CAN YOU SEE THE “V” AND THE “F” IN
THE VICTORIAN FARMHOUSE
Sometimes people are surprised to learn that Studio Z Mendocino is more than a print shop and more than a card line. Actually, we are very definitely a graphic design studio where new logos and ad campaigns are part of our everyday landscape. I wanted to show you this business card we recently did for Jo and Fred Bradley for their tranquil B&B retreat near the sea, in Littleriver, California, Dennen’s Victorian Farmhouse.
Jo came to me excitedly, and a little trepidatiously too, because she had been living with her old logo for a very long time. She knew she needed an updated look, but it was a loaded transition, and what I designed for her was such a big departure from her old look, that it took a bit of getting used to, polling her advisors, and sitting with it just trying to figure out if she loved it totally or was just scared.
A new logo is like that sometimes. You know you want it, but it is almost too big a decision to be able to commit to even doing it, much less to commit to a single thing that will be your representative for years and years to come. It is HUGE.
The process, as a designer, was typical for me…I started fooling around with the name, the location, the intention of the owners, went over and walked around the property (this is NOT my usual habit but they are close by, so I did that too), went into my trance state, drew up five or ten things until something made me jump. OOCH! Suddenly, I am in love. I get this body hit and I just KNOW.
I loved the leafy monogram idea because the garden at the Victorian Farmhouse is so incredible you can’t believe it, and I thought that would convey a sense of the natural world that is so much a part of their atmosphere. I do love making monograms too, I have to admit. Playing with the alphabet will never lose its appeal for my inner first grader. Although Bernhard Modern Bold is not a “Victorian” typeface, I was going for a more modern twist on the whole Victorian vibe. After all, they didn’t have hot tubs in Victorian times either. They didn’t have web sites and they didn’t have ten-million-thread-count sheets either. Things change, no? Justifying the three lines of their name made a strong statement and underlined the monogram.
For the color palette, I used a paled-back sage green ink and went back in with little threads of gold metallic foil for “veining,” and for the border. I was in love but would Jo be in love???
I showed it to her. She didn’t know what to say. We talked about it. She sent it to everybody she trusted, showed it around, lived with it for a while, thought of all the ways it was different, cautiously began to accept the idea of this giant change. It was exciting, but hard. I wondered if I was all wet, but I just had this feeling about it and stayed with her process. It took some time, but I just talked to her yesterday and she has fallen in love too. The response from her guests has been everything she and I would possibly want…they are basically crazy about it too. How amazing life is. I love happy endings.
Here is the back of their business card:
We also designed and letterpress printed letterhead, envelopes, and had their confirmation cards printed digitally. We are in the process of completing the design of her new rack cards, which are going to be very gorgeous too. I have this feeling about it…
If you are thinking of coming up to the Mendocino coast for a little getaway, you could call Jo up and ask for a reservation so you can cozy up at the Victorian Farmhouse and take advantage of their affordably indulgent, deliciously romantic welcome. And the weather is great this time of year, too. If you come up around Friday, November 6th, you can make it to my Wayzgoose too. We invite you.
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