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Archive for September, 2011

Meier/Ferrer designs contemporary, modernist furniture that has been featured in a slew of national and international magazines. Their look is clean, hip and ultra-chic, which matches perfectly the design Andrew Cinnamon did for their business cards, and which Studio Z Mendocino printed on our venerable 1952 Heidelberg letterpress. It’s that meeting of the centuries that I love so much: the Twenty-first to the Fifteenth, to be exact — Thank you, Mr. Guttenberg for giving us the means to impress all these five hundred years.

We printed deeply the hard-edge typeface Andrew adapted for this purpose onto super-thick 600 gram Lettra paper. Dense black ink. One side only. And let the typography tell its own story with no fanfare other than its own audacity. We also made script cards for them. Four by nine cards that fit into a #10 business envelope or can be paper clipped to a sheaf of design mock ups with a little note. Love love.

 

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New Taste of Mendocino County : Hippest New Tasting Rooms & Wine Bars : New Issue of Real Estate Magazine Hits the Stands.

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Recently I was contacted by a photographer from the Velvet Strand, in IRELAND [I love the modern world]. David McNeill is a wonderful photographer who wanted a new look, new brand, new, new everything that would actually reflect the kind of work he is doing now. He had a DIY logo that was very outdated and he knew it wasn’t working for him. We discussed design and various printing options by email, and established quickly that, because he was still in the throes of establishing exactly what he wanted, that this project would be a stopgap measure. The budget wasn’t there and neither was the commitment yet for a full-on rebrand with fanciest letterpress business cards on thickest paper, which is what we do here at Studio Z most of the time. I suggested that we do a modified approach to get him through the transition. I would design a new logo at the lower end of my design fee range and we could do a digital card for now that could be adapted later on for letterpress. David agreed and we started the process of giving him a brand makeover. It was really fun to work with David. He is so open and pleasant and kind and fun. I can see why people love to have him do their weddings and baby portraits.

I went into my creativity trance and came up with this design that incorporates the present name of his business, the place he lives (Velvet Strand is a famous beach), with swirls suggesting water and waves (but not TOO obviously) and a grayed-pale-blue color (or colour as we like to say in Ireland). It is modern and romantic and a ton hipper than his last logo. I also modified his kind of long tagline to “more precious with time.” David loved the new look. It was a go.

The backs are done in a gray colour with reversed out type for the contact info.

I had them digitally printed on thick, glossy stock and shipped them across the Pond. These will carry David through the transition he is in right now, giving him time to consider every nuance, yet is something he can be proud to pass out as he negotiates through the rethinking of his entire brand and establishes himself with a new identity.

Total makeovers CAN be hard, but this actually was a lot of fun and not stressful in the least. Digital cards can be very beautiful. Actually, with a good design, any kind of printing will carry it through. Letterpress is the most beautiful thing to my eyes, of course. It always will be. But I often will do a digital card like with great results that I end up love, love, loving. It’s great to get to have clients all over the world, don’t you think? I am amazed by this. Twenty-five years ago, a negotiation like this would have taken months and months. This zoomed through so quickly and smoothly, even getting samples to Ireland so he could see the various treatments and papers available. Those covered-wagon days are long gone. International business cards: no problema!

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Not everyone knows that in addition to letterpress printing my passions include singing jazz. My piano accompanist is Ira Rosenberg, an awesome and amazing musician whom I adore playing with. Please join me and Ira at the Westport Hotel next Saturday night for drinks, dinner and jazz standards. Make reservations ’cause they book up quickly, make the gorgeous drive to the gorgeous spot and listen to music that evokes another time. It’s a very special place with great food, a wonderful, casual vibe and even beautiful rooms upstairs if you feel like staying overnight in a graceful atmosphere. Waking up in Westport is really a treat.

We would love to see you there!

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Wonderful writer Brendan McGuigan wrote the cover story for the new issue of Real Estate Magazine, all about the coolest new wine bars and tasting rooms in Mendocino County. Pick it up all over the place: Fort Bragg and Mendocino post offices, Harvest Markets, and a zillion realtors’ offices to name a few. Or you can read it online at REM Makes you want to rent a limousine asap!

Prices keep going down on properties around the county, so if you are in the market for some land or a new house or a business building (like MINE!!!!) come browse around the magazine and keep your finger on the pulse of so much that goes on in our amazing place.

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Seth Sirbaugh is a terrifically talented graphic designer whose new letterpress business cards carry the message of the new “tribe” brand he’s developed, in the most stylish way imaginable. We did two versions, which you see pictured above. The first was the more complicated. We used French’s Gray Durotone 80# cover, a mottled, slightly gnarly-in-a-chic-kind-of-way sheet. It’s not very thick, so to add substance (and mystery), Seth had us make a “sandwich,” laminating the backs and fronts of the gray Durotone, with a “filling” of pumpkin-colored Durotone. You can see the little, subtle, yummy orange stripe when you turn the card sideways.

The fronts of the cards were printed in black glossy foil with the “tribe” logo and the uber-hip tagline, “design. cultured.” I love that. The backs have the contact information foiled in white opaque foil. With darker colored papers, white ink will not block out the background color entirely. There is always some bleed-through, so to alleviate that, we always use opaque white foil, which is much more opaque.

The entire laminated card is still not as thick as, say, 600 gram Lettra, which we use most often here these days for our most premium jobs. He didn’t want them to take up that much room in his wallet. At first. But then there was a small crisis, which I won’t go into right now, which allowed us to make another, smaller batch of cards on white 600 gram Lettra. On this run, we edge painted them in the same pumpkin-y orange. And, oh la la, baby. How can he decide which version to pass out?

Working with a designer of the professional caliber of Seth Sirbaugh is a pleasure beyond pleasure. Collaboration is always necessary on a job (jobs) like this one. He had the vision and I acted as mediator between that and making the vision into something he could hold in his hand and be proud and assured that it represented him well. When the crisis occurred, Seth was gracious in the extreme. Often, with letterpress, patience is a virtue, and Seth’s virtue showed up in the form of little wings sprouting from the shoulders of his tee shirt.

It’s not usual to get to give a design two entirely different treatments like this, so as a way to show off the amazing versatility of letterpress’s many virtues, there could not be a better example. The entire mood is changed, the vibe, maybe even the clan, in these two very different versions of the same design.

We all wanna be in Seth’s groovy tribe!

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