Artist’s Bio, July, 2006
Zida Borcich is a letterpress printer and graphic designer who lives in Fort Bragg, California. Her printshop/design studio, Zida Borcich Letterpress/Studio Z Mendocio, now celebrating its 25th year, produces logos, stationery, business cards, brochures, and amazing wedding. Additionally Studio Z Mendocino specializes in innovative advertising campaigns, identities for non-profits, business and social invitations and announcements, and, newly, web site design and optimization. In addition to custom design and printing, the shop produces Studio Z Mendocino, a line of stationery and greeting cards that has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the “Best New Product Award” at the National Stationery Show in New York City.
Borcich’s work is recognized as unique, with its own aesthetic and quirky elegance, while possessing a timeless sense of beauty and proportion. Zida’s design work and printing have received awards and been displayed in national magazines,, and hard cover books of the graphic design magazine, Print.
Zida Borcich Letterpress is respected for creativity and highest quality in its own coastal community as well as nationally, with clients coming from every state in the US, as well as from Europe and Japan. In the last year Studio Z Mendocino has gained favor with wedding photographers and photojournalists, internationally. Many of the business cards and stationery sets printed at Studio Z can be seen on the web site, http://www.studio-z.com, and on this blog.
Studio Z Mendocino’s “Ladies Who Lunch Cards” created their own category in the multi-billion dollar greeting card industry (they can be seen at www.studio-z.com), winning the coveted “Best New Product Award” at the National Stationery Show two years in a row in a competition with several thousand other card lines.
Borcich has done special projects for the New York Public Library, The Chicago Art Institute, Pottery Barn and the Morgan Library, among many others, and important fundraising packages for the Lucile Salter Packard Hospital for Children and for the Monterey Hospital Foundation. Most recently Studio Z has completed a new identity for the Mendocino Music Festival. The newest web site for the MMF will be up and running in mid-March. http://www.mendocinomusic.com. Zida is also putting the finishing touches on a large ad campaign for Mendocino County Lodging Association, which includes ads for numerous California magazines and banner ads as well.
The San Francisco Public Library, in 2005, honored Zida’s work with an opening and three-month exhibit of twenty years of commercial printing and design, in the Rare Books Room. According to Rare Book Room staff at the Library, it was the best attended exhibit they have ever had.
The shop and its work have been featured in Elle Decor, Victoria, Town and Country, Martha Stewart Weddings, Cosmo, and many other national magazine editorials over the years, including Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.
Zida Borcich apprenticed for eleven years at the printshop of master printer Al Moise, in Fort Bragg, there learning to hand set lead type and run the Heidelberg Windmill she later bought and installed in her own shop, and which is still her main press. In 1984, after Al’s death, she opened a 600 square foot shop on Franklin Street, in Fort Bragg, and began her adventure as a business owner. Four years later she bought her present shop, on Main Street, moving literally tons of type and equipment into the sunny place she and her staff now occupy. In 1995, having run out of space, the building was lifted up off its foundation and an addition was constructed that doubled the space to 2300 square feet.
Over the ensuing twenty-five years the business has shifted and recreated itself many times to fit the strange reality of a technology that is over 500 years old finding its audience in the present moment. Zida’s design sense is informed by her initial training, where, as she says, she held space in her fingers and felt it in the muscles of her hands. The translation of these painstaking tasks to a computer keyboard seemed a seamless and natural movement. The aesthetic of letterpress is retained, somehow, giving the work a timeless and classical balance with a modern sensibility. “I love my work and my shop every single day. It’s crazy to say this after thirty-some years of doing it, but it is absolutely a part of me now. I can’t wait to come into my shop every day and see what is in store for me. It’s so fun to work with my brother and Rhea, who has been with me for half her life, literally. It’s exciting to talk to my clients and find out how my work can help their work, their celebrations, their self expression, their profitability. I have known for years that I am actually in the business of communication, connection and relationship. It is all love, all art, all creative grace. Business and love. What more could you ask for?”
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