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Archive for February, 2011

Ronnie Gilbert, beloved local musical icon and writer from the Weavers’ heyday, lives in Mendocino. Antonia Lamb, astrologer to the stars and everybody else in the know, and great, great singer-songwriter who was that when it wasn’t called that, lives in Mendocino. Meridian Green, daughter of Folk founding father Bob Gibson, and whose own bell-like voice has been heard here for decades, lives in Mendocino. The Blushin Roulettes live in Mendocino. Gweneth and Monko and Morgan all live in Mendocino. What is the magnet here for so many musicians to take up residence. Must be the groovy vibe. You can read all about Folk Music in Mendocino this week in Real Estate Magazine, which Studio Z Mendocino now publishes. Pick up a copy all over the county, or go to our website to get the whole lowdown: www.realestatemendocino.com. The photos are very cool.

Love this sexy one of the young Antonia with Bob Gibson and Biff Rose in 1971:

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Matthew Cotter, an amazing photographer from Southern California’s just got his black, super-thick, foil stamped letterpress business cards AND his complete stationery wardrobe of letterhead, envelopes and buck slips/thank you notes for his E-Ticket Photography business. We printed cards for Matthew and his business partner Patrick Hartson on black Museum Mount for a significant heft in the hand. We foiled his “EP” logo in black, glossy foil, and E-TICKET PHOTOGRAPHY, as well as the back contact information, went on in shimmery silver foil. The cards are the shape of a piece of chewing gum, long rectangles, which is a feature that sets his business cards apart from the crowd.

The black-and-white contrast of these cards against florescent white stationery is breathtaking. We used twenty-eight pound Cranes Crest letterhead paper, which is thicker and snappier than more usual twenty-four pound stock. Again, the logo is in black gloss and the type is in matte black ink. These textural contrasts have a subtle but undeniable impact. The impression that letterpress printing leaves, too, adds one more element to the overall experience.

The final fillip to this zesty package was Buck Slips (shown above), otherwise known as Script Cards. These are 4″ x 9″ note cards that can be used to paperclip notes to scripts (all directors, actors, producers, etc. MUST HAVE THESE) or other things, AND they fit right into the #10 Envelopes so you don’t need a dedicated envelope for your thank you notes. I recommend Script Cards whenever I make business cards for anyone. There is nothing like a hand written thank you note on a scrumptious piece of paper that will impress a client more. We printed their names (each got a clutch of these cards) at the bottom so they can “slash” through the printed name and pen their initials or signature.

The Chicness Factor is as clear as black-and-white. E-Ticket Photography looks great on paper!

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EmmaRose Photography, in Nova Scotia, Canada, just got her new letterpress business cards done up by Studio Z Mendocino and is very, very happy about them. I am not even going to say anything in this post, actually, except that I totally LOVED getting to work with Emma Rose. She is a creative geyser and completely fun and adorable and energetic and a great photographer and mom. Sheesh. Here are her own words and her own incredible photographs (taken hours before the big show we got them to her in the nick of time for) of her own spellbinding business cards, designed by her own amazing self:

Hi Zida! I hope you got my voicemail yesterday thanking you from the bottom of my heart for these beautiful little pieces of artwork… I just couldn’t wait to photograph them and share the photos, my blog is up just now! Will send photos asap, hope to work with you again!!! xo Emma.

Hi Folks! Yes, I’ve been in blogging hiatus, but I’m back! I have been biting my nails in anticipation of this blog… thinking of how I will make these photos, when I would be able to blog about this event… my new business cards have arrived! Just in time for this year’s biggest wedding trade show in Halifax, Brides 2011, at the World Trade & Convention Centre. I think this is my 7th year at the show and I’ve got a completely new booth this year, one I’ve been planning all year…

OK, back to the business cards… I have to admit first of all that I’ve become a tiny bit obsessed with the work of Zida Borcich… she’s the owner one of the blogs I watch and more importantly a letterpress and design studio, Studio Z, in Mendocino California. “You watch a letterpress blog?” you say to yourself? It might sound a bit crazy, but I’m drawn to all kinds of art, and Zida’s work is so much more than printing, it’s ART. After I came across her website and blog I just HAD to have her do some cards for me. It’s been a journey, with my thrifty, controlling and perfectionist sides battling with the sides of me that want extravagant top-of-the-line things, and the sides of me that want to encourage other artists and allow them to do their work in the best, freest way possible. There was inner conflict, let me tell you! In the end I did the basic design and Zida lovingly tweaked it for me, gave me her opinion (thank goodness), and was one of those people I wished lived down the street so I could run in and hug her for this amazing art-on-paper that is the end result! Who knew you could do such lovely things with a sheet of paper. I can’t believe it’s just paper!

