Over on Ohh Deer, you may have seen some lovely typographical cards popping up, with witty comments and colourful backgrounds, we thought we would introduce you to the one-woman band behind the brand - Twin Pines Creative.
Twin Pines Creative is ran by Catherine Ings based in the Midlands, UK. She has a pet Labrador called Ellie and we think they make the perfect pair for tackling all things type. Below we discuss more about Cat's greeting card range with Ohh Deer and her love of the big screen.
Where did the super catchy name of “Twin Pines” come from and does it have a particular meaning?!
So this is where my true geeky self really comes to light so I apologise in advance for being oh so lame ;D
When setting up my branding and web design studio I knew I didn’t want to trade using my own name so began the task of trying to come up with a unique name that sounded good regardless but maybe had a subtle movie reference as I LOVE movies. Like really, REALLY love them. In a pretty awkward and obsessive way and one in particular that has a pretty special place in my heart is Back to the Future. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve seen all three films but at a minimum will watch all 3 movies once a year on or around the 21st October which is not only the date Marty goes to the future in Back to the Future 2, but also the date my husband and I started dating (it was meant to be huh?!). When we got married we even had a number of Back to The Future elements to the day including when we walked into the reception it was to the theme tune and we also danced to Johnny B. Good. The best man even got in on the action and included a little nod to the movies in his speech too!
Now if you're a massive geek like me you may get the very obscure reference to Back to the Future already, but then again you may be thinking "what is this crazy woman going on about, I don't remember anything about Twin Pines". I promise you I'm not crazy!
It all starts when Marty was woken up by Doc and told to meet him at a mall parking lot to film an experiment (aka the time machine). Marty rushes over and meets Doc at the Twin Pines Mall (Woop there it is!) and it's from here that Marty ends up going back to 1955. GREAT SCOTT!!! So Twin Pines Creative it is then, not only is it a nice simple name but it's also part of a subtle Easter egg from my all time favorite film. Perfect!
Told you I was a geek huh?!
That's a brilliant name tie-in to the films Cat! When it comes to your designs they are super crisp and colourful – could you tell us more about how your design style came about and your love of the minimal?
I’ve never been one for clutter (which totally comes from my mum) so it’s no surprise I love all things minimal. Nothing makes me happier than having a big clear out and just getting rid of all the crap you’ve held onto for years that you know you really don’t give a shit about but have it ‘just in case’.
Minimalism plays out in many areas for me, in particular in my design aesthetic. I always work to the basis of the KISS principle. Keep it simple, stupid! Why over complicate things and add endless flourishes for the sake of it. It’s probably why I’m so inspired by scandi brands like HAY or Ferm Living as their products are so simple and functional but the attention to detail is second to none. Although my designs might look incredibly simple each one takes hours to get the typography just right, by changing small elements to make it unique.
It’ll probably surprise you I’m actually quite colour averse in my personal life and usually stick to monochrome but after working with so many amazing and colourful clients on their branding I was inspired to create a collection of products with ALL the colours and I’ve been having so much fun coming up with all the colour combinations with this range.
Along with your amazing paper goods, you’re also a brand and web developer! Do you find it challenging juggling the two and what are your favourite things about both skillsets?
I’m not going to lie, it’s super tough sometimes and on occasion will have to prioritise client work over my own range, meaning I can’t develop it and push it as much as I’d like but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Being both a product and services small business owner helps me understand my clients in a unique way as I get what they’re dealing with on a daily basis. But they also inspire me, push me out of my comfort zone and try something I wouldn’t normally do and I can’t thank them enough for challenging me in such a brilliant way.
Getting to work on my own range is amazing too as there’s no brief and I can essentially create anything I like. The problem is I always I want to do ALL the things and find it impossible to make a decision. Oh the woes of being an indecisive creative!
We think it's amazing that you're able to juggle jobs! Could you tell us more about your education and upbringing in relation to becoming the creative you are today?!
I’ve always been creative from a young age, whether that be music, art or design. Inspired by my dad, I took up playing the guitar and other instruments when I was teeny tiny but then moved onto Design Technology at secondary school and really caught the design bug but in particular getting into the technical side of things getting to see how it all works and why.
I went on to do an Art Foundation course so I could try lots of different disciplines and fell in love with Graphic Design but wanted to specialise so went on to study Creative Advertising at Lincoln University. Here I not only got under the skin of the customer but I also learnt to think differently and that no idea is a bad idea and although might be absolutely bonkers, it might lead on to a bloody awesome concept.
After leaving uni I’ve gone on to use these skills as a UX and web designer for a couple of big retail brands where I can not only put the customer at the heart of everything I do but also make everything oh so pretty to look at too.
The Twin Pines Ohh Deer card range is hilarious! How do you keep thinking of brilliant things to say?! Adding to this what are your inspirations within design?
I have a little notebook I carry around everywhere as my ideas have a tendency to come when I least expect it. Most of my ideas come from everyday life which is why I think they work so well as they’re relatable and honest. It might come from something the husband and I say to each other on a daily basis, or an off the cuff remark from a friend or family member. I have a very dry, sarcastic sense of humour and am not afraid to be blunt but always try to be witty and charming with it.
Scandi design is a massive influence but so are other designers like Anthony Burril and Jasmine Dowling. One of the best ways to my design heart is beautiful typography. It’s enough to make me go weak in the knees.
Obviously we can’t leave this interview without discussing your dog – please let us know 3 facts about this amazing being!
Ah yes! The dog! She’s my everything and my all time favourite being on the planet (shhh! Don’t tell the husband I love her more than him ;D)
Fact #1 - Her name Ellie is inspired by the film Up and we’re desperate to add a boy dog called Carl to the family to be complete.
Fact #2 - Both Ellie and I share the same birthday, albeit 29 years apart (damn I’m getting old!)
Fact #3 - Ellie is insanely obsessed with birds, so much so on a trip to Cromer she wanted to play with a bird so much she decided to jump onto a wall with a mahoosive 18m cliff on the other side just so she could say hi. Stupid dog!
Thanks so much Cat! (And Ellie of course)
You can shop Twin Pines on Ohh Deer by clicking here or visit our Ipswich or Loughborough stores!
Keep up to date with Twin Pines on Instagram @twinpines_