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Interview with Redbridge Design Winner – Zainab Rehman

zainab and judges standing together in front of town hall holding her work

How have you been involved in Colours of Redbridge? 

I had the exciting opportunity to enter the Redbridge Design Challenge where I submitted my design proposal on what the name, branding and website design would be for the programme. I ended up winning the challenge and my work was presented as the winning entry at the King’s coronation event in Ilford. Since then I’ve been working with the team at Colours of Redbridge, continuing to develop the branding for the programme as well as being trained on how to build the website. Due to winning the challenge, I’ve had the pleasure to be an integral part of bringing the branding of the programme to life, through my designs. 

 

Talk us through the inspiration for your designs and how you went about it…

‘Colours of Redbridge’ is a way for all types of people living in Redbridge to experience Art and Culture through our programme. Hence the design had to be inclusive and representative of the borough. The name ‘Colours of Redbridge’ emerged from a thoughtful process of reflecting the diversity, spirit, and purpose of the arts and culture programme but also the area of Redbridge. Just as the community blends various hues of life, the name ‘Colours’ signifies the rich spectrum of cultures, voices, and stories that reside in Redbridge.

The importance of colours is also shown in the logo design as the colour palette is made up of colours deriving from flags of countries from where residents in Redbridge are from. The design embodies the essence of togetherness by incorporating hand-drawn elements, mirroring the unique touch each individual brings to the community but also the creative and artistic enrichment the programme will provide. Loose, hand-drawn illustrations make each drawing ambiguous enough for anyone in Redbridge to be able to relate but specific elements of each character were maintained to represent specific groups and cultures that live, work or study only in Redbridge. 

 

What have you gained by being involved in the programme? 

It’s truly been one of the most enriching experiences, not just for my professional life but also personal. Whilst working on the designs, I had the chance to be mentored by Jordan, who is also a graphic designer. He challenged me creatively, helping me push my designs further and learn new design skills but also understanding what socially led design really means. I was constantly provided with new opportunities such as networking events, design challenges as well as volunteering and job opportunities that were all specific to design. Jordan also advised and guided me through understanding the design sector and what type of role I wanted to be part of next.

As a young designer, this helped me understand that I wanted to continue being part of socially led and purpose-driven projects in the future. In addition to this, I was given constant opportunities to enhance my design skills, such as accessibility training for design and building the website for the programme. Building the website was something which I had no experience in beforehand yet I was given training by a web developer to learn how to build it, which was also part of the paid employment that the programme provided me with. I also had the amazing opportunity to be part of the 10 Years of Creative People and Places event in Parliament where I spoke about the programme and my designs to other members of the Arts Council as well as members of Parliament. 

The entire process has resulted in me understanding myself as a designer and what type of work I wanted to be part of next. It has also allowed me to add experience to my portfolio and my CV, experience that I probably wouldn’t have had the chance of getting until I was a more experienced designer further down the line. All of this has led me to new opportunities such as being employed as a designer by a purpose-driven organisation, something I have always wanted to be a part of but didn’t have the experience for.

 

What has been the best part of the process for you?

The best part of the process has been being able to work on a project which will truly make a positive impact on my local community. Having lived in Redbridge all my life, it’s a really fulfilling experience to be able to be part of something that will truly bring the community together and hopefully leave a lasting impact in the area. 

 

What do you think Colours of Redbridge will bring to local communities? 

One of the most important aspects of Colours of Redbridge is that it is for the community and by the community. This means that individuals who live, work and study in Redbridge can not only attend new, creative and cultural events specifically catered to them but also lead and organise those same events. The programme has a commitment to celebrating diverse voices and perspectives, prioritising youth as well as minority communities in Redbridge. It will create an environment where bonds between community members can flourish, promoting a stronger sense of unity and belonging. It also presents exciting opportunities for creative expression and skill development which will only help the local communities thrive even more.

The programme aims to support local businesses and individuals and the promotion of local talent which will help generate new and more opportunities for Redbridge. Colours of Redbridge have the potential to not only enhance our cultural landscape but also elevate our community spirit and identity, allowing the programme to be a catalyst for cultural enrichment. 

 

Why should people get involved in Colours of Redbridge?

Getting involved in Colours of Redbridge isn’t just an opportunity; it’s an invitation to be part of something truly transformative. By participating in this vibrant program, you can actively celebrate our community’s diversity and culture, promoting inclusivity and appreciation for the different traditions that define us. Moreover, it’s a chance to forge deeper connections within our community, building friendships and strengthening our bonds.

Whether you’re an artist eager to share your work, an audience member seeking joy and fulfilment through cultural engagement, or simply someone looking to make a positive impact, Colours of Redbridge offers personal growth opportunities for every individual, allowing you to learn new skills and explore your creative side. You will play a vibrant role in contributing to improving and making a more enriched environment for everyone who calls Redbridge home. 

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years’ time?

I would love to continue to use my skills and creativity to support local communities as well as being part of socially and purpose-driven causes. It would be amazing to look back and see the different types of groups and people that I impacted simply through design. I would also love to have expanded my own small business which is aimed at the Muslim community and for it to eventually become a way of supporting causes specific to the community. My aim is to eventually have my own non-profit organisation where I can use my skills and experience to leave a lasting, positive impact. 

 

Zainab’s Portfolio: https://www.zainabrehman.co.uk/

 

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