Archive for November, 2009

Cappuccino-colored, opalescent foil on khaki-colored, super thick Museum Mount, sculptural impression, edgy design

The insanely talented graphic designer B. Ryan Hunley just sent me an email with a description of the work we did together that resulted in these sculptural, edgy letterpress business cards. I share it here with you:

Zida: I cannot thank you enough for your incredible insight and understanding of the creative process. Throughout the design and printing of the cards, you were incredibly accommodating of my incessant questions and indecisiveness. You have the unique ability of working well with creatives, sharing your knowledge and thoughts while still staying true to the original vision.

As a creative professional, it was important for my card to be an impact piece. Everything from the weight, the texture, the composition had to push an image for the Second Street brand in addition to serving the utilitarian role of a business card. Thanks to your wide ranging resourcefulness (both tangible and intangible) I think we were able to work together to create something that exceeded my expectation, a rarity when dealing with fickle creative types. This is a testament to your vision and professionalism. Thanks so much!

Ryan Hunley, Art Director  Second Street Creative   317.426.9799  www.2NDcreative.com www.twitter.com/2NDcreative

Thank you so much for your complimentary words, Ryan, and beautifully written note. It moved me very much to read it. I  feel appreciated and very happy to receive such praise. Slightly blushing right now.

We went for a bit deeper impression on Ryan’s cards than we ordinarily would. It was an artistic decision, and it works with this crazily thick paper, which takes the sculptural quality of letterpress to the outside edge of the possible.

It was our pleasure to work with such a great design and designer, and a great and fun collaboration. Always, stretching what we know is the most fun part of what we do at Studio Z Mendocino.

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As a Letterpress Printer, I have a certain standard to uphold in my own business cards, don’t you think? We are always fooling around with our next iteration. Sometimes it is vertical, printed on cream colored paper, sometimes a little folder, 2.5 x 2.5, with a lot of info printed on the inside. A small book. The last ones we did up went on to, of course, Cranes 600 gram Lettra, long, skinny, a little flash of gold foil. I love them but they are missing one thing: EDGE PAINTING. When I run out of these, guess what’s next…yep, can hardly wait! Remember Jason Huang and Andrew Chan’s? I’m jealous now…

Edge painting really IS the new black. Dreaming of what color I will put on mine. Carmine? Puce? Maybe just Table4’s turquoise… or FUCHSIA!!!!

Anyway, here is how the back of my present card looks:

My name in lights. Well, in ink. There is just something great about passing out cards that make people go…Hey!

You know?

One of the great perks of having your own press is that you get to play. While printing up the last batch, Rhea Rynearson, my fabulous presswoman, threw on some gray museum mount and put silver foil on instead of gold. Ohhh!!! Then she threw on some khaki colored museum mount and printed it in burgundy ink and gold foil and that was beautiful, too. Sorry I didn’t take a photo of that one. She even went really crazy and printed a tiny few on this amazing kiwi colored paper that I adore. They are all gone now, sadly. That was the limited edition.

One thing this illustrates is that a good design will work in a lot of ways, and it needs to. When I design a new logo, I always go for maximum flexibility. You will be putting it not only on business cards and stationery, but rack cards, on your web site, your fax sheet, your ads, your TV show, your window, engraved on your granite column and, of course, on your delivery truck. Each medium carries its own strictures and limitations. That is a lot of work for a logo to do so it had better be adaptable.

With my own branding, sometimes it’s one color, sometimes something else; sometimes it’s stacked vertically, sometimes horizontally. I even change out the decoration on the Z. I know it’s breaking the immutable law, but call me a maverick. If it needs to be black and white, I make that work too.

As I was telling a client the other day, a logo is a TOOL. It should not rule you, you get to boss it around. That’s my Sunday morning wisdom so far today. Stand by. There may be other gems coming from my fingertips in a minute.

Another perk of being a Letterpress Printer is I get to collect Letterpress treasures like these flowery initials. So yum.

