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Archive for April, 2010

The beautiful table setting by Dee Merz,  with menus by Studio Z Mendocino. Photos by Greg Gibson.

Some time ago I posted a story about the wedding invitations we did for Vanessa Gomez and Mike LaGatta’s destination Napa wedding. Vanessa just sent me these photos from the Big Day and i just had to share them with you. They and the following words, are from the blog of floral designer, Jessica Switala’s Fleurs de France, who created the incredible bouquets you see below. We were very pleased to have made Vanessa’s invitations and all the wedding pieces, table numbers, menus, programs, seating cards, thank you notes.

Vanessa & Mike, their family and friends all traveled to the Napa Valley for this Destination Wedding. The couple hosted their out of town guests to a full weekend of delicious food and wine. It began with an intimate luncheon at Brix in Yountville, proceeding to Groezinger’s for a lively, fun filled evening Welcome Party for all of their guests. The main event was held at Auberge du Soleil after their church ceremony the following day.
Feathers and fiddlehead accented the brides bouquet and the rich textural florals in deep purples, eggplant, apricots and oranges. The shades and textures of their arrangements created a luxurious atmosphere fused with deep purple Peau de Soie linens and Topaz Terracotta napkins and chair cushions from La Tavola. I absolutely loved working with Dee Merz, their Napa wedding planner. We worked easily together, planning, discussing colors, linens, and other endless details. Vanessa provided style and color inspirations and then gave me complete latitude to create from my heart. The tears of joy I saw when she first saw her bouquet were a true indication that everything was perfection and just as she had envisioned. Greg Gibson just sent me these wonderful images! Enjoy!


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Photo by Pablo Abuliak

Maria Bernal, award winning photographer from Austin, TX, wanted a brand new brand and a new look, and she wanted her new business cards to be SEXY. She wanted them to speak subtly about lingerie, mystery, outrageous and over-the-top glamor and just stop people in their tracks when she handed them one. What is a sexy business card? I confess, I didn’t know either. But the answer came to me in the middle of the night with a vision of this MB monogram.  Black, super thick Museum Mount with three foils: black gloss foil, pewter-silvery foil and hot pink fuchsia foil. The bodacious flash of hot pink edge painting sent her new business cards on a trajectory to Venus. Nobody can believe them.

Photo by Zida

Maria tells me all the time that potential clients won’t put her cards in their purses or pockets: they carry them around or they put them on their mantles! If any card will get you remembered, a card with this kind of boldness and yumminess will.

Photo by Zida

Here are Maria’s own words about her quest for a new brand and a new business card:

I.AM.SO.EXCITED.  Why?  Well, I did something for myself and my company and I think it is super awesome! What have I done?  I have been struggling with my company logo and I have been struggling with my website and all the other business stuff that goes with it all. I wanted a FULL IMAGE, I wanted NEW MARKETING materials, I wanted THE WORLD!!! Ha Ha.

Anywho…Marketing and image are a HUGE PART of a photographer’s business and I felt that I needed a huge change.  How does one go about figuring out what their company image is and what it should be? What kinds of things do you change when you go about a new marketing strategy?  Well, first, you need a SMOKIN’ logo-that is the foundation of your image. You need a great website, something that you love and that your clients will love (hopefully). New stationary, New gift cards, New envelopes, New EVERYTHING!  That is a lot to change. How do you get started?  I can tell you that I struggled because as artistic as I am, I was in my box! I could not get out of it to design my new company image. I wanted something new, bold, sexy…I could not design it :(

Then came a light at the end of the tunnel. I called one of the top designers in the country: Zida Borcich of Studio Z!  HOLY CRAP. That woman is a GENIUS!  No, not just a “genius” but a GENIUS!!! I called her up and I showed her my website and I said “Zida, I need something sleek, sexy, and uptown”.  For you car folks..I wanted a bugatti, I wanted a Maybach… mmm. She said, “ok, I understand”.  I said “Zida, I am not easy and I may take a long time to agree”. She said “I am pretty sure I understand what you are looking for”.  FOLKS-She nailed it in two days!! You ask yourself… “why do I need to hire a graphic designer to design my new marketing materials? I am an artist, I can do it.”  Well, there is NO WAY I could have come up with what she did because even as artists, we can be in our box when it comes to marketing materials.    Zida has designed new primary logo, complimentary logos for letterheads and other stuff… Zida has truly given me a new brand and I love her for that!  My new business cards that she is designing for me with the letterpress + painted edge is “to die for.”  Zida is not able to put all my stuff on her website yet because I want to reveal it first but, I know it will be because she did an amazing job.

