It’s been too long since our latest vendor spotlight and I’m honored to introduce you to Melanie of Little Orange Studio, a small graphic design studio located in Baltimore, Maryland. Little Orange Studio specializes in crafting meaningful brands and websites that stand out and attract your dream clients and customers.
Being extremely detail oriented, anything Melanie is tasked with designing, whether it be a new logo, a website, a printed piece or environmental graphics, is purposeful, strategic and extremely attractive and elegant in its simplicity. Mel is a joy to be around and a fellow dog lover (like me!) - she even named Little Orange Studio after Murphy, her golden retriever… read more about that here!
For Little Orange Studio’s visual imagery, I suggested Ceremony Coffee in Harbor East since it has a clean, crisp and contemporary design with tons of natural light and warm materials - the perfect compliment to the design work that Melanie does!
What led you to pursue a career in graphic design?
For as long as I can remember I've loved all things creative and expressive. There is something about crafting and creating something with your own hands that sparks joy. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents growing up, and crafts were our thing. It wasn't until high school when I joined the Yearbook committee, that it clicked for me that I could take my love for crafting to another level. This is when I was first introduced to layout design and fell in love. Looking back, my love for typography and layout design is no surprise. Years prior, I spent days cutting out letterforms and imagery from a stack of magazines and glued them to my bedroom walls to create the most perfectly imperfect collage. It was my real life, hand-collected Pinterest board. Freshman year of college, it was a no brainer to declare my major and pursue a career in Graphic Design.
What is your favorite aspect about working with entrepreneurs / business owners?
I love working with entrepreneurs because of their energy and passion for what they do. I start every project by diving in and learning more about their story, values, and goals. The excitement and drive my clients bring to a project is contagious. I feel grateful that I get to work and collaborate with them to create a brand that reflects their hard work and success.
What is one piece of advice you'd share with business owners to keep in mind during the design process?
My advice for anyone during the design process is to fully embrace the process itself. It is easy to compare your business to someone else's or to fall in love with a design you saw on Pinterest. It is important to embrace the process by allowing yourself to explore new ideas to find YOUR unique voice that stands out among the competition.
What design trends are you excited to see emerging in 2019? Any you'd like to see go away?
I am currently obsessed with clean lines and sophisticated details in sub marks and iconography.
Where do you find inspiration?
I've found that inspiration can come in the smallest of forms at ANY time throughout the design process! Some of my best ideas came at a time when I least expected. I am also a strong believer in stepping away from the screen when feeling stuck— I take a walk outside with my dogs, go for a run, or turn to more tangible inspiration. I have a wooden crate in my office full of great design finds that I've collected over the years and throughout my travels. A recent example is a coffee cup sleeve from a local shop in Charleston that has stunning hand illustrated typography. Every so often I find myself sitting on the floor picking through the crate and it never disappoints.
Favorite recent read or must-listen-to podcast?
I recently read the "Life changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. She wasn't kidding! I needed this read, especially as someone who works from a home office most days. I highly recommend!
Any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations that we should be on the look out for?
I am very excited about a new project working with a local craft juicery. They are wonderful to work with and I am so drawn to and inspired by their mission. We are creating an identity system that represents their story, where they are now, and one that can grow with them as they continue to expand their offerings and locations. Stay tuned!
Thanks again for having Urban Row Photography capture the essence and look of your brand, Mel! I can’t wait for future collaborations together and cheering on your incredible studio, which is already making big waves in the design world!
As the year draws to a close, the weather gets colder and daylight hours get shorter; my schedule of engagement sessions and weddings has become a bit less frequent until early next year… what does that mean for you? Right now is the perfect time to update your professional portraits to improve the branding imagery you share on your website and social media! I love working with small businesses and entrepreneurs who share a love of good design and sophisticated imagery.
Contact me with the look you’re going for and some thoughts on what type of location might be best to communicate what your brand is all about and we’ll go from there! Coffee shop? Urban park? Whatever makes you happy and communicates the vision and mission of your business is what we should capture… with as much natural light as possible! Formal studio lighting isn’t my kind of look. Yoga studio? Art museum? The possibilities are truly endless. :)