Halah El-Kholy


Halah is a graphic designer and one half of Salt & Sister Studio. Making dynamic, unique brands with that extra pizazz is her thing. In her personal practice, Halah is evolving her illustration work which is often inspired by nature and curvy bodies.

Sylvia Pankhurst bu Halah El-Kholy

Artists Spotlight

How would you describe what you do?

I’m a Manchester-based designer and illustrator and one half of Salt and Sister Studio. I also have a long running/gestating illustration project going all about celebrating wonky boobs — because yay boobs and yay women —  where I get to experiment with pattern, colour and line.

How does print feature in your work?

In previous jobs I’ve worked a lot with packaging design. Print is my absolute fave — there’s just nothing like a rough textured paper or a blindingly bright riso.

How does print feature in your work?

I’m most interested in designing books and printed matter, and generally speaking, printmaking and other messy mark making techniques often find their way into most projects I’m working on. Both Chris (Textbook) and I tend to collect and document unusual textures we find when we are out and about or find unusual ways to create new marks. I like to test new textures by asking if anyone at the studio can guess what they are, or how I have made them.

How and where do you find inspiration?

I’m very much into drawing from life and patterns. Fashion plays a surprisingly big part; when I’m stuck, my favourite thing to do is trawl online shops for unusual model postures and interesting faces. It’s great for character inspiration.

The other thing is a bit cliché, but it really works for me! Stepping away and reading an interesting article or drooling over some food photography or doing basically anything unrelated to a project helps me refocus.

We’d like to ask you to recommend a ‘woman in print’ to us…

Annie Atkins is one of my heroes. She makes graphic objects for film and it’s just the most interesting job of all time. It’s great to see all the tiny details go into the most innocuous film props, but she’s also designed some truly iconic objects — the beautiful Mendel’s box from Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel, anyone?

For a more local lady, the amazing Rebecca Coughlan makes a whole host of quirky nostalgic bits adorned with 80s film icons, villains and the occasional random side character. My favourite is the old-school File-O-Fax zine.