For Vanessa Kreckel, it all started at the kitchen table of her Pennsylvania home over 19 years ago. Unsatisfied with the limitations of invitation designs and the inability to truly represent the client in mass-market stationery, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Using her graphic design expertise, an affective color palette and diverse tactile materials, Vanessa began creating invitation suites that portray real-life love stories. The result was Two Paperdolls, now known as TPD Design House, a pioneering custom design house that foreshadowed the desire for customization across all aspects of the wedding industry. TPD quickly garnered acclaim in national magazines such as BRIDES and Martha Stewart Weddings, as well as design publications including HOW, PRINT and Communications Arts.
Based in a state-of-the-art warehouse in Wayne, Pennsylvania, TPD is a fully integrated graphic design agency and interactive partner with a team of 30 at the helm, bridging unique design with intelligent functionality.
Every journey has a beginning and TPD Design House got its start, appropriately enough, in a house—Vanessa Kreckel's to be exact. On a dining room table strewn with pencils, paper samples and X-acto knives, custom invitations were made by hand for friends and family on weekends and evenings. We were doing 'artisanal' before Brooklyn had ever heard the word charcuterie.
A bird in the nest, a ship in harbor, an artist in a cubicle: they're safe, but not satisfied.
If a business is going to grow, eventually it's got to shove off into the real world. So, in 2003 Vanessa left her design job at The University of Pennsylvania to grow her fledgling business full-time. Recognition came quickly in the form of a local news segment and the hiring of TPD's first employee, Jenny, who's still with us today.
As our client roster grew and so did our team, we found ourselves running out of space at our first office. And the space that was available was coated in spray glue and envelopes. It was time to expand. So, we did what anyone would. Blew a hole in the wall and claimed the space behind it as ours. We got permission first, but saying "we blew a hole in the wall, with permission" just doesn't sound as cool.
Are you lucky or smart? That’s a good question to ask anytime opportunity or success crosses your path. So, when two Chandler & Price letterpresses appeared for sale we thanked our good luck, rented a U-haul, and snatched them up, officially proclaiming ourselves a complete shop offering both design AND print production. Hundreds of letterpress jobs later, we’re thankful we were smart enough to seize that lucky opportunity.
To the adventurous, discomfort is just a signpost for growth in disguise. So, when the recession hit, we stayed calm and realized the contraction of one market revealed the opportunity of another. It was a natural transition to use the skills we honed on social projects in our new service: logos and branding. With fresh wind in our sails and a whole new market, it was easy to push the economic humdrum aside. Plus, it’s hard to hear financial pundits wailing over the hum of presses spitting out business cards day and night. We just kept going, because the only way out is always through...
Change is never easy, but it's better than settling. After the success of our expansion into branding, we could have relaxed into our niche, but we knew there was another frontier to explore. With the growth of the web we decided to expand our services again. To bridge the gap from the world of print, we brought on seasoned developers to help bring our designs to life through code…without a single can of spray glue.
In the summer of 2014, TPD settled into a modern commercial loft space right on Lancaster Avenue with a spacious office area, print shop and street level boutique shop. To match the new digs, we completely rebranded and updated the name to TPD Design House. It feels like ages since we started our journey and we couldn’t be happier with where we’ve arrived and how we got here. We’re proud to say that we never lost the creative spark that started it all at that dining room table 15 years ago.
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