Hi! My name is Hira, and I’ve been at FYP for a little over a year. I went to Marquette University and majored in English writing and psychology. After which I worked for a small, grassroots NGO for four years, focusing on adult education in underprivileged communities on the north side of Chicago. I found out about FYP after attending Chicago Portfolio School for Graphic Design. I switched careers paths in my twenties to follow a desire to be more creative in my daily life. My grandfather was a voracious reader, and my mother was a fine artist, so branding and figuring out what people are about and creating beautiful things for them is really an intersection born from these two influential figures in my life.
How would you describe your design style?
My history and my culture dictate my design style. I was born in Pakistan, but raised in Chicago. My travels often inspire my aesthetic and generate an appreciation for different art forms like Japanese marbling, or block printing in India. My favorite place to travel thus far has been Cambodia. Not only because of the incredible history and architecture, but the resilience and hospitality of the people that I met there. Here is a picture of me trying to look cute while hiking in 120-degree weather around Angor Wat, and some artistic touches found around Siam Reap.
What’s your favorite FYP product?
Currently, I am loving a lot of typography, especially hand lettering, and am trying to force myself to take time out to learn to do it myself! It’s something I love seeing on invitations. Because of this new interest, I really enjoy the hand created, more casual script fonts on our site right now. Some examples of this are Isabella Script, Fashionista and Flirt. On the other hand, pairing a straightforward, more traditional font with a pretty, light design creates a similar effect (see Mrs. Eaves Petite or Goudy Bold) that is still whimsical and friendly. You can see this combination above on one of my favorite products on the site, personalized coasters you can write on and send home with the newlyweds as a keepsake. Hand-lettered envelopes I did for a bridal shower are to the right and these custom coasters on the left and others can be found on our site.
A different twist on a floral design is seen here on invitations I designed earlier this year with shiny rose gold foil. The words are simple and clean-balancing the more elaborate, fun pattern that makes the page pop. We created coordinating napkins, guest towels and matchbooks as well!
Describe your perfect Saturday.
Earlier this year I used a very similar font combo as the one above for a Mother’s Day high tea we hosted. We were very fancy, and enjoyed the perfect (and extremely rare) Chicago spring afternoon outdoors. This is how I prefer to spend my weekends – outdoors, surrounded by close family and friends. The ladies loved the light coral napkins with satin gold foil, and took some home as a keepsake. While I love exploring the city and eating out (My current favorite sushi place is Yuzu in West Town) I often think I’m more of a homebody and would rather sit on the deck with some iced tea or watch Netflix in my pajamas with my cat, Otis (you will see his handsome mug below).
If you were a dog, what breed would you be?
To wrap it up – something fun about me: recently my house became a zoo! Though I’m more of a cat person (go ahead, hurl the insults, I’ll wait), I love love love puppies, and just adopted a fur ball from a local shelter this Fall. Her name is Penny and we are the best of gal pals. I probably like her so much because she reminds me of myself: easily distracted, great with people, and super clever. It doesn’t count as bragging when you’re comparing yourself to a dog, right?
Otis in the bathroom, and Penny in the snow—respectively their favorite places.