During her freshman year at university, Zeina read an interview that fueled an entrepreneurial dream that she was so persistent to undertake as soon as she is ready after graduation. The interview was with a very successful entrepreneur, called Massimo Vignelli, who became co-founder and design director of Unimark International in 1965 and in 1971. Vignelli and his wife then started Vignelli Associates in New York. The one quote that Zeina considers her major motivator is “One should be able to design anything from a spoon to a city”, a statement attributed to architect Adolf Loos. “It’s not what we design, but how we design that’s important”. The interviewer asks: “So, you are not comfortable with specialization?” and he answers, “The versatility of our work is great because of the cross-pollination of one thing to another.
“I happen, as you can imagine, not to like specialization, because it brings entropy; you keep doing one thing over and over because you have to do it and not because you are motivated. We specialize in graphic design and packaging, we specialize in interior design, we specialize in fashion design, we specialize in product design, and we do them with joy and flare and seriousness.” Zeina says.
The unique partnership between Barhoum Design and CCI has driven them to say with confidence “A prospective client may come in because he thinks he may need a logo, but by the time he goes away, it’s a miracle if hasn’t bought one of our suits.” Massimo Vignelli.