Here is how I decorated my Z on my digital rack card. Call the cops!

Letterpress Printers, like everybody else, want to hand you an over-the-top little thing that tells you about what they do in the most fundamental way. A business card becomes a form of semaphore: turning traffic your way in a blizzard of other people’s less interesting offerings. Call today!


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Plain old chipboard gussied up to Green

When Julia Conway, foodie extraordinaire and co-owner of Stella Cadente Olive Oil Company, came to me for her new business cards, I showed her some very gnarly chipboard with lots of organic matter evident in the texture, thinking it would look great with their distinctive Stella Cadente logo. She loved the idea and loved the finished product just that much, as did Lewis, her business partner.

Texture, color, thickness — Chipboard adds up to a great look for business cards that represent hand crafted, sustainable foods and other environmentally pertinent products

I reworked the layout, turned it on its end, and played matchmaker between the muscular paper and environmentally sound intention of Stella Cadente. Black ink (soy based, of course), front and back, impressed with enough bite into the 100% recycled paper to give one more bit of third dimension to these yummy cards.

— Totally recycled, super thick paper —

Stella Cadente flavored olive oils are one of life’s non-guilty pleasures. Nothing but big, gorgous flavor to put on everything from your salad to your baguette, even in your cake. Meyer Lemon, Persian Lime, Rosemary, Basil…How can it be so perfectly good for you as well?

How many foodies do you have on YOUR shopping list?

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The Bracebridge Dinner Company — Photo by Lani Spicer

Last summer I had the great pleasure of having dinner with Andrea Fulton, producer, director and star of The Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite, and her partner Lani Spicer.

Andrea Fulton

It was a very fun dinner party with our friends Howard Ennes, who invited me in the first place, and Cindy Frank, whom I have known and loved for years, at a little restaurant that overlooks the Noyo Bridge and the fishing boats making their way in from the day’s work.

We had such a great time that evening, I invited Andrea and Lani to come visit my shop on their way out of town the next day. They did come, though later on, Andrea told me she had not really been that interested in seeing a printshop, but they decided they liked me enough to make the stop. When they came in and saw all the work and designs and samples we have around, Andrea and Lani both kind of flipped about everything.

We ended up spending a couple of hours showing and telling, laughing and screaming, and then sending them off with piles of samples to show to her business partner, Margo McCarty. It turned out they had been trying to get a business card they really loved for ages, and when she saw all the stuff in my shop it seemed they had finally found the person who could give it to them. They had.

Fast forward several weeks…all three of them made a field trip to Fort Bragg to see what I could come up with. They had certain elements already in place, like the jester’s hat, and strong ideas about what they wanted the card to “say,” that impression that had to have so much in it about their incredible work.

It’s not usual to have this happen, but we spent most of the day working away, all putting in opinions, dreams, ideas, on all the elements, sort of “design while-u-wait,” with a wise break in the middle when they all traipsed off to get a coffee and ended up going on a shopping spree. When they finally got back with valises full of clothes, I had came up with a design they absolutely adored.

After our day’s labors, we all went out to dinner again to celebrate our long collaboration and happy success. These foodies are definitely my kind of people!

As you can see, we printed the cards up on our favorite, super-thick, 600 gram Cranes Lettra, using black ink and copper foil on both sides. The cards embrace both edges of the personality of the amazing extravaganza Christmas pageant, held each December at The Ahwahnee in Yosemite — the opulent, artful, delicious side…AND…the funny, goofy, tongue-in-cheeky side as well.

We are beside ourselves to be going to The Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite this year, the SIXTIETH anniversary of the show. The experience of doing these business cards with Andrea, Margo and Lani was so much more than a business transaction. We all ended up falling in LOVE with each other. How can I possibly be so lucky in this life and work I do? I dunno. I am so happy about it though.

