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Collaboration + Trust = Great Outcomes

June 29, 2015

As a designer, you’re never working in a silo. Every project is a group effort from start to finish. That’s why it’s vital to form great partnerships. To do that, you have to first find the right people who will creatively bring your vision to life. But then, most importantly, trust in their expertise. When our clients put their trust in us to communicate their message, it leads to a better outcome. And that’s how we feel about the suppliers we bring onto a project, too.

This was especially important while working on Canadian Fabric, a magazine stylishly showcasing our country’s top philanthropists. Given that the project was produced largely pro bono, we were challenged to bring on talented people who would donate their time and skill set. Promising them it would be great, I set out the overall artistic direction but made clear their ideas would be integral.

For one story, Hasnain Dattu agreed to work pro bono on a portrait of Maria Toorpakai, a world-class squash player who had fled Pakistan for Canada because, as a girl, she was not allowed to play sports. I knew that I wanted to tell her story through a layering of images, but I also knew that I could count on Hasnain to help shape how to best accomplish that. The two of us went back and forth, bouncing ideas off each other to arrive at the image you see here—Maria looking boldly into her future, an image of her hometown projected onto the wall of the court where she now shines.

When people pick up Canadian Fabric, they see a beautiful magazine. They look at the photos and feel the texture of the paper. They learn about Maria’s efforts to help other girls like her. When I look at it, I see those things but I also see the new relationships I formed. I think of all the time our suppliers donated to do something great—both for a good cause and for the thrill of doing something creative. And I remember, once again, the value of great partnerships.

Photograph: Hasnain Dattu

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