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Archive for the ‘Bed & Breakfast Branding’ Category

Sheesh. Am I a dilettante or just diverse? So, today’s post is about many topics and me me me, I guess. But I have all these things going on right now that are so exciting and fun that I want to tell you about, and, after all, this is MY blog, right?

First: My beautiful, amazing, virtuoso piano playing friend-accompanist Ira Rosenberg and I will be playing Torch Jazz at the Westport Hotel on Saturday, November 19th, starting around 7 pm. The last time we played there it was so packed that there was LITERALLY no room at the Inn. Every room upstairs was booked and every chair in the dining room and back rooms full of at least one person. Ira and I have been working on a bunch of new material and having our usual blast together getting ready for this gig. So please, if you want to come and hear some of the most beautiful songs ever written in the history of the world, songs that take you to another time and place, make reservations asap!!! Here is the number: 707.964.3688. (I gratuitously also mention that we made their website, just so you know we also do that.) Here is us at the September performance:


Second: My show of my new project, My Baby’s Love Letters, has been extended through the month of November!!!!! The opening is on Second Saturday, November 12, from 5 pm. I may or may not be able to be there to tell you about it, but really it doesn’t matter so much. The display tells all:

They make the most love-fest Christmas presents and unparalleled wedding gifts too, not to mention bar and bat mitzvah gifts, baby shower gifts and just about whatever event you can think up. Don’t wait to get that shopping list out! Bring it to the Highlight Gallery and make your orders now. I just made a fabulous initial for a wedding gift from an aunt to her niece. It had the bride’s and groom’s names (which both started with the same letter), their wedding date, the name of their favorite song (You and Me), and a few secret messages from the Tia and Tio. The report was that they LOVED their Love Letter and were so, so surprised. Of course!

Well, listen, I have to go for a walk in a minute. Loving these last warm Indian Summer mornings along the headlands. The tides are so high right now that the waves are sloshing right up to the cliffs. It’s exciting to watch them crash up against the rocks so closely that spray travels right up to me.

So, Thirdly: The November issue of Real Estate Magazine comes out TODAY and it is SO fabulous I can’t even believe it. You can pick it up all over the county over the weekend or read it online at Real Estate Magazine. The magazine is packed with all things real estate in Mendocino County and our feature story, which, this time, is about Maureen Gealey’s experiences in adopting  and helping others adopt orphaned children from China, and her missions there on medical teams that do cleft surgeries on little kids from the poorest villages out in the countryside. I was crying half the time as I designed the layouts for the cover and the story.

And finally, (sorry this is so long! It’s like four posts in one.) I just want to encourage you to call with your ideas and questions and dreams about our graphic design and printing services. The end of the year is a great time to rebrand or freshen up your present image with a new logo or breathtaking business card or thank you note or website, all of which we can help you with. And don’t forget that we have lots of boxed Christmas and Holiday cards now, all at, as they say, rock bottom prices.

I will have some new business card posts here very soon and also law firm announcements and wedding invitations.

You should also know that we will be vacating our building on Main Street in Fort Bragg very soon. After twenty-seven years, we are ready to make things smaller. But we will continue to provide our same amazing printing and design work from a littler venue. We hope there will be very little interruption in our services during the move but if you need something soon, this is the time to make your order.

OK, must get cracking! I hope your Thursday if full of fabulosity and music and fun and creativity.

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The Westport Hotel, Westport, California
All photos by Pablo Abuliak

A few years ago, Dorine Real and Lee Tupper bought the old Cobweb Palace, a hard-used, decrepit hotel and bar that had presided over the pristine seaside village of Westport, California, about twenty miles north of Fort Bragg, since the 1800s. They undertook the intimidating mission of transforming it into its twenty-first century incarnation as The Westport Hotel and Old Abalone Pub. Only people who knew it “back in the day” (I am one who visited the Cobweb Palace in the 1970s), and inhabitants of the population-200 town who watched the remodel as it happened, have a grasp of what Dorine and Lee had to do to get it to its newly splendid state. It’s almost beyond comprehension to find the place whole again, serenely overlooking sunset over a rumpled Pacific, as it has since Westport’s glory days as a major logging town. The Hotel has re-birthed to a level of comfort and loveliness that, I am sure, it never possessed, even when brand new. Because of the vision, dedication and, I can only surmise, stamina of its new owners, Westport has become a destination for people seeking a retreat from modern culture and busy-ness, an imaginative and delicious meal, a place to gather in a community that is exactly what it is: homey, substantial, unaffected and really fun.

You enter from The Hotel’s beautifully finished, west-facing front porch to find the Old Abalone Pub gleaming in light that streams from every window: the deep blue room with endless views westward, pressed copper ceiling, red chandeliers, warm woods and even warmer greetings from its staff.

The Old Abalone Pub

The best part of all this is that The Westport Hotel has somehow retained its warm, welcoming, unpretentious soul through its rebirth. It’s a place I want to visit again and again, to drive that gorgeous road to a gathering place for friends and family, locals and visitors, where we all can get something fabulous to eat, something wonderful to listen to, unparalleled natural beauty, something soulful to inspire our lives. There is no place like it. Their tag line is “cozy, casual and a little bit elegant.” Yes, I’m a fan. It succeeds on all counts, exceeds every expectation.