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Akil Bennett called me when he needed wedding invitations because we had printed his business cards last year and established a great connection. Akil and Alex are getting married in Costa Rica, so we designed this letterpress printed invitation with tropical colors and a vacation mood. Printed in two colors on 300 gram Cranes Lettra, we mounted the printed sheets onto vibrant kiwi green backing sheets. There were also a travel details card and an Rsvp with return envelope in the set. Alex finished it off with such style, as you can see below in Akil’s photos.

In Akil’s own words:

Here are a few of my wedding invitations created by the talented Zida Borcich at Studio Z Mendocino. She also designed the business cards for my business along with my script cards and envelopes.  I’m in love with her work and she did an awesome job on the invitations.  My creative fiancée Alex took her idea and ran with it, designing the presentation boxes the invitations were delivered in, and hand tying all the maracas together with a bright orange ribbon. Everything came together great and we are very happy with how they turned out.  If any brides are looking for stylish yet elegant wedding invitations, definitely give Zida a call!

Thanks for the commercial, Akil! Love that…and love working with Akil.

When you are having a destination wedding, you want your invitations to give a little peek into the future and the great event that will occur. These happy, tropical invitations were a treat to retrieve from the mailbox.

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711 North Main — Overdressed for the Par-tay

The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Wayzgoose of Studio Z Mendocino took place on November 6th, but I am still in LOVE with what happened at it, so here is the lowdown, a little late, but oh well. In a nutshell: A zillion people came. It was fantastic.

I have been waiting for the photos to come back from my very busy brother in law, Hugh Smith, and they arrived yesterday. He took all the photos in this post. THANK YOU, Hugh!! You can see his amazing wild mushroom web site at HughSmith.com.

I got so many beautiful  thank you notes and  impressions of the Wayzgoose, so decided to tell this story in the words of a few of my guests:

Ed and Jen put up a zillion lights so we glowed like a Wayzgoose beacon in the nightl

From Judy Tarbell: What do you do in the presence of twenty-five years of creativity of a beautiful woman: tear up so it’s difficult to see the images; go upstairs to get a drink; dance to Zida’s powerfully lovely voice; return, champagne in hand, to the images, the poetry, the accomplishments of Zida’s life lived well and fully; rejoice that there is more to come.

The Shop, Festooned with Printing from 25 Years of Work, & Celebratory Guests Galore

From Erica Fielder, eco-artist, dear Libra sidekick and bringer of the tofu curry pate: Your Wayzgoose event was filled with light and laughter and very fun people. I saw folks there I had not seen in 10 years. Wonderful surprises like Beans and Champagne. What a pairing!Then Zida sang passionately with her eyes closed. We  danced, and a beautiful couple gazed into one another’s eyes. I felt so blessed to be there. Love, E

John & Daurine Braet brought me a silver family heirloom as a silver anniversary present. Displays of Letterpress & other printing along every wall and hanging from the rafters

From the Splendid Cammie King Conlon, who brought me her book Bonnie Blue Butler (whom she played in Gone With The Wind at the age of Five — a GREAT read!!!) Darling Zida: My mother would have had a heart attack knowing I was sending a thank-you note via email.  How rude!  But it might not get to you otherwise.Smashing party.  Wondrous Wayzgoose!  You are such a class act:  everything was original and personal and delightful.  The house looked spectacular.  Thank you so much for including  … Cammie

My Beautiful Ed and My Beautiful Creeolleee…

Carole King, my best friend in first grade, came all the way from Oakland. Imagine!

From Carole King, my best friend in First Grade: About the waysgooze: i knew it would be a great party before i entered: the rows and rows of lights lit up the yellow house like a little sun, even in the dark. i knew too that there would be good company, big hugs from you and ed, excellent food, the best “cheap champagne” around, maybe some torch songs, and a party mood. you always give memorable parties, but this one was even more special because all around were the  beautiful examples of your work and progression through the 25 years of the letterpress. the mission statement near the door (dennis read it and said, “zida has poetic ability”-and he hasn’t even read your poetry yet),the witty and touching cards,  the wine labels, invitations to events great and small, proclamations of all kinds, business cards like little works of art. it adds up to an exceptional career built with passion and talent by my exceptional friend. love, creolee.

