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Archive for the ‘Letterpress Printing’ Category

Seth Sirbaugh is a terrifically talented graphic designer whose new letterpress business cards carry the message of the new “tribe” brand he’s developed, in the most stylish way imaginable. We did two versions, which you see pictured above. The first was the more complicated. We used French’s Gray Durotone 80# cover, a mottled, slightly gnarly-in-a-chic-kind-of-way sheet. It’s not very thick, so to add substance (and mystery), Seth had us make a “sandwich,” laminating the backs and fronts of the gray Durotone, with a “filling” of pumpkin-colored Durotone. You can see the little, subtle, yummy orange stripe when you turn the card sideways.

The fronts of the cards were printed in black glossy foil with the “tribe” logo and the uber-hip tagline, “design. cultured.” I love that. The backs have the contact information foiled in white opaque foil. With darker colored papers, white ink will not block out the background color entirely. There is always some bleed-through, so to alleviate that, we always use opaque white foil, which is much more opaque.

The entire laminated card is still not as thick as, say, 600 gram Lettra, which we use most often here these days for our most premium jobs. He didn’t want them to take up that much room in his wallet. At first. But then there was a small crisis, which I won’t go into right now, which allowed us to make another, smaller batch of cards on white 600 gram Lettra. On this run, we edge painted them in the same pumpkin-y orange. And, oh la la, baby. How can he decide which version to pass out?

Working with a designer of the professional caliber of Seth Sirbaugh is a pleasure beyond pleasure. Collaboration is always necessary on a job (jobs) like this one. He had the vision and I acted as mediator between that and making the vision into something he could hold in his hand and be proud and assured that it represented him well. When the crisis occurred, Seth was gracious in the extreme. Often, with letterpress, patience is a virtue, and Seth’s virtue showed up in the form of little wings sprouting from the shoulders of his tee shirt.

It’s not usual to get to give a design two entirely different treatments like this, so as a way to show off the amazing versatility of letterpress’s many virtues, there could not be a better example. The entire mood is changed, the vibe, maybe even the clan, in these two very different versions of the same design.

We all wanna be in Seth’s groovy tribe!

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4 of Chance Creek Wines Studio Z Mendocino Labels

Lou Bock is the Winegrower behind the crisp, gorgeous offerings from his winery, Chance Creek. Grapes from his own vineyards in Redwood Valley, California are raised and tended by himself, and the wines he creates express not just a refined palate but a love for and dedication to the land he has farmed organically for many decades.

I feel very lucky to have encountered him at a party some ten years ago. It was very funny because we actually had dated in high school over thirty years before our re-introduction. Life. Very crazy.

Lou happened to be looking for a new graphic designer right then and guess what…of course, it was perfect timing and perfect serendipity and perfect Universe falling together as usual. Since then i have designed and printed up many, many labels for Chance Creek and my old friend.

Not many labels nowadays get the hands-on treatment we give these. They are printed offset and then we go back in with foil on the Heidelberg lettrpresses in my shop.

This label is his new Terroir 95470 SangioRosso, a red table wine he just added to the Terroir 95470 white we loved so much the last two years. The Redwood Valley zip code takes center stage on this…what better way to talk about terroir, the essence of the land the grapes are grown on?

The new SB label looks wonderful on the golden hue of Chance Creek’ sauvignon blanc. They offer THREE sauvignon blancs, each with its own undertones, overtones and degree of yumminess. The gleam of gold foil against a dramatic black background enhances impact from the shelf.

Last year’s Sangiovese showed up on all the right tables. Another winning offering from Chance Creek and Lou Bock.

Lastly, this is Lou’s Chance Creek Classic Sauvignon Blanc, his most popular offering. We love love love it with salmon and especially crab, but i could drink it with anything. It is perfect.

Wine label design is only one of the areas Studio Z Mendocino exercises creativity. Call us when you need any sort of design expertise — from a new logo or branding to a website, we are certainly happy to speak to you about what you are dreaming up.

Here are Lou Bock’s business cards, which i derived from the above label.

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I love love love Annette Thurmon’s wedding dress designs. They are sooo dreamy and gorgeous, and I am lucky to say that Annette is also a dreamy and gorgeous client of mine.

I got to work with Annette when I did her business cards a while back, and today she posted an interview with me on her beautiful website: Chaviano Couture.

