This article features raw concept and ideas that happened before the final product is delivered. Brand BuildUp Collective, Dayn Advisory LLP and the respective creators legally holds the copyrights of their respective designs. We link the showcased artworks by linking them to the pins we put up on Pinterest. Click on the images to see the original source.

This is part of a series of post that showcases how we approach our Logo Design projects. These case study are meant to put to light why some freelance designers and agencies put a high value on their designs, and what we look out for when collaborating with other designers as well.

Dayn Advisory LLP is a Muslim-owned loan/mortgage/real estate advisory founded in Singapore.

They specialize in finding home financing that involves the least amount of interest possible. Their service is beneficial to multiple target audiences, namely home owners or home buyers who are looking for the best deals via low interest rates. For Muslims, this means a reduction of exposure to usury or riba’.

The client already having a decent portfolio of clients, despite having barely any branding or marketing done. However, they would like to further expand their outreach and create a professional branding and image for the company.

We suggested for Dayn Advisory to start with the logo first.

Design Brief From Dayn Advisory

In their design brief, the client specifically points out what they do not want. They felt that the logos for many local mortgage advisory looks too “kiddish” and unprofessional. The client overall expectations for the design is “Professional, minimal, classy, architectural, sleek, luxurious” and specifically cited Mercedes Benz “or prestigious luxury property development or architectural firms” in their brief.

Further details include a preference for a wordmark type logo. They also highlighted that the word “dayn” is Arabic for “debt” and is open to consider Arabic calligraphy as part of their logo. However, they do not wish for their non-Muslim clients to be put off by their logo.

Creating Mood Board

For design inspiration, we created a mood board via our Pinterest profile. There were three specific categories that we focused on: Modern Arabic calligraphy, wordmarks and financial logos. We found some interesting kufic-inspired Arabic calligraphy designs that go well with a prestigious financial branding.

Here are some of the things we found on Pinterest (See more here):

We did some research on kufic style and found out about the main rule of kufic style calligraphy: absolute evenness of full and empty spaces. Though we are not strictly confining ourselves to it, we recognise the need to pay homage to this rule closely. We are also happy to note that the style is absolutely not concerned with legibility: it is understood that the message is there.

Conceptualizing Ideas

The Arabic word “dayn” comprises of three different Arabic “abjad” or letters: د “Dhal”, ي “Ya” & ن “Noon”. We also know that in early Quranic text, the language is not written with the diacritics of today’s standards. Hence, we incorporate diacritics in only some parts of the design, while leaving the other forms without. We end up with three different ideas for our initial draft (Fonts used: Lato and Ubuntu):

Expanding on a Single Idea

We picked idea no. 2 and decided to expand further on it to give it a little more geometric symmetry:


    Narrowing Down

    The client chose to expand on the simplified version of the proposed logo. We were in fact surprised by the client when they asked us to expand on an idea they themselves drafted! As you can see, it incorporates some design element from the Proposed Logo and Design 3:

    Refining The Chosen Idea

    In the end we decided to go with this:

    Finalise Idea

    We refined the chosen logo further by ensuring the negative space and positive design is equal in width, just like how kufic-styled calligraphy is supposed to be. We decreased the width of “D” so that it can carry the wide “A” and narrower “N” equally. The main font was modified from Ubuntu, while the smaller text is the default Ubuntu Medium without alterations on kerning and tracking.


    I decided to add in a small element; a red dot to give tribute to the 9th century diacritic system by Abu Al Aswad during the Abbasid dynasty. This system eventually paves the way to the familiar system that allows millions of non-Arabic speaking Muslims to recite the Quran well.

    The logo is now complete!

    Armen Rizal Rahman

    Founder/Creative Director

    Armen has over a decade worth of experience in the creative industry. He is a xennial who prefers PCs over Macs and is both tech savvy and tech phobic. He hates being called the "IT Guy".