Hand lettering seems to be having a moment in the spotlight (long live hand lettering) and at the heart of it is LH Design. Lola Hoad's hand lettered designs have an honest and whimsical quality, which you all seem to love as much as I do.
As well as being talented, Lola is also an advocate of shopping small. She was incredibly supportive of The Treasured in the lead up to its launch and has since gone to run the collective 'One Girl Band', a place for creative entrepreneurs to support one another.
I thought it was about time I got to know how LH Design started, and get some small business tips along the way. Fancy joining us for a cuppa in Lola's studio? Pop the kettle on. We'll be here when you get back...
How was LH Design born?
LH Design was born out of me being made redundant from a graphic design job back in 2014. During the soul-destroying job search, and the countless no’s (and most of the time, no response at all), I decided going back to a ‘normal’ workplace wasn’t for me. I had always made silly cards for friends and family and something just clicked one day that maybe I could sell them.
Hand lettering has become really popular. Why do you think that is and how did you get into it?
It certainly is having a huge moment. I think it’s because it’s a different sort of expression, it’s little bit more personal than normal typography as it’s made with your own hands and fingers, you can never re-create or mimic an exact piece of lettering because it won’t have the same nuances and little imperfections the artist created.
I got into hand lettering when I was younger. I couldn’t draw very well but I would always find myself sitting at my little desk wanting to create, something, anything with a pen or pencil. I would actually get frustrated that I couldn’t express through that medium, until I started writing out song lyrics (oh, my emo heart) and eventually created lettering out of them. Then, it grew to me writing my own phrases, and expressing myself through those words.
What inspires your designs?
Everyday life. Whatever is going on in the world, either mine or the larger sense, that day.
Which of your products is your favourite?
My favourite print is ‘be so good they can’t ignore you’, and my favourite card is ‘I’m so happy you were born’. They’re from my very first collection and could probably do with updating but there’s just something I love about them.
How do you make sure that your studio is an inspiring place to work?
I’m not good at functioning in messy places, so it has to be clean and tidy before I sit down to start work for the day. I have bits of colour in places, but I like to be fairly minimal (shock horror!) so there does tend to be a neutral palette, with the added colours of client’s branding moodboards. I also like to be surrounded by plants and succulents so they’re always dotted around. Music is always on, namely BBC 6 Music or a playlist I’ll be working on.
What do you love most about running your own creative business?
That feeling when someone goes out of their way to buy one of your products, or is excited about working with you. Nothing can ever beat that.
What’s the most challenging thing about it?
I think the uncertainty of it all scares me sometimes. You never know what can happen, so you just have to remain positive and visualise what you want out of running your own business.
Are there any other creative businesses that you look up to?
So many! When you’re surrounded by creative businesses via social media or friendship circles, it’s hard not to look up to anyone. Clara Ivy, The Bright Company, Southwood Stores, Joy Design, Daisy Leaf, Cheryl Rawlings, Oh My Clumsy Heart, Holly Booth Photography, the list could go on. Roxy from Studio NL also has a special place in my heart.
What’s next for LH Design?
I’m currently working on our A/W 2016 collection, which will hopefully be out in September, with lots more variation of products. I’m also really enjoying the journey into small business coaching and branding design, I’m having a lot of fun with that and hoping to grow it even more.
If you could give aspiring creatives one top tip, what would it be?
Just be brave, and get started. It’s the one thing you can do! Forget about perfection and focus on making progress.
Other than your own designs, which product on The Treasured is your favourite?
My favourite product is the Zig Zag Ruler! I'm a massive geek for beautiful stationery.