Steve Paul accidentally brought his trumpet. That’s me hitting a note next to my great friend Jon Solow, who is also a dreamy sax player. Who ever heard of torch singing at a Wazygoose???

Pam Amante with Michael Brown. Pam sent me the most beautiful bouquet in the history of the world. She is my “other” sis! The bouquet came in the door at the stroke of 5, then Pam and husban Dan came as my very first guests. I had been worrying about having a party and nobody coming but that was not a problem at this one!

What a fun and fantastic party!  I never thought beans and champagne could be so fabulous! Pam
Beachcomber Motel On The Beach!

Pianista Lisa Stedman & Printer Extraordinaire, Rhea Rhynearson

Rhea printed up lagniappes for our guests: “Business Cards” that said things like: “My card, Sir! I’m a pretty good bullshitter myself but it’s a rare treat to encounter one of your caliber.” and “Is GROOVY still in?” and “It’s all good.” and”Watch your Ps and Qs.” If you want one, call us or come in…we still have lots. Collect the set!

Son-in-law Noah, David Marks, artist Julie Higgins, and my little Zoe

Riantee and Maggie O’Rourke

My Beautiful Zoe (right) had a ton of her invitations and designs up on display too. She is not only a genius, as you can see.

Carla Frazier and Richard Anderson. Richard brought his spectacular Fejoada

Yeah! Ayn Ruyman Being Ayn Ruyman

David in backgroud, Moonlight, Jim Tarbell yukking it up at the Party

Vicki & Amy

Favorite artist and great friend, Bob Ross, who had so much to do with encouraging me to open my own shop, in 1984, and fabulous artist and pure jazz bass player, Nina Mera

Ken Wun brought me the most exquisite and huge present: a photograph by HIM. I put it right up in my office where I get to look at it all the time. It is stunning.

My darling Kris Reiber and granddaughter Sara Rose. Kris made mole beans to die for.

Lots of biz cards on display, including my own!

Did we say YUM??? Beans make you say that!

Linda Friedman took over downstairs and made it into a vision of loveliness and a little paper boutique while schmoozing it up with the paper-loving shoppers

Zoe & Auntie Sandi (wherever Sandi is, that’s a Party)

It’s a Family Affair…Joe and Sandi at the “Bar”

Jazzmen Steve Paul and Jon Solow…also yum!

Belting Printer with Point Arena Jon on keyboards

Rox, my sister-out-law, and Karen, came all the way from the Bay Area too xoxoxo!!

Christmas-ready front steps by Ed Murrell & Jen Heebink

Enraptured Me, with my friend, Taylor Slevin

I am so happy and grateful to everyone who participated in the preparations. Joe and Rhea and Linda Friedman, first, for the mighty efforts at getting the shop ready for over 200 guests. THAT was a feat! And Ed and Jen Heebink, who together transformed the outside of the shop into what you see above…a big, glowing beacon to party-goers who wandered up from town. To Zoe and Maia and Kris and Erica and Judy and Richard Anderson and Ed (again) and Joe (not to mention my Tuscan beans with sage nor my buttered black bean dal) for their contributions to the Bean-Feast and Dessert Table — Yum. People are still raving about the bountiful international array of beans and champagne. You would think it was Dinner at Chez Panisse, the way they talked. To Linda F. (again), for visualizing the downstairs as a shopping spree gallery and Joe (again) for putting up the “Christo Wall of Butcher Paper” and making it so welcoming and pretty.

