Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Completed Project: Sophie Smith

Working together with a person from another part of the world is an interesting experience. Mutual respect and understanding is extremely important when we work on projects because it ensures that the process runs smoothly and the outcome is well-received and satisfied by both parties. I'd hoped to maintain a healthy relationship with everyone, and taking any collaborations with anyone new was a bold step for myself. 


Last January, I had the privilege to work with a blogger from Australia, Sophie, who originally owned Catcus Blog (some might have heard of this interesting blog). This being my first collaboration, I was pretty excited. 

Sophie had contacted me and asked to help in creating a blog header with my hand lettering for her new self-titled blog, Sophie Smith. This wonderful lifestyle blog shares beautiful photos with content like the DIY, fashion and travel videos. I must say that the highlight of her blog (for myself at least), is her photography and travel posts with videos. I have difficulties compiling the best scenes from my own travel videos because there's too many scenes to pick out, but Sophie makes these really beautiful travel video montages that summarises her entire trip. 

If you would look at Sophie's Instagram, you'll find she has a clean, bright, simple style, so we aimed to incorporate similar elements in the header. I loved the pastel orange and yellow colour palette she fancied, and made a little moodboard with my lettering and some of her favourite colours and photos from her Instagram.

yellow flower in hand / sunset / picnic / orange potted plant / (Sophie's Instagram)
picnic lettering / sun doodle / watercolour / done by myself

With a bubbly and bright lifestyle blog, the hand lettering for the header had to have an edgy, unique personal touch too. So I chose to use a brush with a drier and rougher texture and offered a simple contrasting addition to the lettering, a stroke of orange watercolour. Here's some of the headers explored during the process, where afterwards, some of them were shortlisted.


This is also my first attempt at creating an inspiration/design board, (I wouldn't call it a brand board because this is a really small project). The board below depicts a finalised version of the project, including design elements. I made the simple orange water colour splashes and strokes for design elements like her Favicon or submark to add a homely and personal feel to the whole style. I'd like to stress that I'm no professional, and I'm still learning. I do realise that it is not the best, so I'm happy to receive any blows and criticisms gladly. :)

Inspiration photos on design board from Sophie's Instagram


Sophie has amazing photography skills, and I'll definitely recommend following her on Instagram because her feed is really consistent and beautiful. :)

During the process, I also gave Sophie suggestions and ideas to the design elements of the blog that would fit with the header I created. She also gave her ideas and I honestly couldn't have completed this project without her ideas too. Sophie was really sweet and polite, and I think these factors made our collaboration a really pleasant one. :)

I must profess I didn't actually offer services like designing blog headers or graphics. In fact, I had some initial reservations on taking up this project. But when Sophie approached me, I decided working with someone new was an adventure in itself, and I love adventures. Besides, it would be a great way to get my work out there as well. I looked up if I should make a contract, think about the whole design process. Then l realised that I was just starting, and it was nothing too serious, so it wasn't necessary, although we did lay out some simple regulations on both our parts. 

I just treat hand lettering this as a hobby, something I do for leisure time, so it's completely non-profit and I enjoyed myself creating it. Sophie's enthusiasm and amiability made working with her a fruitful journey. Her openness to ideas and constructive feedback had made the collaboration end on a happy note as well, and it was such a pleasure to work with her. 

This project made me realise the importance of cooperation and keeping healthy rapport through collaborations or any other relationships for that matter. They didn't just need mutual respect, they need honest, direct communication. When both people feel comfortable expressing their needs and concerns, trust and bonds are strengthened. :)

Until next time! ♥

Design elements + lettering by me, inspiration photos  from Sophie Smith's Instagram

On another note, just to clarify, I'm not exactly back from my break yet, this is just a temporary return to showcase my completed project back in January. I will return posting regularly somewhere in April. Happy Tuesday. :)

21 comments

  1. WHATTTTTTT. THAT IS AMAZING. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It is, seriously, so stinkin' gorgeous. Fabulous job. I say that with all the love in my heart. <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Cally! That's so sweet of you to say. :) Here's a heart back at you too. <3

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  2. Thankyou for your lovely feedback Dian! I love all the design boards, they're gorgeous. x

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    1. Your welcome, Sophie! Your photos are beautiful. :)

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  3. Wow, I love the lettering and all the pictures. You've done an amazing job Dian. I'm sure Sophie's blog looks amazing after all your collaboration. I'll have to hop over there and have a look. I need to see the finished product on the blog.

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    1. Thank you, Imogen. :) Her blog link can be found in the post, hope you like how it turned out. :)

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  4. This looks incredible... you did an amazing job... I love your free hand art and I really like the final one she picked... very beautiful... adore the colors ;)

    I just worked with a lady on my blog, I won a make over and she made my header for nothing extra... she was so kind and made a few different ones for me to choose from... I was blown away that she did this extra piece for me without charging me as I a aware of all the work that goes into this... I was and am thrilled with the outcome... she really made my blog look outstanding, it has come a long way in nearly 6 years...

    You might want to think about doing something like this on the side, she has her own Etsy shop and she makes money from this... (not me because I won the blog make over) but many others and she was so in tune with what I wanted... You did a really awesome job... it turned out so great xox

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    1. Thank you so much, Launna. :) Your blog looks great and the lady who designed it is really generous. :) Thank you for the suggestion too. For now, I'm not particularly interested in making any money from this yet. I suppose I'd like to think of this as a hobby or a leisure activity, and I'd rather not associate it with money in the fear that it'll become a pursuit for profit and take away the genuineness of my interest instead. But I'll definitely think about the future plans as this progresses. :)

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  5. Amazing work as always!
    I really need to find a good adjective for your work amazing just doesn't cover it! :P

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  6. WOAH. That blew me away. You're an amazing designer, Dian. An amazing designer. I have no words to describe this design and Sophie's design, they're both stunning. <3

    - Autumn
    http://autumnreadsandwritesallday.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you, Autumn, I appreciate your kind comment. :)

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  7. It looks incredible dian! The colours and your writing are stunning! Well done x

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  8. This is 😍 the colours and the lettering are amazing! It's so sophisticated, plus I love love love the Orange :) I love how you took up the opportunity! Your work is great as always! Keep at it and looking forward to when you are back :)

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    1. Yes, I love the orange too. Thank you so much, Fatima! :)

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  9. Wow! That's amazing! There's so much creativity in the project. I love the variations of the writing and the orange looks fantastic.
    You're really talented MashaAllah. You should think about offering such services- I'm sure a lot of people would take you up on that and you could get a business started (:

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    1. Jazakilllah khairan, Kanra. :) I'm not particularly interested in starting a business of any sort yet for now, but it's definitely something to think about as this progresses. Thank you for your generous comment! :)

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  10. Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving such a sweet comment... you are the kindest. I hope everything is going well for you... have a really great week xox ♡

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    1. Your welcome, Launna. Thank you for your comment and have a great week too. :)

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