Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Verve Café, Umhlanga

Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban

Verve Café is an awesome new coffee shop that opened recently in Umhlanga, and it has instantly become my favourite place north of the river. My judgement of a coffee shop is not usually based on just coffee, but on the location, the general vibe, decor, staff friendliness, and food/cake/coffee selection. They've done a fantastic job with the decor here, the most striking and defining factor of course being the very large art piece taking up a whole wall as you enter. The whole place has a comfortable, old feeling with lovely old furniture and items of interest all over. Those couches are just magnificent.

Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
 Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban
Happiness is... Verve Café, Umhlanga, Durban

Verve is at 59 Meridian Drive in a little office park called Outlet Park (first shop on the left when you turn in). It's just down the road from Duke & Duchess, my other favourite Umhlanga spot. They're open Monday to Friday 7:30am to 4:00pm.


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Monday, 3 November 2014

The Durban Good Food & Wine Show 2014


Happiness is... Durban Good Food & Wine Show 2014
I experienced the Good Food & Wine Show for the first time this year, so thought I'd share a taste of what it was like (haha, pun totally intended). It was at first pretty overwhelming - there were so many stalls and so much to see, lots of little demo areas all over with interesting people to watch, as well as the celebrity chef theatres which were at an extra fee. I tried to take lots of pics, but unfortunately they aren't the best as it was really busy and it's pretty difficult to get good pics in such a crowd without getting all up in people's faces. But I think it gives you a good idea of the general vibe...

Happiness is... Durban Good Food & Wine Show 2014
Happiness is... Durban Good Food & Wine Show 2014 - Wicked Donuts
Happiness is... Durban Good Food & Wine Show 2014 - Bella Vita Farm
Happiness is... Durban Good Food & Wine Show 2014 - Rose's Cordials

Monday, 27 October 2014

November 2014 Free Printable Calendar

Happiness is... November 2014 Free Printable Calendar

It's that time again.. calendar time! In case you missed it, I recently designed a free desktop wallpaper pattern for Hello Pretty's #WDC2014 Desktop Wallpaper Project.  The pattern was so popular and well received that I decided to bring it across to the November calendar as well, so you can have it printed out! (Get the desktop wallpaper here if you haven't already!)

If you haven't got your November free printable calendar yet get yours now, below! (Lucky Packet subscribers get theirs first PLUS an extra freebie). And do share this post with others who might enjoy it :)

Happiness is... November 2014 Free Printable Calendar
Happiness is... free printable November calendar and planner 2014
Happiness is... free printable November calendar and planner 2014 (black and white)

I love when people share pics of their calendars in use! Share yours via twitterfacebookinstagram or pinterest using the hashtag #happinessis_calendars. 

Enjoy your calendar 
& have a wonderful November!


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Friday, 17 October 2014

Great Advice from James Victore


If you're an artist, illustrator or designer, or anyone creating your own work really, this is for you. James Victore has a fantastic video series called Burning Questions where he answers lots of commonly asked questions from the creative field. They're done in a way that's super inspiring, and gives you the conviction to stand your ground if you aren't at that point yet. Great advice for those just starting out, or thinking of starting out, or those who are in the game and need some reminders. Here are just two that I feel strongly about and could go on and on talking about myself...




"James Victore is an artist, activist, author and firestarter who teaches creatives how to illuminate their individual gifts in order to achieve personal greatness. Described as "part Darth Vader, part Yoda," James is widely known for his timely wisdom and impassioned views about design and it's place in the world."

Check out the rest here, they're really worth a watch!


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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Recent work and a look at my process: Branding for Nicola Tweed

Branding for Nicola Tweed, by fathima kathrada illustration and design

It's been such a while since I've shared some work with you on here! I've been busy with lots of awesome projects, which I'll be sharing with you over the next few weeks.

Much earlier this year I had the opportunity of working with friend and colleague, Nicola Tweed. She's a fantastic local web designer and developer, and she wanted to get some branding done to take her business to the next level along with launching a new blog and site.
Nicola contacted me about this while she was in the planning phases of this project, and she had lots of questions before we began. This is great, because it helped her plan herself for the project and work out budgeting. Once she was ready, we chatted again and she chose a branding package from my options that suited her needs, and we got going.

The first part of the process is signing a contract between us and providing an initial payment. Contracts often get a bad rap, but I believe they're vital to a good working relationship. They fill the role of putting everything down so that both sides know exactly what's expected, what's ok and what's not. Without a contract problems may arise later, not due to malicious intent, but just misunderstandings or miscommunication. They can also make sure things stay on track and move along smoothly, and they protect both sides. I keep my contract in plain English, free from jargony legalise and easily understandable, so that you can be sure there's nothing scary or uncertain in there.
Payments are usually split into two, 50% upfront and 50% on completion. However, depending on the project and budget this may get divided further if necessary.

At this point in a branding project I'll send through a questionnaire which gives me a full overview of your brand, your goals for the brand and what you'd like to see as an end result of the project. This helps me make sure I design something that serves your purpose and is in line with your goals, and that you're happy with it. I'll also ask for reference images from you so that I have a clear idea of what you envision. These are either sent through via email or shared on a Pinterest board.
Here's some of Nicola's reference that was initially sent through for her branding...

Reference Mood Board for Branding for Nicola Tweed, by fathima kathrada illustration and design

After this I'll get started on some ideas and create a few initial options. These are then sent through for you to have a look at and provide feedback: are they on the right track, which one do you like most, which one is most suited to your target customers/clients, etc. From there I'll take your feedback and work on a more specific option, and we continue with that process a few times until the design is where it needs to be. For some people a design speaks to them from the first draft stage and it ends up being a pretty quick process, while for others it takes a bit more work, but it's all part of the process.
Nicola's was a pretty quick process as we found a look she liked almost immediately. Here are some other looks that we went through...

Logo options for Nicola Tweed, by fathima kathrada illustration and design

Nicola's chosen branding package involved  a comprehensive set of elements that she can now use across anything she does in future, as should be done with good branding. This includes a colour palette, font recommendation, logo alternates, a custom pattern design and a one page brand guide as seen below. This is useful to have a general overlook of your brand elements to keep in mind, and is also great to have for when you need to take your work to anyone else to work on, i.e. printers, packaging people, web designers, etc. You'll need them to keep to your brand guidelines, so providing them with this sheet makes that easier.
Brand Guide for Nicola Tweed, by fathima kathrada illustration and design

This is what Nicola had to say when we were done:
"I don't know how or where I stumbled across Fathima & her beautiful work but I am so glad I did. It was Illustration love at first sight and I knew she'd be the perfect person to design my new logo & branding. Working with Fathima was a truly great experience and I am so pleased with my awesome new logo & branding. Fathima is an extremely creative individual and throughout the process she was truly professional and honest. Having a branding guide to work from has really helped me develop my website & business making it more professional and recognisable. Thank you, Fathima!"

Nicola has since created a lovely site for herself where she shares her work and also provides some really useful information on her blog. It's worth checking out, and if you're looking to get some web design work done, you know where to go :)

Branding Process for Nicola Tweed, by fathima kathrada illustration and design

Stay tuned for more posts like this on more projects I've worked on.


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