American Univesity of Beirut

Meet the University Libraries’ Jedi Knight and Graphic Designer: Sara Jawad

​​​​Throughout the month of June, the University Libraries invite you to visit the exhibit area in Jafet Library’s Lobby and have a look at posters and material from previous Library events, all designed by our very own talented graphic designer, Sara Jawad.

Sara identifies herself as a “Jedi Knight/Graphic Designer”. She joined the libraries 6 years ago and has been in charge of the design of all Library material since then. With a B.A. in Graphic design from AUST, Sara has an experience of more than 12 years in the field.

In her spare time, when she is not designing for the library, Sara is busy gardening, drawing, or doing origami. We sat with Sara and asked her some questions to know more about her, and about the design process at the AUB University Libraries.

When asked about why she chose to be a designer, Sara said that her favorite subjects were always the arts and humanities. She admitted that she loved psychology and art the most, adding, “I think I was 16 when I went to a design exhibit at my cousin’s university and learned about graphic design. I was inspired by how art can be used to convince people and influence the way they perceive things, that was the moment I decided I want to be a graphic designer”.

Sara says that her biggest challenge is dealing with clients and convincing them that the things they like (personal taste) don’t always work. It is challenging to figure out what the target audience (the students in the Library’s case) like and how they behave. “This challenge is common for all designers and that is why I believe that learning psychology should be mandatory when it comes to design.”

When asked about her favorite projects and about how she meets deadlines without jeopardizing the quality of her work, Sara said “I work on a lot of designs at the library and I love everything I do. There is always something new to learn and a new collection to explore. I mostly love working on exhibitions for the library collections because there are always new subjects and new people to learn about.” “As for meeting deadlines, I follow a rule: I don’t accept work that is due in less than 10 days. I had trouble getting everyone to comply with this, but now, 6 years later, everyone knows this rule and tries to respect it. Of course, there are always exceptions, and people who don’t respect this rule. In those cases, I usually use my Jedi powers (gained over 12 years of working in design) to come up with good solutions in a limited time.

Talking about what keeps her going; Sara smiles and says “Research, research, coffee and more research.

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