Tuesday 25 August 2015

I have a co designer!

Halls Sweet Halls art print set - £5 - out 27/08/2015

A lot of you probably don't know this yet, but as of July, I got myself a co designer! It's about bloody time I had some help around here, right? Charlotte (Twitter, Instagram) officially joined the Sighh team (I use the term "team" loosely as for the past 2 years, the members were a lonesome me, myself and I) in July. You may recognise her as the person I collaborated with to produce the Cacti phone case.

This post might be a long'n but it is one hell of a milestone for the business and me personally. I want to record this both for me to look back on and, for those who are interested, to know more about what's happening behind the scenes.


Making the decision to allow someone into your design process is VERY HARD, let me tell you. Well it was for me anyway. I'd never designed as part of a team before and honestly I'm not much of a team player. I find it very hard to trust people. This REALLY holds me back in business and in life - but lets save that therapy session for another time! Luckily, Charlotte, the ray of sunshine that she is, has made the process so much easier. thank u charlotte

Fears about working with someone:
-Giving critique. I still take critique personally, but on our uni course they have group crits all the time, so Charlotte is well used to it and takes feedback on board!
-Admin would put them off. Charlotte regularly expresses wanting to help me with the post & packaging. This is a good sign.
-Their style would be too different. I'm so pleasantly surprised by how quickly she's adapted to my way of working and I'm sure our joint effort will develop into something much better as time goes on.

Fears about not working with someone:
-Combusting at uni and having to close the shop for good.
-Never fulfilling my ambition to make Sighh a studio full of young, ambitious designers.
-Never learning how to work closely with another designer.

Mini Interview

So, to introduce you to this Charlotte person I've asked her a few questions which you can read below. Disclaimer: I'm aware about the possibility of extreme bias, she wants to keep her job and all :) lol :)

Introduce yourself to the peoeples.

Hello! My name is Charlotte, I'm 19 and a student studying graphic design at LCA! (Really boring intro, sorry)

Now, I've completely forgotten how we decided to work together. I know I came to you about the cacti drawing you posted on Instagram, but how did it move from a collab to you joining Sighh?

I remember we started talking on twitter because you tweeted something about going to LCA and I was like HI :) I showed you around when you came up, and we had a fun time eating in Giraffe where I had to have pasta filled with beans :-(
After the collab, you mentioned you needed someone to help you if/when you moved to uni and I thought that it would be a great opportunity for me, even if it was just packing and emails! It was the perfect situation because we'd both be doing the same course, at the same uni, and both had a passion for design! I think everything just fell into place after that!

Have you been surprised by anything in particular, now you've seen what goes on behind the scenes?

I think the main thing that's shocked me is the amount of work there actually is! Most people probably assume that you just get an order and post it out, but that's not the case at all. Obviously I'm limited as to what I can do right now, working from home, but I am eager to get stuck in when we move to Leeds! 
Also, searching for the right supplier and making sure all of the samples are correct is something that I wasn't really expecting (probably because Polly is such a perfectionist) and it does cause some problems/delays which you never really hear about otherwise.

What's the worst/most annoying part of the job? (It's okay, I probably feel it too)

Right now, I'd say not being able to help you out! Working through a computer has given me this amazing opportunity BUT I can't wait to start working together properly, I feel a bit out of the loop 300 miles away!

Good answer. Take 10 points. Do you think working for Sighh will help your career/design ability? How?

Oh definitely! It's already taught me so much, especially with working with another person - which is essential experience for design! It will also help me build confidence with talking to proper business people, and hopefully give myself some exposure as an actual designer!

What do you think you add to the business?

This seems like the interview question I never had :) 
Since I've already done my first year, I feel like I'm quite experienced within design already. We're both on the same wavelength, and its great to work together with someone who has a similar knowledge! We can also bounce ideas off each other, which is super helpful and exciting when something great comes along! I'm familiar with all of the same software, and we both have a passion for design, which I think is the main thing.

What's been your favourite project so far?

I'd probably say the university prints! It was the first project that I started from scratch, and had a lot of input in. I'm so excited for them to be released! (My student house definitely needs the bin one).

What's your favourite product?

Its super popular already, but I think the cross stitch design! It's so timeless and matches with everything. Other than that, OBVIOUSLY I have to pick my lil cacti case because that's my baby!

Do you like working for Sighh? :) PS this is not an appropriate time to hand in your notice :)

OF COURSE! It's the best job I've ever had, everything is so flexible and relaxed (most of the time), and its in my desired field so its perfect! Working with Polly is great, I'm so excited to be spending more time together in the coming year.

To Conclude

This doesn't mean I'm done, that I can't be bothered any more. It means I'm finally mature enough to realise someone can only go so far on their own. I'm excited for Sighh to grow further, produce new products, work from a studio, do everything twice as fast as before. All the best design studios are made up of multiple people, and if all goes well, maybe Sighh will evolve into one...


Halls Sweet Halls - Making

I decided to preview the Halls Sweet Halls print set in this post because, as she mentioned above, it's the first project which Charlotte had a great deal of input.

I wanted to create passive aggressive prints for uni students, and halls seemed like a good place to start. Given a description of my vision for the set, one and a half quotes and some pointers, she designed these from scratch while I worked on the new tote bag (WOO EXCITING TEASER). Over the week she sent me screen shots of her progression and I gave feedback here and there.

The first row: some of Charlotte's first draft. After more feedback, she produced her final draft - the second row. As you'll notice she experimented with a range of colour schemes, and one of them was perfect. I think it's mature, as unisex as Sighh gets and easy to integrate into a colour schemed room.

It was then my task to take her layouts and make them ABSOLUTELY CENTRED AND COLOUR CO-ORDINATED to achieve the final set, pictured above.

So, what do you think of the prints? Of me EMPLOYING a real human? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet me! @pollyvdsz @SighhDesigns. Ideally more students will join in the future, but we shall see!

Polly xo



  1. This is such amazing news! I've watched you and your Sighh business grow from when you were @poldemort on instagram (I loved that name!!), so it's amazing to see you employing someone!! Enjoy uni! XX

    1. PS- I think you should add a new 'shop' tab at the top of your blog which takes you straight to your sighh shop! xx

    2. Thank you very much for sticking around! :) And yes I definitely do... must muster up the effort...


  2. Congratulations to both of you! I can't wait to see what's in store for Sighh Designs!

    Sara - She Who Is Short

  3. Ohh I love these so much! Gorgeous designs and I can really picture having them in my flat aha! It's nice to see behind-the-scenes pictures like the sketches and notes, keep up the good work! x

    Summer, The Twins Wardrobe

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  5. So is Abbi no longer your assistant? Loving the new designs anyway :) Also interesting to see a bit more of the design process! x


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