by Elizabeth Lavis | 05 Sep 2022
Since his youth, design has been a pivotal part of Amer Alissa's life. "I grew up in a house where art and design were always surrounding me," Alissa says. "My parents are interior designers, so I observed designs, drawings, and art until it became part of me and developed a passion."
"I've been drawing for as long as I can remember," he says. "My mom always supported me, helped shape my talent and grow my passion for art." Despite his initial desire to work as part of the faculty for a fine arts school, Alissa found himself drawn more intently toward visual communication and design, becoming fascinated by how design could convey intricate and deep messages through a single picture or image.
"I have always been fascinated by visual communication and how to visually represent words, thoughts, and ideas," he says.
Alissa's early roots in Damascus, Syria, allowed him to siphon inspiration from ancient art, both his design style and calligraphic work. "Living in the world's oldest capital, you will encounter design and art daily," he says. "Some are hundreds of years old, and some are modern. In my opinion, this mixture is a unique visual experience. It's improved my work in Arabic typography, calligraphy, lettering, eastern ornaments, and patterns."
After graduating from school in his native Damascus, Syria, Alissa worked in Syria, then moved to Moscow, Russia, in 2017. Today Amer Alissa specializes in brand identity, embracing the idea of breaking the box and staying outside it through innovative work, including motion graphics and calligraphy.
Alissa balances his creative drive with the ability to keep clients happy by getting to the heart of the matter when he receives harsh criticism. "Working with clients can be challenging from time to time," he says. "It's important to understand the client's point of view and perspective."
He can head off many problems and miscommunications before they start, fostering an open relationship with his clients. "I always try to ask the right questions, listen carefully and understand their brief and ideas to make the best solution for their problems."
Alissa also has an impressive portfolio and plenty of design credentials, both of which can help convince skeptical clients to trust his judgment.
Alissa also relies on a meticulous and detailed process that allows him to get the full scope of the project. It starts with research, then Alissa commits every idea, big or small, to paper. "I start sketching," he says. "I try to sketch everything. Most of the time, the first sketches will not be good enough or help the final visual result, but it's important to sketch every idea to sharpen the outcome and find the best solution."
Alissa is also constantly working on himself to hone and perfect his skill sets. "When you have a talent, you should be responsible for it," he says. "You must work on it and develop it every day, all the time."
Although Alissa puts plenty of effort into being the best designer possible, he still leaves some room for play. "I am passionate about guitar, coffee, and calligraphy," he says. "I find music and tennis huge inspirations because music rhythms and emotions play a big role in my creative process."