How often do you pick up a paper product and know whose foot pushed against the the letterpress pedal, or whose hands grasped the ink roller? Probably not often, if ever. Well, you’re about to meet Laura of Bears Eat Berries, and that’s about to change. Bears Eat Berries is Laura’s 2-year-old company that offers everything from custom wedding invitations to limited edition prints and postcards — all designed and hand-crafted by Laura herself. We not only think that’s pretty incredible, but we adore Laura and her quirky-cute products. We adore them so much that we asked Laura to design and press custom post cards for our Best Friends For Frosting Re-Launch party, and all attendees loved them! Read on to find out more about Laura, her design style and inspiration, and the future of Bears Eat Berries.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
I’m Laura, owner/designer of Bears Eat Berries. I started Bears Eat Berries about a year a half ago and focus mainly on designing/illustrating paper goods and printing letterpress ephemera.
I am passionate about the tangible product… from the idea in my head to a packaged product ready to send all over the world. My design atheistic often articulates animals, simple graphics and patterns, and nature-inspired imagery.
My husband and I just moved to the Southwest from the East Coast about a year ago with our pup, Bandit. Though it was a challenge to relocate my business (and a half ton printing press), I’ve fallen in love with the beauty of our new surroundings; exploring the Southwest has definitely influenced my designs.
How does letterpress work?
All letterpress work that I do is done on my 100-year-old printing press that I operate by foot. Raised type or custom-designed plates are inked by rollers and then pressed onto a piece of cotton paper. The inked design that is left behind on the paper is de-bossed onto the paper. The process produces a fine paper good that you can see, feel, and share. Each piece of paper is hand-fed into the press and only one color is printed at a time. Letterpress is an art that requires intense attention to detail, patience, and love for the craft. Each piece of paper from Bears Eat Berries has passed through my hands.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by children’s picture books, Japanese design, traditional folk motifs from around the world, and any great use of white/negative space. Throughout my life I have been drawn outdoors, so nature-themes play a role in many of my designs.
Tell us a little bit about your design style.
I’m drawn to the quirk… anything that can put a smile on a face. I definitely have a “less is more” kind of style and when I use humor or create something quirky, I try to keep it subtle. I love simplicity where each shape and form has a purpose and draws you in.
What’s next for Bears Eat Berries?
This is the second year of Bears Eat Berries, and I’m excited by the new lines of business that I will be opening up. In my first year I focused in on letterpress custom wedding invitations as well as my greeting cards. This year I’m doing a few exciting things. I’m growing my greeting card line, and I’m also expanding my product offerings into multiple design mediums so that more people can experience my designs and illustrations.
Photography by Laura of Bears Eat Berries.