WHY the business?
True story. Lettering Works started out as a series of home-printed, hand-lettered greeting cards in the hands of a design and Spanish double-major who had no idea what a “pitch” was but had signed up for a student entrepreneurship competition anyway.
Over the course of a couple months in Spring 2016, I not only learned how to pitch my business idea, products, and services, but won $10,000 in startup funding from Bradley University’s Project Springboard Student Entrepreneurship Competition. I undeniably had the passion to do my own thing, but never imagined being able to jump into working for myself straight out of college. I’d say I was lucky, but my overly-crammed college resume confirms that work ethic trumps luck any day. It has been quite a journey over the past few years, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am forever grateful to all those who have supported me, especially those in the art and entrepreneurship communities in Peoria, and helped my business evolve into what it is today.
WHY the name?
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty proud of the name. I knew starting out that I’d want to grow my business in unknown ways and wanted to leave flexibility for that. Lettering itself - the art of illustrating letters - works for many applications: branding, signage, community projects, causes, marketing, weddings, products and so much more. When I started my business in 2016, lettering was not very prevalent in designs throughout Peoria. I knew that I’d have to inform potential clients on both what lettering was and how it could be applied to designs they may already need. Aside from the little play on words and huge potential for growth in different industries and markets, I also loved that the name sounded a little like “art work” too. Because my design style is heavily influenced by art, I truly feel each piece is a work of lettered art as much as it is a visual communication piece.
WHY the hand-drawn letters?
In a heavily digital age, custom lettering quickly breaks through the monotony of simple, computer-generated designs. In my work, intentional lettering is used to strategically add more meaning to a message. I’ve found that this skill I’ve been perfecting over the past nine years translates into some of the most effective designs because of its customizability. There are countless styles and iterations to be explored, making hand-drawn letters a great solution for a variety of projects and design challenges. Not to mention, it’s a lot of fun to break away from the computer to hand-illustrate design solutions.
WHY does lettering work for so many applications?
It’s custom. It’s intentional. It’s carefully crafted to meet specific goals. There are so many places it can be utilized: posters, invitations, t-shirts, logos, signage, packaging, and so much more! But I will say it’s not for everyone. That’s okay, because it’s not meant to be. Take a look around our website to see how lettering works for branding, businesses, communities, and causes.
WHY focus on advertising vs weddings/personal gifts?
This is possibly the most frequently asked question by anyone who is vaguely familiar with lettering, and with good reason. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve personally never been interested in designs for weddings and take on personal gift projects sparingly. Custom lettering takes time and is often an investment, as any good design should be. I find it is easier to justify spending money when there is potential for a financial return on investment, not just an emotional one. Advertising provides a key element of strategy and unique challenges that increase potential for a promising financial return or strong community impact. Don’t get me wrong, I love lettering in weddings, I just strive to have a different type of impact with my own work.
Think lettering might be a good fit for your next project? Get in touch!
All photos by Violet + Ivy Photography.