Brand identity for a new café/restaurant based in Cheltenham, selling authentic Palestinian falafels and flatbreads.

Habibah – which means sweetheart in Arabic – is a family-run business with a great love of culture and people: passionate about creating community, and serving great food. Their mission is “to share the love through our food; to create conversation and community.” They also wanted to incorporate the name Habibah written in Arabic, into the logo!

TinCat was approached to develop a logo, brand colours and a pattern to convey the essence of Palestinian cuisine and the friendly, informal food on offer.

A challenge, and a hugely enjoyable one! I immersed myself in Arabic art and pattern. It was important to come up with something that could easily be tiled and would look equally striking on a small space – like the back of a business card – as well as a much larger one, such as a wall in the café. The final design allowed for elements to be isolated or repeated depending on context, and the ‘zing’ in the colour palette reflects that in the delicious food! If you’re in Cheltenham, check it out. You won’t be disappointed

A friend — who’s worked with Ruth before and loved her work — introduced her to me saying she’s able to sift the details of the design concept to get to the design essence. I thought that’s exactly what I need. I wanted to capture in my new business’ brand and logo a marriage between England and my background culture — Arabic, Palestinian. I wanted both the logo and brand of Habibah to be true to my roots yet be contemporary, modern and relevant to UK. A challenge for any competent designer, I thought.

I gave Ruth a lot of information and references about West-meets-Arabhood designs and ideas and waited. I commissioned her to come up with a brand, a logo and a ‘tiling pattern’ (inspired by Palestinian designs) to use in the new shop.

The four options she came up with were one Oh-my-God moment after the other. My family and I were amazed at the beautiful visuals she created. In each option, Ruth managed to weave into the design a piece of calligraphy of the Arabic name of Habibah with colours relevant to the nature of the new business (falafels and flatbreads with fresh salads). The choice was hard but we narrowed it to two and then to one."

"Now that the brand is complete, I realise it truly reflects my answers to the brand questionnaire I filled at the start of the project. I am already looking forward to our next design work with Ruth.”

Sleiman Matar, Habibah founder habibahcafe.co.uk