Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sweetface Spotlight: Little Bird Creative

This week we're featuring another amazing, innovative company based out of Alexandria VA - Little Bird Creative. I met with Carina in her beautiful home studio to discuss starting her own business, the different types of printing techniques, and what her upcoming plans for Little Bird Creative are in the New Year. I also had the privilege of seeing several of her beautiful designs, and I can't wait to share some pictures with you!

Carina Herman, the designer behind Little Bird Creative

The Beginning. The name Little Bird Creative is not only catchy and fun, but also has a story behind it. The phrase, "A little bird told me" is a phrase Carina's dad often used when she was growing up. She thought it was a perfect fit for the wedding industry as well. Each communication the bride has with the guests- through the save the date, invitation, and wedding website, for example- gives a little more of a peek into the style and aesthetic of the actual wedding day. 

Carina launched Little Bird Creative five years ago, while she was a designer for Paper Source. When the company stopped doing custom invitations, Carina knew she wouldn't be fully fulfilled unless she started her own custom design business. Her passion for custom work is evident, and she spoke of loving creating something that matched the spirit of the couple she is working with. She loves incorporating patterns and variety into her designs, which is something that is made much easier by today's wedding culture. Twenty years ago, there was a set formula so that every wedding- red roses and all- looked very similar. Now, weddings come in all sorts of styles, themes, and colors, and that's something Little Bird Creative (and Sweetface!) is very excited about.

The Designs. Carina described her typical client as looking for something traditional with a twist. She has the ability to capture the personality of the bride and groom and unite their styles in a design - for example, coupling a groom's traditional style in the format of an invitation with the bride's bubbly personality through a pink geometric border.  

Another lovely aspect of Little Bird Creative's designs is the incorporation of a variety of printing styles, from flat to letterpress to foil. Carina was gracious enough to explain the different types to me and share examples of these three styles of printing. For all you readers out there who are novices like me when it comes to this, here's a quick guide! 

  • Flat: this is the standard printing style, which is similar to the laser printing of a home printer but of higher quality. Flat printing pairs well with special, textured paper. The color is a result of ink mixed together on top of each other to create the final hue. 

  • Letterpress: this style of printing is only capable on a letterpress printing machine, which is rare and no longer produced. Each ink color is laid down separately, so the paper goes through the press once for each color. The text and design that was "pressed" is indented slightly into the paper. 

  • Foil: Similar to letterpress printing in that the paper goes through the machine once for each layer of foil. Usually printed with metallic foil, this type is often mixed with flat printing. 

The Future. Perhaps most exciting is what the future holds for Little Bird Creative in 2015. In the New Year, Carina will be launching a Save the Date line in her online shop. While she has previously done all custom work, this will be an opportunity for brides to see pre-made designs to choose from or use as a jumping off point for customization when they are still in the early stages of planning. 

Make sure to be on the lookout for the launch of this line by following Little Bird Creative on Instagram (@littlebirdcreative) and Twitter (@lbcdesign)! 

Tips for Brides from Little Bird Creative:
  • Start working with your stationery suite designer at least 6-8 months before mailing. This way you can maximize your personalization and custom options. 
  • Pull together a well curated inspiration board-think color swatches, themed elements and photos of your venue. It will be a great guide for you throughout the wedding planning process.
  • Hand address your envelopes. You can work with a calligrapher or split this up between family members and the bridal party, as guests aren’t going to compare the envelopes. Hand addressed invitations add a personalized touch that printed envelopes are missing.

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