Archive for June, 2009

Recently I told you about the Art in the Gardens posters, rack cards and other collaterals I designed for the Fort Bragg Mendocino Coast fundraising event. Here are a couple of views of what I did for them. This is the unveiling invitation:

AIG Unveiling Invite

It’s a 4 x 9 inch card that fit into a #10 business envelope. We didn’t want to give anything away before the Great Unveiling so we just put little snippets of Julie Higgins’s painting Back to the Garden as teasers. It was very economical, yet very appealing with the bright, dramatic colors.

Here is the poster:

AIG Large Poster FINAL 18 x 24

We also did small posters, and more things to come. Everyone is so happy to look at these things. We predict a HUGE success this year!

AIG Rack Card_Page_1

AIG Post Card_Page_1

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 Script Cards or Buck Slips and matching #10 Envelopes find endless ways to be useful. Plus they are so good looking you will make any excuse to write to people on them. AK’s new  thank you notes/stationery are particularly handsome with her bold logo deeply letterpressed in rich black ink.


Kim Ashford ordered stationery to match her matchless business cards. We posted those a month or so ago. We suggested she get Script Cards (aka “Buck Slips”), which are 4″ x  9″ slim cards that fit right into a #10 business envelope. Buck Slips find favor among movie stars, directors, producers and agents, who use them to paper clip to scripts — “Love-Love” or “Hate-Hate” or whatever they have to say about scripts. But they are inordinately useful in any number of other situations. A thank you note to your latest client, a message accompanying a check, a mash note or what-have-you. The greatest thing is that the envelopes are endlessly useful so you ought to buy more of them and when you decide to get 8.5″ x  11″ stationery, that also will fold into the envelope. So it’s a double duty type thing and you don’t have to buy a special sized envelope for your thank you notes. We use them incessantly here at the shop. When they are printed by letterpress, there is that added flair, the 3-D texture that sets your correspondence apart from the crowd. We like to print your name down at the bottom so you can “slash.” …Slash? Didn’t I tell you about the Art of the Slash yet? Oh, I love it so much. It’s so chic. You just “slash” through your printed moniker and scribble your initials right next to it. Don’t you want to get some too?

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I bought my first Heidelberg Windmill from Larry Rafferty. That was back in 1984 as I was getting ready to open my first business, and may I tell you,  I was terrified to open a letterpress print shop, my first foray out into Mondo Entrepreneurial. Larry had a long history with letterpress, broadsides, publishing, among many other things and he introduced me to all the old guys in San Francisco who knew anything about letterpress, who bought and sold lead type, who fixed equipment, sold paper and ink, and basically showed me the ropes. It was a gnarly world that, as one who “enjoys being a girl,” I somehow managed to fit into with so much joy and craziness that it kind of shocks me to look back on it now. Larry introduced me to the extreme type and equipment horsetrader, Jim Heagy, who in those raer less PC times, gave me a 10% discount “for being cute.” Hey, 10% is 10%.

Recently, Larry moved to a new house and studio, and he asked me to design a new logo and do up some new stationery and business cards for his online business, Larry’s Books & Autographs, www.mrbebop.com. Because he was having a new web site built, he also asked me to put in my two bits on his home page too. I said, “Larry, I want to do something modern and clean for you.” So I did. It’s Orange and Black and very, very chic. I recommend you go see Larry’s web site. He has the most amazing collections of music, autographs and books.

I just want to say Thank You, Larry, for all your help and encouragement for these last 25 years. I loved doing your new stationery. It looks great, don’t you think?

We used 600 gram Cranes Lettra for his business cards, and also made up stationery, #10 envelopes, mailing labels and 4″x 9″ script cards, all on Cranes Flourescent White papers.


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We recently had the pleasure of making business cards for Patricia Hildebrand, AKA Patricia Karina. It was a fabulously collaborative project. Patricia is an artist down to her bones and has very strong ideas…Me too! We talked a lot about directions we could go, questioning and retrying each iteration, and in the process grew to enjoy and respect each other very much. This is one of the greatest things about my business — getting to know and befriend my clients. Because we trusted each others’ instincts so much, it was a very satisfying ongoing conversation that bought us to the finished product you see above (and after her essay below). Would it be horizontal or vertical? What ink colors would be used? Would it be too much to use foil? What effect would be gained by this or that decision?

In the end, I decided to reverse out her PK monogram, using our new favorite “cappuccino” colored pearlescent foil. The PK plumps out from the pressed-in foil, for a super 3-D pillowing effect. In counterpoint, her very clean sans serif typeface, in black ink, presses deeply (but not TOO deeply) into the cushy paper. Altogether a feast of textural scrumptiosity. Yes, we love them and we are so happy she does too. Soon to come; matching thank you notes and envelopes!

