Umma Nomaan


I constantly feel the need to create. Being able to look at something and know that I made it fills me with a joy I can’t really describe.. If I’m not designing, I’m drawing, painting, baking, or covering my arms in henna. I’ve been drawing all my life, but didn’t discover graphic design as a field until junior year of high school. One course was all it took for me to fall in love. I try to seek inspiration from my surroundings; studying the way the sky changes color and how light bounces off the clouds. When I’m not creating, I’m watching shows and reading books. I’m not an animator, but I like watching the process of how certain effects are done. Especially with claymation. Henry Selick and Hayao Miyazaki are amazing, and I hope to put as much love into my work as they do theirs.


What makes you feel inspired?

The fact that we as humans have the ability to take in information and make something with it astounds me. People take in information, add in their experience, and are able to create something out of it. If you give two people the exact same prompt they will approach it from different directions. I believe that everyone should at least have the chance to create, if only to see for themselves what they make. I want to see what I can create.


What area or areas of design are you hoping to work in or specialize in?

I want to do a little bit of everything, but something always draws me back to logo design. Something about the way a graphic mark can influence the way people see you is fascinating to me. I enjoy the research process, as well as figuring out what combination of colors to use.


What is one thing that design school has taught you that you did not expect?

For the longest time I thought minimalism was the future of design. I thought my designs were too messy, but I’ve since learned that there are ways to make a design look full and beautiful without looking cluttered. It was definitely an eye opener.


Who is someone you look up to in your field? Either today or historically?

My professors and peers. Whenever I see their work during class it renews my love for graphic design. I enjoy seeing a piece evolve into its final design, as well as what did and didn’t make it. It’s inspiring to see how their minds work.


What are you reading, listening to, watching?

I’m rereading the entire Percy Jackson series, which is always fun. I’ve also recently been given a copy of Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler and I’m engrossed. I have little sticky notes and everything. As for watching, I’m trying to watch more Pakistani shows with my family like Baaghi and, more recently, the film The Legend of Maula Jatt (2022).