OK, when I looked up and people had spontaneously combusted into dancing…that was IT! Jim & Judy, “That’s my Sistah” Sandi, and Creeolee’s husband, Dennis, tripping the light fantastic to me singing “Since I Fell for You” or something…

Bartender, with Paper Cutter

Brother Joe did the honors with the Cheap Champagne

And many thanks to our beautiful Christina, who just came in and made herself useful in every way without anybody telling her what needed to happen.

Also, tremendously, to Jon Solow and Steve Paul, who came with piano and cornet and changed the atmosphere to a little bit of a jazz-club-cum-printshop with their extemporaneous, cool playing, and accompanying me on a few tunes too. And of course, a party cannot be a par-tay without guests, so I thank everyone who came to celebrate at the shop, ate beans and drank champagne, appreciated the distillation of twenty-five years of work displayed along all the walls and hanging on lines across the width of the shop above our heads (Zoe’s idea). It was a beautiful collaboration and a beautiful community love-fest. I couldn’t ask for a better fete for my Silver Anniversary of being in business.

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After five or six years of not actively selling or adding to our famous Ladies Who Lunch line of Studio Z Mendocino greeting cards, we finally took that whole section of our www.studio-z.com web site down not too long ago. Lo and behold, we have had a flurry of interest and inquiries in those cards and wonder where the heck those customers have been hiding out all this time. We now have a little button on our web site home page that takes you to a pdf catalog of all the designs. So now you can browse and inquire if we still have any of those left. Chances are, we do!

If you are one of those who have suddenly developed a hankering for replenishing your supply, you should know we still have lots of inventory downstairs at my shop and a very few shops have placed orders lately too. So if you want to order, please just call us us and we will do our best to fulfull your Ladies Who Lunch desires.

We have some boxed stationery too: Rose-is-a-Rose Blue-BirdVery cute, and very good prices…

We also have lots of fabulous Christmas and Holiday cards available a reduced prices! Not every design below is in stock but if you like one, call to see if it is.

2003 Xmas

Additionally, it might interest you to know that the paper company, Southworth, has put several of our Ladies Who Lunch cards in their line of papers, which is available through Office Max stores nationwide. You can see the designs at http://shop.southworth.com/groups.php?cat=4&group=46

For about ten years, our Ladies Who Lunch Cards were sold by Papyrus stores, Kates Paperie, and many, many other stores around the country. They provided a fresh, fun way to keep in touch without writing a desertation, and fill-in party invitations too. I’m so happy Southworth has done up a few to present to the mass market now. If they do well at that level, we should be adding to the line as time goes on. I also design for Graphique de France, so look for Studio Z-esque things in those two fabulous paper lines. Here is the page with Ladies Who Lunch cards on it. It’s not live, so you should go to Southworth.com if you want to order from them.

Personal: Reflections of Style Cards

Reflections of Style Cards
Stylish and sophisticated, this collection presents the perfect way to keep in touch with friends, plan your next get-together, or say “thank you”. The sophistication of Zida Borcich’s designs show through in gold foil and lovely letterpress inspired graphics. Kelle Boyd’s vintage flowers and bold graphics will delight your friends. And you’ll lose yourself in the lush garden fantasies of Terri Conrad Designs. Boxed sets come with envelopes to complement the design.

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WAYZGOOSE! invite_Page_1


Dateline: Studio Z Mendocino, 711 North Main Street, Fort Bragg, California, Mendocino Coast, Edge of the Continent Overlooking the Vast, Rocking Pacific, Storm Coming, 24 Foot Waves Expected —

It’s a crazy madhouse in the shop. The champagne and bean-feast is tomorrow and we are in the middle of a maelstrom of activity, and have been all week. Getting ready for two or three hundred party-ready people takes some preparation. The questions of what we want them to see when they walk up the street and in our door requires  discrimination and decisions. After all, twenty-five years of work is a lot of little pieces of paper, a lot of … just everything. Sorting through this history is an opportunity for introspection that you would not believe; I deeply feel  the import of this moment in my life.