I hope you can see in the photos the texture of the paper, though, and how the two gray inks are pressed into it and how the pink O is pressed even deeper and coated in a foil so that it shimmers in the light like a jewel… *sigh* My heart was beating as I opened the box yesterday… just look at the pink painted edges, the thickness of the paper! Stunning work Zida, thank you so much for your patience with my questions, indecision and do-it-yourself attitude, haha! These are real show-stoppers!

xo Emma.

Wait: I said I wasn’t going to say anything but really, I must. Which is: we printed them on our favorite Cranes Lettra 600 gsm, super-luxurious, super-thick paper, on both sides, in two gray inks and this hot pink metallic foil. Then edge painted them in the same hot pink. They are so very very extra-ordinary! As you can obviously see.

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Hankering after a little ocean view getaway on the coast? This could be your best chance to get it. Read all about it in Alicia Abuliak’s story in REM, out now. Or you can see it, along with lots of Mendocino County real estate listings online here: REM.

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I have been wanting to show you the business cards we did for photographer Ellen Anon for a while now. There is just no way to describe them or even to photograph them, though, that can really impart the amazingness of these beautiful objects, although Ellen’s photo above comes close. What doesn’t show is the way the color pops off and morphs as the angle of the card changes in relationship to light. This is because … well, let me start from the beginning:

Ellen called me one day out of the blue and wanted me to do some business cards for her. She is an award winning photographer who travels the world incessantly and takes the most staggeringly gorgeous photographs of the natural world and had stumbled onto my blog. I felt like I had known her all my life after the first phone call. We just clicked. It turns out Ellen is also the author of six books about photography and Photoshop, gives workshops all over the place and is interviewed for her expertise in these subjects.

We dug into the project immediately and it was the most fantastic collaboration. She started sending photographes to me and I was looking at them with a graphic designer’s eye for line, color, something that would give me that physical hit I get when I just know something is right. With letterpress printing, you really can’t have a four color image, at least not one you would be happy to look at. Photography and Letterpress Printing are two art forms that are in different galactic systems in terms of how color is laid down and of course many other factors, although there are many intersections, too, in the way we approach our crafts and how we perceive things.

Letterpress printing, particularly, with its deep impression into soft, non-shiny paper seems at odds with how a photograph can be interpreted. But that is the charge we set for ourselves. I wanted to incorporate one of her images into the design and logo, but it was going to have to be done in some very unusual way. I had recently finished Elizabeth Perkins’s business card that used a photograph of a grand stairway in England, turning it into a negative and printing that in white ink onto black paper. It was a very successful experiment and I thought I could use that experience to advantage for Ellen’s project.

Looking through her galleries was a great pleasure and of course an equally big puzzle. We looked at many images from all over the world together… wildly colored agricultural steppes in China, drama-queen trees, a crazy geyser in Nevada…all mind boggling, but when she sent me a picture of a river in Iceland that looked like a big tree branch, I just stopped everything.

This was IT.

So, how to turn a full color photo into something I could make into a letterpress image?

Yes…quite a question. Ellen went to work in Photoshop and so did I. We were burning up the airwaves with various iterations, nixing and mixing, then suddenly, there was this duotone…I said, what would happen if we turned each of the two layers into its own foil die? Then there was a moment when inspiration went out of control and I said, OK, the foils are going to be PEWTER/SILVERY and HOLOGRAPHIC TURQUOISE that turns into every shade of blue in the spectrum. That was also IT. We decided to put this glowing idea on black, super-thick Museum Mount paper for even more dramatic impact.

There were a lot of experiments that went back and forth to Pennsylvania — holographic blue with pewter, pewter and copper and even copper and holographic foil. They were ALL gorgeous! Everybody concurred. They were a big hit.

Because Ellen was hanging out of a plane high above an Icelandic landscape, trying to keep her camera from blasting out of her hands in the intense wind in order to take this shot, the many trials and errors, extra Skyping, and much discussing of ins and outs about the designing and printing of this image seems like almost, ALMOST, a piece of cake. Can you imagine? She is my hero.

Above, you see the original photograph and below, what we did with it to make it into her new logo and business card. Sheesh.

It was a very exciting and fulfilling project that got me and Ellen into the Friend Zone. There were a few doubts about whether the whole crazy idea would even work, as I conferred with our fabulous printer Rhea…the tension mounted and then…it did work and it is gorgeous.

We are all kind of gaga about the cards and the incredibly intense experience of working together toward such a satisfying ending. This is something, I am pretty sure, that has never been done before in the world. How cool is that?

Please go see Ellens work at ellenanon.com. Totally worth the trip.

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