Today we are lucky enough to have one of our community members who has been with us since the beginning: Andrea Tahlier of Float Paperie. Andrea really has her own style; I can instantly recognize a Float design from its brilliantly executed typography and soft, elegant aesthetic. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know her a little better!
At age nine, you wanted to be?
I wanted to be a dancer, which is funny because i think i dance like elaine from seinfeld now! but honestly, when i was younger – i think i was decent – i went to multiple dance competitions and it was a major part of my life.
Do you have any formal design training?
yup, BFA in graphic design.
How would you describe your style?
modern classic, with a focus on type.
What is your normal workflow or process like?
depending on the project – it usually involves first sitting down with a notepad for a quick brainstorm and game plan. but if it’s one of those days and the pencil has been taken out of my hand by my 18month old (very likely), i will move on to play dough, coloring or reading books with him. once the sitter arrives or i am back in my office i pour through a collection of books, magazines, and an inspiration folder on my computer and see if anything stands out. since i am in the process of growing my company and family (i’m due with our second child any day) at the same time – my work process varies from day to day.
What tools, techniques, and mindsets do you find absolutely essential?
a good collection of typefaces. absolutely essential for me.
What are the easiest and the most difficult aspects of the design process?
i’d say the most difficult aspect for me is falling in love with a particular font and then overusing it! i am kind of a geek in that if i love a typeface, i somehow find a use for it in everything i do and get frustrated.
Your designs are so sophisticated and elegant. What’s the secret to making understated so stunning?
that’s so nice! i guess i am a fan of ‘less is more’. i find that sometimes when i push myself to make a piece too whimsical or edgy, that it just falls apart and doesn’t look anything like me. i like clean space.
Do you have a favorite font?
favorite serif – baskerville or filosofia grand. favorite san serif – futura (i love the variety it offers). i do have short love affairs with decorative scripts, but then who doesn’t?
Favorite color? Or favorite color right now?
i’ve got a slight obsession with fire engine red right now – maybe because my son is so into fire trucks. a great glossy red is fabulous.
i’m a pencil girl.
i have a collection of old notebooks back from when i owned a stationery store – and never used them because they were so pretty i didn’t want to mess them up! currently i have about 4 or 5 going for different things (ordering materials, brainstorms, to do lists, etc).
Are you sending out a Christmas card? If so, what is it like?
I used minted this past year! i sent out my cheers to you card with a photo of our son on it. i didn’t have time to design something new, and wanted to send some minted love. i also created minted calendars for family this year, and they were a hit!
What was your birth announcement for August like?
His name is august henry tahlier – but he currently goes by gus. his announcement was very simple – mostly a photo with ‘meet gus’ very large in baskerville. but i actually liked his first bday invite better than his birth announcement.
Is it challenging to run your own business and be a mother?
yes – very hard. i think it will be easier once school comes into play! but right now – it is a juggling act. at times, all i want to do is play with my little man and not miss a second of him! he is growing into a little person so fast it is incredibly exciting. i have a wonderful sitter whom i have during the week, and have spent more time working at my home office, so i can be around him. we plan to make a family move after baby #2 into a larger studio in which my husband (a photographer) will have a separate shooting area and i an office space/meeting room for clients. it will have a kids’ room so that we can bring them along (w/ or w/o our sitter). we both feel lucky that since we run our own businesses we can spend time with our family during the day/week and intend to keep moving in that direction for now. at times it can mean working very, very late nights and little sleep, but when the work has to be done, you find a way.
Any tips or ideas or advice on how to balance this juggling act?
not really – and i’d love advice from anything with two children under two. i feel like we’ve gotten a hold of our family of 3 just when our fourth will be arriving!
What was your favorite custom piece in the past year and why?
i did a wedding suite for a lovely bride in chicago. she was very fun to work with and i thought the end piece was very soft and elegant. we attached a delicate glassine envelope to the inside of the letterpress card with a letterpressed seal keeping it closed. the glassine containted info cards and her response. i’m attaching a photo & jpegs of a starting draft. i did all of the paper pieces for her wedding (seating, menus, programs, etc), and was really thrilled with the end result. i enjoy creating a complete stationery wardrobe for someone and see it all come together.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
without children :: venice! my husband & i spent a romantic anniversary trip traveling in italy a few yearas ago and i would love to go back. with children :: grand cayman. my family has been going there since i was a child and we have taken our son there a few times now. the beach, water and sun are such a relief to yucky chicago winters.
Biggest self indulgence?
i have a weird baking thing going on right now – so i bake cookies & muffins all of the time! my husband doesn’t seem to mind, but it has to stop once this pregnancy is over!
What was the last book you read?
goodnight moon & brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?
Andrea, thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and we look forward to hearing about your newest arrival, and, of course, to seeing more of your beautiful work in the future.
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