Chef  Shana’s inspired, imaginative, locavoracious potstickers

Get sconed at the Westport Hotel — Dorine’s famous scones
The Arches Room with a View — yummy lodging by the sea

Imagine how exciting it was for me to get to design The Westport Hotel‘s new business cards, ads, rack cards, and just-launched web site. Maybe you can’t imagine it, but I was excited, may I just say. Working closely with Dorine and Lee throughout these various projects is one of many creative delights of this work because their vision didn’t stop at the building, but informs all of it. Yet they are open and welcoming to my ideas, which, if you have worked with me, are kind of never-ending and don’t want to be squished. They never squish. Everything is part of this big, amazing idea that almost takes on a life of its own. Here are the business cards:

The Hotel’s wide front porch is decorated with a huge metal sculpture, forged by a local artist, of seaweed spiraling over a giant replica of an abalone shell. This I took as the motif for the front of the letterpress business cards. To reiterate the pressed copper ceiling, we chose a gleaming copper foil. The the finishing surprise was finding a holographic foil that looks a lot like the inside of an abalone shell. I used Lee’s sumi-e brush drawing of an abalone and filled it with the blue-green-silvery patterned foil, making every card one-of-a-kind. The paper is deep blue on one side & white on the other (this is called “duplex” paper); on the white back side,  contact and schedule information is printed in deep blue ink.

Eco-artist, Erica Fielder, helped me figure out how to redraw the seaweed one night while enjoying a little impromptu dinner party and Photoshop session at my house. A big, collaborative beauty, don’t you think? It continues to be a pleasure to work on the printed materials and web site for this place; to be able to use Pablo Abuliak’s unerringly spectacular photographs, with brilliant styling by my daughter Alicia Borcich Abuliak; and to work with my brother, Joe Neves, on the web coding (see our handiwork at www.WestportHotel.us). Yep, I am so lucky to have such a talented family.

We did not stop at business cards. Below is an ad I made for the Hotel, for the magazine 101 Things to Do in Mendocino County.

Worth the Drive, indeed

If you want to make reservations for rooms or meals, call them up: 877.964.3688 (locally 964.3688). You can discover more, plus see our web design work, on the web site we just designed for them: www.WestportHotel.us

If you want to have a consistent branding context, it makes sense to have a designer who can provide creative design, letterpress printing, a sensitive ear and eye, a million ideas, extensive experience, and one-stop shopping for all print collateral, as well as advertisements and web design capabilities. That would be Studio Z Mendocino. Did you know we did more than letterpress printing? Yes, even digital rack cards like these:

The Westport Hotel offers breakfast when you rent a room, gorgeous Sunday Brunches, afternoon tea on weekends, and absolutely worth-the-drive dinners by Chef Shana Everhart, four nights a week, plus beer-wine-espresso and a brilliant pub menu in the bar. Let’s meet there sometime and talk about YOUR branding over a beautiful glass of wine and something delicious at sundown.

We welcome your inquiries: 707.964.2522

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WAYZGOOSE! invite_Page_1

YOU’RE INVITED!

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
Light.”
*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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VF-Zida-designed-Biz-Card

CAN YOU SEE THE “V” AND THE “F” IN

THE VICTORIAN FARMHOUSE

BOTANICAL MONOGRAM?

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that Studio Z Mendocino is more than a print shop and more than a card line. Actually, we are very definitely a graphic design studio where new logos and ad campaigns are part of our everyday landscape. I wanted to show you this business card we recently did for Jo and Fred Bradley for their tranquil B&B retreat near the sea, in Littleriver, California, Dennen’s Victorian Farmhouse.

Jo came to me excitedly, and a little trepidatiously too, because she had been living with her old logo for a very long time. She knew she needed an updated look, but it was a loaded transition, and what I designed for her was such a big departure from her old look, that it took a bit of getting used to, polling her advisors, and sitting with it just trying to figure out if she loved it totally or was just scared.

A new logo is like that sometimes. You know you want it, but it is almost too big a decision to be able to commit to even doing it, much less to commit to a single thing that will be your representative for years and years to come. It is HUGE.

The process, as a designer, was typical for me…I started fooling around with the name, the location, the intention of the owners, went over and walked around the property (this is NOT my usual habit but they are close by, so I did that too), went into my trance state, drew up five or ten things until something made me jump. OOCH! Suddenly, I am in love. I get this body hit and I just KNOW.

I loved the leafy monogram idea because the garden at the Victorian Farmhouse is so incredible you can’t believe it, and I thought that would convey a sense of the natural world that is so much a part of their atmosphere. I do love making monograms too, I have to admit. Playing with the alphabet will never lose its appeal for my inner first grader. Although Bernhard Modern Bold is not a “Victorian” typeface, I was going for a more modern twist on the whole Victorian vibe. After all, they didn’t have hot tubs in Victorian times either. They didn’t have web sites and they didn’t have ten-million-thread-count sheets either. Things change, no? Justifying the three lines of their name made a strong statement and underlined the monogram.

For the color palette, I used a paled-back sage green ink and went back in with little threads of gold metallic foil for “veining,” and for the border. I was in love but would Jo be in love???

VF-bc-leaves

I showed it to her. She didn’t know what to say. We talked about it. She sent it to everybody she trusted, showed it around, lived with it for a while, thought of all the ways it was different, cautiously began to accept the idea of this giant change. It was exciting, but hard. I wondered if I was all wet, but I just had this feeling about it and stayed with her process. It took some time, but I just talked to her yesterday and she has fallen in love too. The response from her guests has been everything she and I would possibly want…they are basically crazy about it too. How amazing life is. I love happy endings.

Here is the back of their business card:

VF-biz-card-back

We also designed and letterpress printed letterhead, envelopes, and had their confirmation cards printed digitally. We are in the process of completing the design of her new rack cards, which are going to be very gorgeous too. I have this feeling about it…

If you are thinking of coming up to the Mendocino coast for a little getaway, you could call Jo up and ask for a reservation so you can cozy up at the Victorian Farmhouse and take advantage of their affordably indulgent, deliciously romantic welcome. And the weather is great this time of year, too. If you come up around Friday, November 6th, you can make it to my Wayzgoose too. We invite you.

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