The Human Element

June 06, 2016

The Human Element

Personalization by Designers, not HumansSince the very, very beginning of starting Hi Little One, I have found myself having a difficult time describing what we do. Sure, we make personalized baby clothes. Easy enough right? But what makes us different? Why should you buy our customized onesie instead of heading to the zillion other places online? What is our special sauce? My gut knows how we’re different, and my eyes can see it clear as day, but getting it out verbally has always been a little tough for me.

We’re more modern, and style-driven, but these only describes our products. It doesn't really tell why we’re different. It doesn't describe how our  design decisions are made by actual designers, not machines. Real, live, air-breathing, pizza-eating, graphic-design-obsessed, humans.

In just about all scenarios where you can personalize a product, the customization involves the changing of letters only. You pick the font, they print in the name. There is no accounting for design sensibilities in these processes and in almost every case, the entire operation is done by a machine. This infinitely limits the design creation process and opportunity.

Take our most recent collection, Vintage Summer, for example. We based this style off a typeface by Laura Worthington called Funkidori. I absolutely love it. But the beauty of this typeface is Laura’s attention to detail and the depth of glyphs and ligature options.

Glyphs and Ligatures

A computer could never rival a human in choosing the most eye-pleasing combination and layout for every word combination. See how gross even—maybe especially—ornate type can get?

Type Examples for Hand Personalization
Even when it looks great, see how these seemingly small choices of character can dramatically affect the look and feel? The left side is riding the waves, while the right is ready to crowd surf. (See what I did there?). This is accomplished by changing just two letters.

Design-driven personalization

This also makes me really want to do a 60s Funk collection. Anyone? Anyone?

There is room in the market for all types of personalization, but we’re happy to be in the high-quality, high-style camp. We believe that true personalization is design, not just inserting a name.