A Syrian refugee who fled to the UK after the war is now helping Arabic business owners create and translate signage and menus.

Mohamad Danou started Blackburn-based Tashkeel Design last year and has already secured 12 clients within the food and takeaway industry.

Mohamad arrived in England in 2013, leaving behind his home country, and decided to embark on a more creative path of graphic design.

The University of Salford graduate said: “When I moved to the UK, I decided to find something I love doing and start a career in that.

“I originally started by doing some photography courses but then found my true passion with graphic design.”

Being bilingual, Mohamad has been able to assist a large community of native Arabic speakers to advertise and promote their businesses. His portfolio of work includes restaurant menus, signage, posters and logos for various businesses.

He said: “Clients of mine were struggling to advertise and promote their businesses due to the language barriers they were facing, they found it hard to explain what exactly they needed from other designers.

“I’ve been able to help multiple businesses and it’s been a massive selling point for my business as the majority of my clients have been referred to me by word of mouth.”

Mohamad chose to name his venture Tashkeel (shaping) as the business has shaped his career since he fled from Syria. While studying at the University of Salford, Mohamad sought help from Launch@ Salford, the University of Salford’s business incubator to propel his business.

Launch was set up in 2018 with the idea of aiding students and alumni in developing their own business. As part of a six-month support programme, users get access to a plethora of support from the team, including training, guidance, office space and financial aid.

Mohamad added: “Launch has been integral in helping me understand the legal and financial element of starting a business.

“It was really helpful having mentors around you to help guide you and make the best decisions for yourself and business.”