Shahnaz Ahmed is a British freelance Graphic Designer living and working in London, with a love for craft and an obsession with wool.

Who am I?

I’m a Graphic Designer, hands-on crafter and all–round wool–lover. I believe the most effective design work is a combination of understanding strategy, forming strong ideas and executing beautifully in the best possible medium. When I’m not busy designing for marvelous clients, I’m busy sketching and making woolly creations for my Etsy shop.

Why 'Naju'?

Most people know me as Shahnaz but my family call me Naju. I decided to extend my nickname from beyond the home, because it was at home where my journey into design and craft began. A love for arts and crafts from a young age, coupled with support from non-creative parents who encouraged me to experiment and grow in a questionable career path, led me to where I am today. Whilst my brothers used their nimble fingers on the Super Nintendo, I pestered my mother to teach me how to use mine to create the perfect knit and purl. My hands were always busy – making, taking apart and re-making.

Now 6 years into my career, I combine my past experiences to create the best possible work I can, combining craft with concept. I have been lucky enough to work at some of the most reputable agencies in London, and even luckier to have worked with some remarkable people who taught me so much along the way.

What have I been up to?

After graduating from Kingston University in 2007, I had a solid portfolio under my wing full of great ideas. But I had no idea how to actually design – on an actual computer. I completed a few short internships before the wonderful Airside took me under their wings for 6 months. It was here I realized the true potential of vectors and paths in Illustrator, and how InDesign can turn you into a detail-obsessed grid-crazy geek. This led me to my first full-time job at advertising and marketing agency iris. Opportunity was rife here and I delved into the world of layers and masks learning how to create and edit believable campaigns on Photoshop. My next step was working at creative agency Studio Output , throwing some serious shapes for the Ministry of Sound client, being challenged on a daily basis whilst being one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. This was also where I first learnt to use Flash to create web banners for the Club.

Since then, I decided to take all of my collective learning and experiences and make the scary leap into the freelance world, which allowed me to continue designing for exceptional agencies like Harriman Steel and Weapon 7 whilst exploring my woolly obsessions further. It was during this time that I was given the incredible opportunity to design the Comic Relief Red Noses for Red Nose Day 2013. I designed and made woolly toys and jewellery and opened my Etsy store online. I learned some HTML and CSS and created this very website from scratch. I'm currently trying my hand in 3D design by dabbling in Cinema 4D.

So that's me so far! I'll always be building on my experiences and work so if you'd like stay in the loop check back on this website (I try to update my News section as much as possible) or you can follow me on the interweb through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Flickr.

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Clients

I have been incredibly lucky to work with some fantastic clients including:

BBC Radio 4 Casio, COI (Central Office of Information), Comic Relief, Dairycrest, Food Standards Agency, ITV, KansaiScene Magazine,
Ministry of Sound, MTV, RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), Sony Ericsson, St. James’ Palace,
and Waitrose.

Follow me

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Get in touch

For work enquiries, collaborations, questions or even just to say hello, feel free to contact me at hello@naju.co.uk


  • About Naju

    Naju is the pseudonym for British Graphic Designer Shahnaz Ahmed – designer by day, lover-of-all-things-woolly by night. This site is her online portfolio. Have a look around!