Archive for April, 2011

Enchanting Planting, a garden and landscape design company in Orinda, California, has been my customer for decades now. I designed their logo back in the 1980s and we all have really loved it through numerous reprintings. Recently they came to me for a reprint of their business cards and also needed new stationery and envelopes too.

Prepared to reprint with minimal changes — adding the URL and email address were all they wanted added — I sent some new paper samples down to them because their old paper had been discontinued from the mill. While I was at it I threw in a few other samples of business cards and other work we have been doing at the shop, just to let them in on what we have been up to recently, which, if you follow this blog, you know has been pretty thrilling.

Well, imagine my surprise when they called back completely gaga over everything, especially the very thick black cards with foil stamping. They didn’t even know anything like that existed in the world. WELL! You have to know how I love to bite into something like this. A complete updating of their look was in order all of a sudden, yet they did still lovethe motifs I had used initially, which you can see below.

This is, you know, a conversation. To redesign or design from scratch a new logo and branding requires some introspection…What do you love? What do you want to ditch? What’s different about what you are doing now as opposed to what you used to do when the first logo was created. What is the mood you want to set up with your cards? Who are your customers now? What are they like? What should the color palette be? Etc., etc….These questions guide the direction of the logo design process.

We chose to keep the happy image of the flower basket, but to put it on in a gleaming apple green foil. We chose to use thick, thick Museum Mount black paper instead of the former cream colored, much thinner stock, and to lose the jungle patterned border. I redesigned their logotype, too, using a more modern font. This, and the contact information, we stamped on in gold metallic foil. And I put the phone number is a swoopy, romantic type that calls to mind the movement and grace of leaves in a breezy garden. Then, the coup d’gras — EDGE PAINTING in the same apple green. Look:

It’s quite clear that there is NO garden design company in the world with cards that look anything like these. As distinctive and gorgeous as the work Enchanting Planting does all over the Bay Area, they now have business cards that set the stage for what they stand for and what they create in people’s homes and yards.

It’s so much fun to work with my clients, many of whom have been with me since I opened in 1984, and who feel like old friends to me. I’m always so happy to hear from them again and again over the years. They are clients AND friends. Makes my life very grand. Knowing they are proudly passing out the work we have done for them here at Studio Z Mendocino and helping them to get their names out in the most elegant, edgy, beautiful way…why does that give me such a thrill? But really, it does. I love them and I love the work we get to do for them, and they are excited and proud of their printed things…it’s such an interesting, engaging, creative relationship. How much better could it possibly get than this?

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This latest issue of Real Estate Magazine is out on the racks and shelves in over 300 locations county-wide. The editorial this time is very dear to me. I interviewed Fionna and Richard Perkins at the beginning of the year. They are two of the most incredible people I have ever known and I took home three hours of stories, notes, and tape recordings from their amazing life together here on the south coast of Mendocino County. Since 1962 they have keenly encouraged and participated in the arts, particularly poetry, in the south coast’s thriving cultural scenes, were instrumental in building the Point Arena Library and the fabulous Arena Theater, and lived a free-thinking, brilliant life. Now, at 86 and 92, they were excited to see the paper with their picture on the cover and a story about the mark they have made in these territories.

With one thing and another, the piece didn’t come out till last Friday. I called Fionna to tell her I was playing hooky from work and would bring a bunch of copies down to them in person. You really can’t imagine my sorrow upon hearing Fionna say, “I need to tell you this, Zida. Richard died this morning.” I missed showing him the article by only a few hours. I went down to Fionna with the magazines and read the pieces to her out loud. This has been one of the biggest experiences of my life. I feel so honored to have known these beautiful iconoclasts, even the little bit I do. I love and admire them so much.

I hope you will go read about them. I wish everyone could have known them.

You can pick up a magazine or read it online at the Real Estate Magazine website. I hope Richard somehow does know about it anyway. We miss him.

This is s picture of Richard on his eightieth birthday, blowing out the candles, with Shannon Hughes behind him. She made the dinner and had the party at her house.And below is a picture of Point Arena’s Poet Laureate for Life, Fionna Perkins.

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Jessica Chapman of Brio Media wanted business cards with a very big WoW factor. Here are Jessica’s own words:

I absolutely had to do a quick post about my new business cards from Studio Z Mendocino!  Zida did such a wonderful job guiding me to finalize the design for the most “moxie,” getting them to print, and even getting some edge painting done!  These are certainly not your typical, cheaper business cards for sure, so I will be hoping on a good Return of Investment as I start to WoW people I will pass them out to!

Keeping in line with what we were taught in a recent workshop, I kept it simple, clean and classy by steering away from any temptation to do a card that included images.  Also, for the WoW! effect, I went with a square shape on thicker black museum mount with silver foil stamping and light gray edge painting (much of this thanks to Zida’s recommendation).

Needless to say, going with a classic black with the edge painting makes a statement!  So black that you won’t be able to write on it, and so classic and sturdy that even if you don’t book me, you’ll keep my card around for decoration!

The Wikipedia definition of MOXIE is: “courage, daring, and energy,”

I think this describes Jessica, her beautiful work, and her new business cards equally.

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The current issue of Real Estate Magazine is out on the racks and getting picked up fast, so get yours while they are still around. You can also read all about it at www.realesteatemendocino.com. The winds keep kicking up their April heels around here but the gardens are undaunted. Andarin’s article about “birdscaping” — and butterfly- and bee-scaping, too — makes you want to get out there in the gale and start planting. Well, kind of. The photos by Ron LeValley are also very charming. If you are in the market for a house or business, please check all the listings. Seems like a little shift is in the “wind” too…a little more activity. Keeping our fingers crossed for spring in all it’s promise.

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