Sometimes I get asked ‘Why the name Azar Design? Is your name Azar?’
No, my name isn’t Azar but when I began art school in 1996, I already knew that I wanted to start a design company and I wanted to call it Azar. Why? Because of my incredibly inspirational uncle, who passed away in 1992.
His active mind was always blurting out ideas, creating products and thinking in a beautifully original way. As a child, I would listen to him, enraptured for hours, come up with original and often brilliant ideas, although I’m still not sure what he was getting at with his sphere backpack!
I spent an incredible summer with him a few years before he died. We spent months, just the two of us, painting, cooking, going to art galleries and museums and making trips to San Francisco. It felt as if he was trying to pass his creativity onto me. He sad, “I see much of myself in you.” For me, that was a huge honor, something to treasure.
Sorting through his belongings after his passing I came across stationery and a letterpress stamp using the word Azar. I asked my grandmother where they had come from, and she told me that Azar was the name of the company my uncle wanted to start. The word means, fire. I loved the word and what it ignited in me. Azar stuck and, no matter how difficult it would be, I wanted his legacy to live on, to burn brightly.
Fueled by the fire of Azar, I traveled to New York for Art School and then to San Francisco, where I founded and ran Azar Design – a graphic design studio. And now Azar has brought me to Edinburgh, a city that needs some brightness. Finally my uncle’s fire has become my own.