Ladies — I am SO excited to introduce you to the creative graphic fashion design #GIRLBOSS who has been bringing the vision for Style Collective’s branding to life. Let’s be honest: having great fashion graphic design skills is CRITICAL for successful fashion blogging! I was doing a lot of the graphics myself the first few months, but I know that I am not a fashion graphic designer. My career in product development was spent working with graphic designers who helped bring my creative mood boards to life through packaging design. I am good at crafting the vision and providing refinement/editing, but not necessarily good at creating the actual design itself. So when I was finally ready to find the perfect fashion graphic designer for SC, I was a little nervous. I am V picky and needed someone that could be up for the challenge. I looked to UpWork to see if I could find someone – and in my job posting I specifically listed North America as a preferred location.
Well thank goodness Sonja, who now lives in London, decided to take a leap of faith and send me a message anyway. Her personality and gorgeous, sophisticated designs caught my attention… so we connected via Skype. When I found out that she loves fashion and recently moved to London to pursue her dreams, I decided that she was the one. This goes to show you that sometimes guidelines and rules are meant to be broken. I am SO happy that Sonja decided to take that chance to message me. We talk daily on Skype and she is such an important part of Team SC, which is why I am really excited to introduce her to you and share her story, as well as her fashion graphic design tips. Her story is inspiring and she will make you feel like you truly can do anything you set your mind to. Get it girl bosses!
Hi, I’m Sonja, a passionate fashion graphic designer from Austria who recently moved to London. I appreciate the finer things in life. Just like no rain when my hair is on fleek. As a creative kind, I have a serious obsession with fashion and therefore I am extremely grateful to be in the lucky position of working exclusively in this industry.
How did you get started in graphic and web design?
The Austrian school system encourages us to make the decision about our career choice rather early at the age of 14. Like most people at this age, I had absolutely no clue about what I would like to be when I was a grown-up. So I decided to go for what I liked ever since I was little — drawing. I applied for one of Austria’s two design schools and got accepted right away.
During those five years of education my passion for everything design grew stronger and stronger. Fortunately, it is quite often the case that you are best at what you really love to do and that’s why I can now pursue this as a career.
What do you love most about what you do?
In design there is no »right« or »wrong«. But developing a feeling for fonts, colours and layout takes its time. When I look back at what my start as a fashion graphic designer looked like, it was not exactly a true feast for my eyes — for no one’s eyes! At the same time it is extremely fascinating to see my own progress.
I’ve done design for quite some time now — in relation to my young age at least — and my point of view has changed tremendously over the years. What might only be text with random graphic elements to some, is the most impactful way to express a brand’s voice to me. Typography gets incredibly powerful when arranged in a very specific way. On the other hand, I honestly cannot put it into words what this very specific way is.
What are your goals for this year?
This summer, I was extremely fortunate to be accepted to attend a renowned fashion college in London — the university of my dreams. But after months and months of thinking I ended up declining with a heavy heart. I have to admit that this was one of the hardest e-mails to hit the send-button on. But to me, the overwhelming tuition fees were not justifying the eduction that I would have gotten.
Today, I can say that it was the best decision that I’ve ever made. Also because I came to London anyway, however with a different aim in mind. My goal for this year was and still is to gain as much experience as I can get and to keep on working in the fashion industry. Until now, I have already gathered so much knowledge about myself and about the business. And I am still hungry for more.
What do you like to do for fun?
As far as I can remember I have been a musician. Apart from the piano I also play the saxophone and the clarinet. I especially enjoy classical music.
Apart from that I love photography, baking and exploring new things and places. You are a student your entire life after all, right? 🙂
Was it scary moving from Austria to London to follow your dreams?
Oh yes! I would be lying if I denied it. My starting point was not exactly what you would describe as safe. When I came here in early October, I was 19, had no university degree, no job and minimal work experience. I knew about my skills and what I was capable of doing. I knew that design was not about a degree. Or 30 years of experience. It was just about good design. But would others know it? How would I convince others that despite all that I AM able to deliver a great job?
The truth is others do know that at the end of the day. But they need to be convinced. So sister, use your striking blog and social media channels to your advantage!
What is your advice for other #girlbosses who are scared to do something big like that?
My story shows that sometimes it’s important to just go for it. I mean it. You can’t always predict what’s coming and I would definitely sign that I totally didn’t know what I would get out of this — let’s be honest — extremely risky London adventure. But because I’m extremely passionate about my job and I’m willing to fully commit to it, I was able to make it work.
Sometimes especially what seems unrealistic or too far out of reach is EXACTLY what you should aim for. Don’t let yourself hold you back. No one will except yourself. So go for it #girlboss because YOU are amazing and YOU can do it!
We have to ask, for bloggers is it better to use Photoshop or Lightroom for fashion graphic design editing?
Whatever you feel comfortable with. A photo editing software is only as good as the user. I personally prefer Photoshop but the reason for this is quite simple. When I was in design school I began learning photo editing using Photoshop and stuck with it. But while both Lightroom and Photoshop are quite costly, there are many good open-source options available, such as Gimp. I highly recommend checking this out. It’s a great software.
Photoshop is definitely ahead when it comes down to detailed editing since it allows you to work with layers and offers some advanced settings.
But at the bottom line, the outcome depends on the editor and not on the software. And don’t be discouraged if your photos don’t turn out the way you want them to in the beginning. Learning by doing, ladies! A LOT of practice (and Youtube tutorials hehe) make a great photo editor!
What services do you offer and how can we work with you?
If you are looking to give your brand an individual voice, I’m here to help you to develop your own Unique Selling Point and to position your brand in a relevant market. I’ve done everything from brand development to creating a visual appearance including corporate and web design for many bloggers and fashion startups. And you can be next!
For more information head over to my website http://sonjainreiter.com to get a sneak peek at my previous work and for ways to get in touch. I’m very excited to hear YOUR story and together we will bring your brand to the next level. We #girlbosses rule!