I hope you will go see her beautiful designs and read my interview!

xo Zida

 

 

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Danny and Loreta Kash are the principles and great talents behind Danny Kash Photography, which operates out of Connecticut and is available for worldwide destination shoots. It was an incredible experience working with them to develop their new brand because they were so specific about the tone they were looking for, and at the same time so ready to listen to my ideas and inspirations. It was an ideal collaborative experience. Loreta was amazing…she sent me a kind of vision board to work from…showing colors and passions and attractions, moods, and just things that made her heart beat faster. She is so organized and creative at the same time. Look how fab:

It was always fun to confer with them on the phone, always excitement, curiosity into the mysterious process of creation. When I sent them this design, we all just KNEW: this was IT. They definitely wanted this gorgeous pale Caribbean blue-green color, and there were other accent colors we considered, like a sunny orange-ish shade, but in the end we opted for a charcoal gray as the second color.

We deeply impressed the type into 600 gram Cranes Lettra, with the contact information on the back to keep the brand really pure and important. This is my favorite way to make a card really sing. The edges were painted in the same watery-green-blue color, a little accent that pulls the WoW factor up several thousand notches, as we all know.

O, EDGE PAINTING!!!

And yummy shots of the business cards by Danny.

The flowing lines and swooshes of the “dk” monogram set an elegant, celebratory mood behind the classic-yet-slightly-quirky Roman typeface. It’s a fresh, distinctive look for two very special people. And it is always a big treat for me to participate in redefining a company’s graphic look from the ground up. An honor, and a super-fun and exciting adventure. I love the creative trance that brings me to a finished product like this. Do you like it?

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Three color letterpress folders: gray, black and papaya colored inks on 300 gram white Cranes Lettra . Papaya envelopes with a jazzy stamp. A fabulous menu and guest list.

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The great big “L” monogrammed¬† on Leo Druker‘s oversized letterpress printed business cards strikes as bold a statement as the Washington DC photographer makes with his work. Leo came to Studio Z Mendocino with his logo already designed. We conferred with him about the best materials to use, how to give the cards their majorest WoW factor possible and came up with these beauties.

Printed on a 2.5 x 4 inch sheet, and weighing in at 600 grams on super-thick Cranes Lettra luxurious stock, these are not cards to fool around with. They mean business. We printed them in two tones of charcoal gray ink, then, to put the upper cut into the already big punch, we edge painted them in the darker of the two grays. As Leo has told me several times in emails: they “are getting rave reviews from every person who looks and/or touches them.” Well, we are not surprised. They are stunning.

I wish you could feel them. Substantial. We love strong beauty and these are that.

If you really want to make an impression that lasts when you leave, you could not choose a better vehicle than cards like these. You will not be forgotten easily.

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It’s not too early to start planning your Kentucky Derby party for 2012. I know, Animal Kingdom has hardly stopped sweating, but believe me, a Kentucky Derby party worth its julep is going to take lots of creativity and lining things up in advance. You don’t want to get down to the wire and suddenly find the best party planners have already been booked, or that the guests you counted on have already responded to another save-the-date.

You might want to emulate this invitation we created to a Kentucky-Derby-theme birthday party that happened last December here in California. We printed them letterpress on super thick white paper, which we mounted to a gorgeous, deep red backing sheet. That formed a frame and gave the piece even more presence. Then we put it into a deep red BOX. The mailing labels mimicked the horse theme and we tied the whole thing up with a skinny little brown ROPE. We included also in the box instructions about its being a surprise party, and a directions-to-the-venue card. Everything went into a FedEx box and was delivered one-day-air.

The tickets were also printed letterpress on the same super-thick white stock, replete with a perforated stub to make them look even more official. I love the idea that they were sent in a subsequent mailing in #10 Cranes square flap envelopes, which only added to the anticipation for all the fun.

.The party was a hit and everything went off without a hitch, so to speak. Perfect food and drinks, perfect place, perfect guest list, perfect everything. And it was a complete surprise. A perfect winner.

We have been doing lots of wedding invitations in boxes over the last few years, and the idea in this post can be adapted to any number of party or reception themes. Boxes come in a big array of colors and we can choose gorgeous contrasting ribbons to tie them up and an infinity of different ways to make them uniquely your own.

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The two most-asked questions I get from email inquiries are what you see in the title of this post. The answers depend on so many things that it’s almost impossible to pin it down. But I want to address these questions because having these cards is a kind of spendy proposition, and it takes more time than most printing, but it can be so worth it because the cards say such good things about you when you are out of earshot.They tell a big story about your talent, your attention to detail, your fabulous aesthetic and hipness quotient. They get more attention and they get more jobs. They are audacious and they are convincing. They are worth it, in other words.

As beautiful Lara Rios said the other day…”Everything goes up and nothing ever goes down.” That is too true. Paper costs have been out of sight the last couple of years. And we use such extra-special papers that it’s even truer for us.