A while ago I had an exhibit of work called “Generation X (Excuse Me, That’s No X) — Ten Years of Letterpress Printing In the Wrong Century.” Now it’s been a quarter of a century already, and I find myself poised at a Moment, a really superb moment. Looking back. Looking forward. I am feeling very happy today. I wish you could come to the party tomorrow and maybe you can.

Here is what a Wayzgoose is, in case you missed other posts. It is right off the invitation insert:

A wayzgoose has a long tradition in the history of printing. The first time we heard the word we had to look it up in the OED*. These days, a Wayzgoose is more often a dinner where letterpress printers gather to talk about the art they love, and believe me, that is some talking. A keepsake is often printed to commemorate the occasion, sometimes
printed up right at the affair, & there can be entertainment as well. Always ready for an excuse to throw a party, Studio Z Mendocino long ago adopted the idea, turning it into an appreciation of our customers & an opportunity to show off the beautiful craft we still get to practice.
“It is also customary for all the
Journey-men to make every
Year new Paper Windows…;
Because that day they make
them, the Master Printer gives
them a Way-goose; that is,
he makes them a good Feast,
and not only entertains them
at his own House, but besides,
gives them Money to spend
at the Ale-house or Tavern
at Night. These Way-gooses,
are always kept about
Bartholomew-tide. And till the
Master-Printer have given this
Way-goose, the Journey-men
do not use to Work by Candle
*Oxford English Dictionary
“Carriages were chartered,
an enormous quantity of
eatables and drinkables
provided, and away we
went, a regular wayzgoose
or bean-feast party.”
The Cruise of the Cachalot, by
Frank T Bullen, 1897

When we saw the part about the “bean-feast,” we had to look that up in the OED too. It actually means a feast, but we decided that it meant beans, and that is what our tradition became. A bean-feast with actual beans, and we would spare no creativity in serving beans from every corner of the world. Everyone was very, “Oh, ho ho, beans and champagne!” but then they would just eat the whole feast up and drink up all the champagne, even though it was quite cheap champagne (which is what we serve instead of giving out money to go to the Ale-house), and a regular Wayzgoose was had by all, in Fort Bragg. Somehow, with all the printing and designing and whatnot, we let our Wazygoose tradition go by the wayside, but for our Twenty-fifth Anniversary, how could we not revive it? We won’t be making paper windows, nor printing by candlelight at the Studio Z Mendocino Wayzgoose, but there might be a lagniappe to take home, if all goes well. We certainly look forward to seeing you here, to showing you our recent work, to serving champagne and beans to you and to ushering in our next twenty-five years. We hope to greet you at our party.

WAYZGOOSE! invite_Page_3

One other thing we added to the fete is Dessert and Shopping downstairs. It’s going to be so much fun I can’t stand it.

If you would like to read more about our work and history you can see the interview Arjen Noordman just posted to his online magazine, Cranbrook Design http://cranbrookdesign.com/index.php/topics/more/letterpress_by_zida_borzich/

Wishing you every good thing in the world as I dash off to glue some more business cards on a board and bake another batch of chocolate chip cookies. Quarter of a Century… how did this happen???? !!!

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Pablo BC 2

My son-in-law Pablo Abuliak is a very fine, prominent photographer from Buenos Aires. Here are the business cards I made for him. We printed them with deep impression on Cranes 600 gram Lettra in two shades of gray ink, with just his name on the front, and his US and Argentina phone numbers, email and URL on the back.

Pablos BC 1

LESS IS DEFINITELY MORE: Strong, direct, professional, understated, modern, chic

Pablo’s business cards express who he is and what sort of work one can expect from him. This the essence of what a good business card should do. You can see some of his exceptional talent at http://www.pabloabuliak.com. This taste of his work will show you why I am proud to say that Pablo is my favorite photographer in all the world.

Love you, Llerno! Z

Pablo BC 3

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