Monday, May 18, 2009

Gold List Monday: LEPENN DESIGNS

Happy Monday, dear readers! If you are not on Twitter by now, you should be. I have met some really talented people networking on that site and today's guest, Le'Trice Penn of LEPENN DESIGNS is one such person. I loved Le'Trice's work so much, I had to have her design something fabulous for one of my clients. The end result is gorgeous, better than I ever imagined! It's one of my favorite invitation suites to date. She had recently revamped her website and had an incredible photo shoot to showcase her work and I knew it was time to introduce her to you. Enjoy!
Please tell our readers a bit about you and your business. How did you get your start designing paper?
LEPENN DESIGNS is a custom/handcrafted invitation and stationery design studio owned by the husband and wife team, Le'Trice and Charles Penn. We design all things paper and beyond for all of life's events. We have a true passion for creating beautiful and unique products that will wow your guest and leave behind sentimental thoughts of you. Our business began in 2007 from the basic idea of wanting to start a business. We brainstormed ideas and decided that a custom invitation business would be a perfect fit as I, Le'Trice, have always had a knack for design and I always loved being on the computer creating things for family and friends.

When starting a consultation, what questions should couples ask their stationery designer?
The first thing to do before you even contact the designer would be to visit their website and peruse their design portfolio in order to make sure their style is a good match for you. Then once contact is made you could ask the designer about their production time frame, starting prices & deposits and how the overall design process will work. Stationery companies have different processes so it is very important that you do some research first in order to make sure you are a good fit with them. They are responsible for working closely with you in order to make sure your designs express your true style, so of course you need to be compatible with them!

How far in advance should couples book your services?
In order for the custom design process to go smoothly and non-rushed, couples should book with us at least 4-5 months before their wedding date. We tend to fill our production calendar months in advance so it is very important to hold your initial consultation as soon as possible so that you can be placed on the schedule to allow plenty of time to work on your designs.

What do you see as upcoming trends in paper designs?
Some of the new trends that I'm starting to see more and more is the incorporation of the exact pattern/graphic design of the couple’s wedding attire, venue or table linen into the actual design of the wedding invitation. I have done several designs where the bride has sent me an inspirational photo for me to mimic in her stationery design. It's a really cool way of expressing the couple on paper and tying all of the wedding details together. The best part is when the guests actually notice how EVERYTHING matched!

Another great trend is having custom postage designed to coordinate with your wedding invitations. Let’s face it, the latest stamp designs to come out through the post office have been awful! So the perfect solution is to create a custom stamp through by uploading your monogram design or graphics that were used in the invitation design. I have done this for my clients for no additional uploading fee, all I ask is that they give me a stamp or two for my samples ;-)

From where does your design inspiration come?
My design inspiration comes primarily from the client. I take detailed notes during the consultation so that when it is time to design I am able to create exactly what they have envisioned. I use key signals such as how they react to certain samples, colors, graphics etc. in order to figure out what their "true" style is. I have my clients send me color swatches, floral/decor ideas they're using, dress design and even cake design so that I can build their invitation suite around the exact style and feel of the wedding. Other inspiration comes from the latest stationery trends and reading a ton of event/floral design blogs that truly grab my attention to help get my "Paper Mojo" started in creating a design!


Le'Trice: LEPENN|DESIGNS said...

Hi Dawn :o) Yay, i'm so excited to see the interview go live. Thank you so much for this feature and your kind words. Very special thank you for allowing me to work with your wonderful clients!!

Dawn said...

Hi Le'Trice! You are so welcome. Your work is incredible & everyone will definitely become a huge fan, like me.

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