Cheree Berry, Founder of Cheree Berry Paper.
We are excited to kick off our Spotlight Series with one of our favorite paper guru’s Cheree Berry, the founder of Cheree Berry Paper.
We love all things beautiful and when it comes to paper there is no one that does it quite like Cheree Berry Paper. Her unexpected elements of surprise, bright colors and whimsical touches make her paper one of the most sought out in the industry.
Where it all began:
A. Dominick Events: Before you started Cheree Berry Paper you worked both at Kate Spade in New York City and the premier design firm, Pentagram. Did either of these companies inspire you when you decided to start your own company?
Cheree Berry: Both Pentagram and kate spade helped shape me as a graphic designer. At Pentagram, I learned how a top-notch graphic design firm operates and was inspired by the work happening around me, as well as the print design projects I worked on. At kate spade, I was the lead designer and art director on the company’s stationery line—a collaboration with Crane & Co. My love for paper and correspondence really started as a child (thank you, Hello Kitty and Griffin and Sabine books) but yes, my work experience was very inspirational and gave me the skill set and confidence to go on my own.
A. Dominick Events: What was your greatest influence when you decided to design your own wedding paper, from the save the date to the invitations, and all the other whimsical elements you incorporated into your wedding day?
Cheree Berry: Nostalgia and color. I love to surprise people. I wanted to have fun and provide the same for my guests. For me, the save the date and invitation are the critical link to an amazing event, it’s what gets people excited and sets the tone for what an occasion will be.
Behind the Business of Cheree Berry Paper:
A. Dominick Events: Your paper is known for its unexpected elements of surprise. Where do you find your inspiration?
Cheree Berry: I find inspiration everywhere, in nature, vintage ephemera, my kids, my travels and especially clients with their individual stories. So look for hidden creatures, clever copy, retro references and playful designs in our work.
A. Dominick Events: Tell us a little about your studio in St. Louis and the process.
Cheree Berry: The studio is located in St. Louis, but our clients are located all across the country and abroad! Most of the design process can be completed long distance, although we do travel to monthly meetings in NYC and have a satellite office in Chicago. As for process, we make the most of every client meeting. We ask lots of questions. And from there we approach each project with attention to detail and enthusiasm. We love to brainstorm! We also know the importance of timelines and budgets and always add that to our planning.
A. Dominick Events: What is a typical day at the CBP office?
Cheree Berry: CBP is always in GO mode. So many brides, so many ideas (and so much fun). A typical day is meeting to discuss new projects, brainstorming, sketching, watching timelines, talking with clients, touching and feeling the printed pieces that arrive, packing and shipping, etc.. No day is the same, and we love that!
A. Dominick Events: Are there any current projects you are currently working on that you are excited about or anything new in paper for 2015 that you are incorporating in your designs?
Cheree Berry: We are always looking for new ways to use paper. Paper flowers are in the queue right now. We’ve been exploring paper in the third dimension.
Advice for Brides on their printed materials (Save the Date, Invitations…)
A. Dominick Events: What advice would you give to a bride who is starting to think about their printed materials for her wedding? Save the Date/Invitations/Day of items?
Cheree Berry: We suggest looking at our website (of course) to see our selection of previously designed save the dates and wedding invitations – what we call “Collection.” From there we learn what the couple likes in terms of type, style, size, format, pattern, etc. Some brides like our Collection designs “as is” and other brides want to make some minimal to significant design alterations. Depending on where a bride falls in the spectrum, we’ll ask lots of questions to gain knowledge before executing the designs – Where’s the venue, how did you meet, what is your engagement story, etc.? And then we’ll have plenty of logistic questions – when do you want to mail, what information do you need to tell your guests, quantity… After invitations are decided we talk day of items, or sooner, if need be. The invitation provides the jumping off point for so many fun pieces from menus to programs, chargers to signage.
A. Dominick Events: What is your advice on the use of calligraphy for invitations?
Cheree Berry: Use it! We love calligraphy. It’s a great addition to the design of an invitation. Calligraphy makes opening your mail that much more exciting. It’s really an art. And there are so many styles available from modern to traditional to whimsical.
A. Dominick Events: You offer a range of options for brides from Collections, Semi-Custom Invitations and Custom Invitations. What is the process for each of these and how to you determine what is right for each client?
Cheree Berry: Collections are previously designed pieces that can be changed using color and new wording. Semi-custom is using parts of previously designed pieces, but more new ideas can be added. Custom is starting new– really a blank slate for us. Budget will most likely drive the decision to select one of these three categories, but we are happy to work with brides to find the best option to create the look they love.
A. Dominick Events: If you hadn’t created Cheree Berry Paper what would you be doing instead?
Cheree Berry: I love paper, can’t imagine working without it, but if I could chose a career in another life – show me the way to Broadway!
A few of our recent beautiful collaborations with Cheree Berry Paper.
Left and Right Photos by: Abby Jiu | Middle Photo by: Love Life Images