When we speak of artists and their design philosophies, what is it that comes to mind? There is a popular saying that goes, “the job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery (Francis Bacon)”. Rita Merheb Khair brings back the art element to individualistic designing.
Rita has been an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the American University of Kuwait since 2009; prior to which she was teaching Graphic Design in various universities in Lebanon. Rita has an MFA in Graphic Design, and an MA in “Multimedia for Education”. Before she started her teaching career, she worked in the field of Graphic Design in both Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.
What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?I have always been fascinated by Limoge porcelain, to the point where I became a Limoge plates collector. Out of this passion, I started thinking of designing my own plates, and the previous Ramadan, I thought it would be the perfect time to launch my own collection of designer plates. I specifically choose Ramadan as this is the time of the year where hosts use their personal collection of distinctive plates for the Futoors, Ghabkas and Niqsas. My first collection was essentially greeting statements expressed during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Who is the target customer for this design?My target audience for this project is a very specific group of people, primarily housewives with a very artistic touch, who have great taste for elegance, and who pay special attention to details.
How would you describe the style of the finished result in three words? Tactile, meticulous, elegant – it’s the perfect blend.
What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?I had the concept in my mind for quite a while, but it being my first attempt in product design and creation, I faced challenges in both the design and the production stages.Design-wise, my challenge was to come up with a technique that will allow me to take a very rigid and straight piece of Kufi text, and curve it with very precise measurements to make it perfectly fit onto plates with very specific dimensions. At the production stage, my biggest problem was to find a place that can print on plates with very high-quality material and finishing. I researched all of Kuwait and the Gulf for over three months, until I found a company in the UAE that can get the job done for me.
What’s the most impressive thing about its production? I’m proud to say that the plates are entirely designed, manufactured and distributed in the Gulf region.