait added, “This is our third year of collaboration with Nuqat, and like every year, with Elevation’s Burger vision in mind, to promote sustainability and social change. We made sure to continue our work together and actualize the outcome of the workshop and contribute to beautifying Kuwait.”
With the improved branding of the shops, the shopkeepers hope to attract new customers and increase footfall to their businesses. Rajesh Ibhatia, manager of the First Night Salon said, “When Nuqat first approached us, we instantly said yes as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We were also excited to be the first to apply this great idea to our business.” Nuqat, Wajha and Elevation Burger hope that this project will motivate others to take initiative and join the movement toward beautifying Kuwait and supporting local businesses.