What do you think of the new look and feel of my blog ?

Soooo… Today if you are reading this post on my blog, you can’t miss seeing the change of look and feel to it. If you are reading this by email or in your RSS reader, I really encourage you to go and check my new graphics and let me know what you think in the comments section.

I want to give you a bit of background on what happened.

When I decided to start this blog, I immediately knew that I wanted it to reflect my personality. What is the point of blogging if my readers can’t get a glimpse of who I am, beyond my knowledge in Compensation & Benefits ?


Hajar Al Nuaimi and H.E. Hoda Kanoo at the ceremony

Hajar Al Nuaimi and H.E Hoda Kanoo at the ceremony

I was also keen on promoting local talent. That’s how I decided to work with graphic designer Hajar Al Nuaimi a young emirati woman who recently graduated from Higher Colleges of Technolgy in Abu Dhabi. Hajar is very talented and received the Desert Rose Creativity Award in 2010, which was handed to her by H.E Mrs. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival.

Hajar did a superb job for me. I love her design !

When we met to set the requirements and my expectations, I said to her :

“I want my blog to have a feminine feel, but not a sugar-coated one. I am modern and urban. I am not a traditional Compensation & Benefits person mostly focused on the technical aspects of the job. I love to communicate, I am often described as “bubbly”, “colourful” and “positive”.

My blog will cover some regional posts or explanations mostly focused on the GCC, and I want that reflected in the look and feel you will create for me.

I need a professional-looking blog, not amateur or hobby-style. Yet at the same time, I absolutely want to differentiate from the large consulting and C&B organisations.

So here are my ideas : None of the boring dark blues that you find on most consultants websites. Think green and pink highlight, but not baby pink – fuschia, and not tender green – acid green. Contemporary, urban and feminine. And some ideas for inspiration could be to look at motives of Mashrabiya or tiles used in mosques and islamic art. I definitely like the current font used by the Abu Dhabi tourism authorities to promote the city so if you can find something similar for my site it will be great.”

Hajar listened to me, asked me some further questions, took pictures of me and my environment to capture my personality and maybe use in the design. She showed me some of her previous work to get an idea of what I liked and didn’t like. She has done some amazing things, including a video promoting safety at work for Etisalat,  a mixed media campaign to stop the spreading of gossip at her university which combined food, awareness, active participation from the audience and outdoor displays, some flyers and posters etc…

After a few days she came back to me with her idea. I was thrilled ! 

  • She adapted a font for my blog header which is a good mix of western writing with an arabic feel to it.
  • Her use of my picture is modern yet has a subtle hint of the female discretion of the local ladies, in that you cannot see my face.
  • And instead of mashrabiya and tile arts, she created a henna design for me, as the basis of the background for the blog. What a great idea ! Feminine, and locally-influenced.
  • And then she used the colours I suggested without them being overwhelming or aggressive.

I believe these graphics represent who I am, include a modern take on the region which has been influencing my life so much in the past few years, and set me apart as a personal  brand.

I am delighted that I gave a chance to Hajar. I am proud that an Emirati lady has contributed so visibly to the launch of my professional image on this blog.  And this is my way to participate to emiratisation and the promotion of local talent :-).

If you want to reach Hajar, please contact her at ha.alnuaimi [at] gmail.com or call her at +971 503 244 074.

And please share your feedback, comments and ideas in the comments below. Let me know what you think of the look and feel of my blog now. Were the goals I wanted to reach achieved ? If you know me, do you think this new look reflects who I am ?


Related posts :

Interested to understand why I decided to launch this blog ?

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  1. Nice blog Sandrine!!


  2. Hello there …

    I’m a friend of hajar and I just wanted to tell you that you made the right choice by working with her. I know she is very talented and creative, and when she works, you will feel her spirit in her work and that’s what make her special.
    By reading what you wrote, I got the sense of who you are, what you like, and I think Hajar did a great job by matching what you want in a professional and attractive way.
    I liked the colors; they are vital and refreshing, the idea of mixing western writing with the Arabic is just brilliant!
    I wish her all the success because she deserves it!

    Good Luck!

    • Reeham, you are a true friend to Hajar and I will let her know to check on your nice comments about her work. She deserves it 🙂

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