Photo by Zida
Even the backs are cooler than cool

In the process of designing and printing up these showstopper business cards, Maria and I became friends. I mean, like hi baby what are you doing kind of friends. It was therefore ultra fun finally to meet her in person and to be able to hang out with her and all her fabulous friends from Texas at WPPI, like Richard Sturdevant, The Edmonsons, Lou George and Eydie from BWC, Jason Huang, Andrew Chan, and all of those fabulous guys. Wonderful to really get to know each other a little more than just about letterpress printing. Maria’s talents seem to be endless. I am so glad I got the chance to work with her on this totally fun project. She loved the design so much that she had a new web site built and just changed up EVERYTHING. Very exciting, very very…

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Pablo Abuliak came to the shop the other day and did a little photo shoot of recent work, Although I already showed you KIMI‘s cards in a previous post, I thought these photos were so beautiful that is is worth a revisit, don’t you think? I love the way the halographic foil changes color in different lights and different angles. So lively…like Kim and the lively work she does.

Can you find the “K”?

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Airika and Gerald Pope, Seattle rock stars of photography, wanted their new brand to reflect the way they are in their work and life: a real couple who connect with other real couples on the biggest day of their lives. Their designers, RedDoor Creative, did a beautiful job on their new logo. It’s all about connection, connection, connection. The Popes came to me, referred by Sarah and Chris Rhoads, whose stationery and cards we did last year, to put the logo on paper in time for WPPI, the extravaganza photographers’ convention, in Las Vegas. We scrambled fast enough to get the gorgeous, square cards there right in the nick of time, something we are kind of famous for.

The cards are printed on Cranes 600 gram Lettra in a reddish-brown ink, printed  on both sides. They are stunning.

I love what Airika and Gerald had to say on their blog:

Many of you may know that we have been contemplating a name change/re-brand since we started our business as Gerald Pope Photography over four years ago. We really felt that the name needed to be updated to reflect the fact that Airika and I are a team. We always work together, we play off of each others strengths, and we would have never gotten to where we are today without each other. Our relationship is an important part of who we are and how we run our business, and this is fully reflected in our new name–The Popes!

Our logo/identity/brand is all thanks to the guys at Reddoor Creative. It was such a pleasure working through the whole process with them–they are amazing, and we can’t imagine where we’d be right now without them! Another huge thanks goes out to our letterpress printer extraordinaire, Zida. The technology she used to create our new business cards is over 500 years old,  and each one is truly a piece of art!

It was wonderful actually to meet Airika and Gerald in Las Vegas just a few days after their cards were delivered. Another big “connection.”

The symbolism of connection in The Popes’ logo aligns so much with what we are about here at Studio Z Mendocino. We are in the business of connection, relationship and communication and we love it so much that the work we do continues out endlessly between people and lovers and businesses and organizations and wedding guests, reaching out to bring the world together a little bit more beautifully every single day. The connections we make with our clients, too, are often lifelong relationships that the business we do all the more sweet, deep and precious.

Studio Z  can letterpress your already-designed logo and guide you and your designers along to make sure the final  design is letterpress-friendly, and that the most effective techniques and materials are used to give the finished product all the drama and moxie you dream about. We can also design your new brand from scratch. The impact of a spectacular business card to your bottom line is immeasurable. The third dimension of letterpress cannot be duplicated by any other form of printing. It is a powerfully memorable, dramatically beautiful form that will engage prospective clients like nothing else. We vote for LETTERPRESS!

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