Here is Patricia’s story. I told her I really didn’t need to do anything but lift it straight off her blog and blush with pleasure from all her complimentary words. Thank you, Patty. My pleasure:

600 gsm(s) of Paper Goodness

June 13, 2009

It started when I was really young. Not sure exactly when, I just know my business card fetish developed at some point during my childhood. I can remember my father handing out his business cards, proudly, as most entrepreneurs do. He used to have a collection of hundreds of business cards he had gathered from different business contacts and would meticulously store them in a black vinyl business card folio. As weird as it sounds I used to love playing with that thing! When most little girls were playing house, I was picking out my favorite business cards, taking them out of their designated slips, and pretending to hand them out to big potential clients. Gosh, I’m sooooo my father’s daughter!! I couldn’t wait to have my own REAL business card and that day came when I was 16. My friend and I started a t-shirt printing company and the first thing on my priority list was a business card!! We got what we could afford……and I was devastated!! Like I was bawling my eyes out devastated!!! My friend couldn’t understand why it was such a big deal, and although at the time I really didn’t know marketing lingo and principles, it was very clear to me that I was devastated because our cheap little cards didn’t reflect who I was nor left a good first impression. We were kids but I wanted to be taken seriously, and our business cards didn’t help!

Since then I’ve worked several jobs and have been given many business cards. Mostly ones decided upon by pharmaceutical companies. However, not till now have I had a business card that helped heal the trauma I experienced when I was 16. Really, to this day I still cringe when I think about my first card! I’m now the proud owner of beautiful, thick-as-a-piece-of-chewing-gum, Crane’s Lettra 600 gsm paper, stunning, letterpress business cards!!! They’re so amazing I had to blog about it! But more amazing is Zida Borcich and her outstanding team at Studio Z!! I’m convinced Zida is the Mother Theresa of the letterpress world. She was so patient and attentive with me and helped me throughout the entire process. Working with Zida was such a great experience that I’m hoping to run out of business cards soon so I can do it all over again!! She on other hand may want a break from me…..for about 10 years! Seriously, the woman is a saint and ridiculously talented!

So thanks to Zida and her team for helping me create such an impressive business card that truly reflects my business and who I am. It’s a card that I’m proud to hand out and doesn’t make me want to cry!!




Thank you to my husband for being my hand model. Sadly, his hands look better than mine these days.



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We just finished up Pam Amante’s reprint on her business cards. It’s people like Pam who keep printers in business. She passes them out wherever she goes, and she goes to lots of places where lots of people who like to travel go. She passes out so many cards that we had to replenish the supply! Most recently, she visited a convention of 25,000 travelers, all potential guests for her place On the Beach, here in Fort Bragg, CA. She told me this great thing that corroborates everything I have always believed about good design and typography. She told me that she had a lot of rack cards and other materials out on a table at the booth she was working in and noticed that people gravitated to the prettiest rack cards and took those, leaving the less gorgeous ones where they lay. I suppose it should not come as a big surprise but I loved to hear it…especially that the rack cards that flew off the table most quickly were The Beachcomber Motel’s, which we designed here at Studio Z Mendocino. Here is another view of The Beachcomber Motel business cards:


We love the gleam of truquoise foil that hints at the sweep of waves you can spy right from one of the decks of Pam’s perfectly located lodging place. We deeply impressed the type into her cards by letterpress in gray ink (sort of sand colored gray) and overprinted her “swoosh” in the blue-green metallic foil, on thick white paper. We think these “little ambassadors” speak volumes about the fun atmosphere, the nearness of the beach, the comfy vibe you will find there. This is the essence of what we do, creating a visual mood that expresses what a business wants to say about itself. Yay for the power of letterpress!

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I am all excited about the unveiling of artist Julie Higgins’s painting tonight at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. She is the featured artist this year and I got to be the graphic designer of all their printed advertising, which included big posters, small posters, rack cards, post cards, and an invitation to the unveiling. Everything looks so LUSH…Julie’s acrylics have this vibrant inner glow; it was SO much fun to work with this art. I can’t show you ANYTHING yet, not till after the unveiling…Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wait till you see! I will show you tomorrow after tonight’s festivities. The party’s outside at 5:30, if you can make it. Hope the 40% chance of rain gives over to the 60% chance that this overcast will clear up by then and we can all revel away sans umbrellas.


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