So, what does it cost to get your hands on some of these fabulosity-drenched business cards? Let’s say you already have a logo that you love. Let’s say it is a two color design, which can translate to two ink colors or two foil colors or one of each.

If you get 1000 cards made up with two color runs, printed front and back, on super thick 600 gram Lettra or on even thicker black or colored Museum Mount, it will usually come in around $1100 or $1200. Adding a third color run will add about $225 to $250 for extra dies and printing to that price. Edge painting is additional too.

Yes, I know. It starts around one dollar per card, plus. If you think you would like to save money by getting fewer cards, it is something you need to think hard about because, in printing, it’s always “cheaper by the dozen.” I mean, cutting the quantity in half does NOT result in half the price. This is because the prepress things are in that price no matter if you get one or ten thousand. In the end, getting MORE cards actually saves money in the long run.

Five hundred of the same sort of card will not be $600, but will be more like $800+, so the unit price, in this case, goes up to $1.60 per card. This will make you really think hard about giving your cards away, which defies the whole concept of getting your name out there. So we recommend doing more than less, if you possibly can.

Now, the question of how long it will take: I have done cards in one day, in five days, and I have taken a YEAR to get cards out the door. This usually depends on the customer’s ability to make a decision and we were not working on the card every minute of that time. I promise.

We usually like to say it will take between two and half to four weeks, depending on what is lined up on our press schedule and what processes have to be done to the card, how long it takes to get paper and dies lined up and so forth. If they will be edge painted, that adds one and a half to two weeks to the timeline. Sorry this is so nebulous, but it is the truth. We can really go fast if everything is in place but sometimes it is not so super fast.

If you need a new logo, that too is not easy to pin down. Everything is custom, so we would need to talk about your needs before venturing an estimate. But we do logos and branding and websites here, too. Just ask.

I hope this is helpful and that you will call soon. 707 964 2522 We would love to work with you on your next business cards and stationery, your invitations or announcements, your website or branding.

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Coast Village Design Group‘s Wendy Carpenter contacted Studio Z Mendocino when she decided to re-brand her interior design company. Wendy is one of the most meticulous people with whom I have worked, with very definite ideas that, combined with her concurrent openness to collaboration, perfect sense of timeless style, and down-to-earth personality, made this card an incredible experience for me, with an extraordinary outcome. They perfectly reflect Wendy’s creativity and design sensibilities.

Printed on super-thick, cream colored museum mount stock that takes the impression of letterpress like nobody’s business, Coast Village Design Group’s cards were printed in a very pale cream color for the decorative flourish, a deeper khaki colored ink on the back, with rich charcoal gray for the type, and set off in gold foil for the script “V” on the front, and “Interiors” on the back. The back design was inspired by this ancient window arch:

We printed the back outside border around a hand drawn arch in this gorgeous khaki color. The pressure of the border visually popped the interior of the arch up, giving the cards an opulence of textural interest.

We feel very proud of the inventiveness and craftswomanship in these small, powerful pieces of art.

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Tony and Lisa Geer have created one of the coziest, most appealing restaurants on the Mendocino Coast. Pearched right on the edge of the continent, in Albion, California, The Ledford House offers diners a panoply of pleasures: wonderful cuisine with a French accent, tasty jazz every night, a fabulous bar that looks right out to the end of the horizon, and in the dining room a wall of windows onto the ever-changing deep blue sea. It’s not unusual to view whales gamboling offshore and I personally saw the Green Flash from their west deck, the only sighting ever for me, but something they treat rather cavalierly, since they have seen so many. It’s no wonder The Ledford House is one of our favorite places to meet friends or just go out for a date. It feels special while maintaining a hominess rivaled only by…well, by home. I took this picture from our table the last time we went to dinner there after totally watching a pod of whales spouting very close to our table…

So, imagine how thrilled I was when Tony and Lisa came by and wanted to get new letterpressed business cards from Studio Z. While we were at it, we gave the layout a little bump up, making “Ledford” bigger and using a copper foil instead of the bronze they had before. The cards are so cool.

With a map on the back and a place to write notes, these three color cards — sagey green, aubergine and copper foil– printed on 300 gram Cranes Lettra, are not only gorgeous but eminently useful. Too lovely to throw away, too big to put in a wallet, you will find them stuck on refrigerators and propped on mantels all over the world.

We love the Ledford House and Tony and Lisa love their new cards.

They totally express the quality of the experience offered by the Ledford’s hospitality and attentive, delicious, fun-filled ambiance.

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