Shahnaz Ahmed

Shahnaz Ahmed

Creative Strategist at Facebook & Instagram
Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom

About me

Hello! I’m Shahnaz and I'm an award-winning creative and maker with 11+ years in the creative industry.

I’m currently Creative Strategist at Facebook & Instagram.

Over the past 11 years I’ve been creative and design lead for agencies including Livity, Studio Output, iris, HarrimanSteel working for clients like Facebook, Google / Youtube, Dyson, Comic Relief, Ministry of Sound, Girlguiding, Food Standards Agency. (RANDOM FACT: I designed the Food Hygiene Rating stickers you see everywhere ;)

During my maternity leave two years ago, I founded Knit Aid – a global social movement that empowers refugees through the craft of knitting, and uses creativity to bring communities together –

I've been recognised as –
> Shortlisted for The Drum's Creative Women of the Year 2017 award in partnership with Creative Equals and Facebook.
> One of 15 high-potential senior creative women globally for Cannes Lions See It Be It 2017 programme
> Creative Equal's and Campaign's Future Leader’s award ‘Women to Watch’
> D&AD New Blood judge for the White Pencil category, awarded to outstanding work that uses the power of creativity to do good in the world.

Being one of few women, and often only ethnic minority woman, in creative teams throughout my career, I’m on a mission to increase equality and diversity in creative roles.

I’m a regular speaker at industry events and work to attain and retain minority talent within the creative industry through talks, panels and mentoring.

I’ve spoken at Cannes Lions in London, Eurobest, Creative Social, Glug, She Says, and General Assembly, and mentor BAME talent to enter and remain in the industry.


Creative Strategist
United Kingdom
May 2018 - Present (3 years 2 months)
Founder and Co-Director
Knit Aid
United Kingdom
August 2015 - Present (5 years 11 months)
Knit Aid is a global social movement that empowers refugees and brings communities together through knitting.

To date, we've collected and sent over 12,000 much-needed knitted warm donations from knitters globally to refugees living in camps all across Europe and the Middle East.

We run knitting workshops for resettled refugees in the UK to help with social integration and battling isolation and depression.

We also send knitting kits directly into camps to help with mental wellbeing as well as empowering displaced people to earn their own income.

I am the founder and director of Knit Aid, and lead a small group of volunteers both in the UK and our newly opened Knit Aid USA branch in New York. | |
Senior Designer & Creative
Brixton, United Kingdom
June 2014 - May 2018 (3 years 11 months)
Senior Designer and Creative at Livity, a youth-led creative network which helps brands earn a place in youth culture. Creative lead and development on a variety of projects for clients including Google / YouTube, Facebook, Girlguiding, Dyson, Cancer Research UK, Victim Support and NSPCC.
Senior Graphic Designer
August 2011 - June 2014 (2 years 10 months)
Freelance Graphic Designer
Amsterdam, Netherlands
March 2012 - August 2012 (5 months)
Freelance Graphic Designer
Comic Relief
September 2011 - January 2012 (4 months)
I was the solo designer and creative director for the Red Noses – Red Nose Day 2013. The first noses with feet! Being the first noses that could stand up on their own, it allowed children to use them as toy characters in addition to wearing them on their noses, contributing towards raising a record-breaking £100 million for Comic Relief.
Graphic Designer
Studio Output
October 2010 - August 2011 (10 months)
Creative and Design Lead:Ministry of Sound Club artwork for all of their weekly and quarterly events, both print and digital.
Junior > MidWeight Graphic Designer
London, United Kingdom
August 2008 - October 2010 (2 years 2 months)
Creative and Designer:Food Hygiene Rating scheme for Food Standards Agency, sexual health campaigns for Central Office of Information, print and digital advertising for Sony Ericsson and packaging for Waitrose.
Intern and Freelance
London, United Kingdom
January 2008 - June 2008 (5 months)
Concepts , design and layout for Airside by Airside book, celebrating their 10 year anniversary.
London, United Kingdom
October 2007 - December 2007 (2 months)


BA Graphic Design

2004 - 2007 (3 years)

Foundation Art & Design

2003 - 2004 (1 year)

GCSE and A-Level

1997 - 2003 (6 years)

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