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Archive for the ‘Branding for Wedding Photographers’ Category

Knoxville photographer David Payne called one day last year and wanted to talk about business cards. I can talk about business cards all the live-long day, so we had a  conversation that ranged from printing and design to photography, cars, weddings, and the fact that I’ve long wanted to visit Knoxville, Tennessee. Etc. When two talkers get on the phone, you can expect some communication to occur.

Specifically, he was ready for a drop-dead-amazing business card, had encountered the Studio Z Mendocino website and blog, and thought I was the right person for the job. That’s always a lovely thing to hear, of course, and it was a pleasure to describe what my work is to someone as perspicacious as this new customer/friend David Payne is. He really got it — like, everything! I think that’s why he’s a great photographer, too. He gets it. He feels it. And he intends it. IT being excellence, devotion, a work ethic, aesthetics, the power of image and beauty, the pleasure of conversation.

I immediately got to work designing his new logo, which is a ‘dp’ inside a box that you can spin on its head and it’s still the same. We went back and forth with some ideas about color, type faces, and what you see above is the happy result, printed perfectly by Rhea Rynearson.

When the actual printing part started, though, that’s when we ran into some snags.

We got busy ordering his gorgeous, super-thick Cranes Lettra paper, the foil die and beautiful, sheer pearl foil, the film for the type on the back, the plates, the this, the that…minutia that make up what happens with letterpress that we are so used to and that usually goes very smoothly. Not every story has a straight-through trajectory, however. There were some illnesses, there were this hitch and that hitch, and in the end, I can only say, sorry… it took a long time. David was never-endingly patient, bless him. He was incredibly nice and understanding about every single thing and just kept his eye on the prize that he wanted. In the end, after everything, they got delivered and he sent me this email:

“Cards came in. They are PERFECT!!!!!!!”

 

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Some of the most respected and talented, not to mention insanely good looking and darling, photographers and teachers in the industry, Bob and Dawn Davis had Studio Z Mendocino make up their latest iteration of business cards. The brand and design was already established but we needed to do some modifications on the design to make it really work as a letterpress piece of art — to make it swing and to make it sing…The backs, especially, needed an update, which, between Dawn and me, came out much nore interestingly than what they’d had before. It took a good deal of negotiation and trial and error to get to this place. Sometimes the limitations of letterpress printing are hard to understand, but having worked in this medium for over 35 years, it seems I can spot trouble coming and head it off at the pass. Sometimes it takes massive amounts of creativity to make a design really work, and sometimes it’s a cinch. This already beautiful branding just needed some fine tuning and the WoW factor swung into the stratosphere.

We printed them on super-lux, super-thick 600 gram Cranes Lettra in two colors, a smoky blue and a warm gray, then die cut them outside the front inside rule. Deep impression and beautiful materials and infinite skill and care made everyone so happy about these amazing business cards. Especially the adorably cute and talented couple who gets to pass them out!

See more of their own comments on their blog.

 

 

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Super intensely talented photographer Gerald Carvalho did everything right. He hired Ross Tanner at Flosites to design his new brand. He hired Studio Z Mendocino to print them. A triple whammy of beauty-making folk. And now he says, “I love these cards so much that I hardly hand them over to any random people until I absolutely love them LOL :)”

The golden color of his iconic “G” logo on the front is echoed along the sides with identical golden (not metallic) edge painting. We used, of course, Cranes 600 gram Lettra for the thickest, richest “hand.” Deep impression and impeccable typography convey a sense of Gerald’s artistic skill and attention to detail. These photos alone bear out his talent.

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We’ve been getting questions about “reverse letterpress” lately and I wanted to show you this effect. Usually, images printed by letterpress are made by pressing a raised image (i.e.: type or a polymer plate) down into thick, fluffy paper. The surrounding background, then, is whatever color the paper is. With reverse letterpress, the background is inked and pressed onto the paper, and on the plate or die the type is a void, meaning the paper shows through as the type color on the printed piece, as you can see above. The example here is with the amazing wedding photographer Gavin Wade‘s fabulous oversize business card, the logo designed by Ross Tanner at Flosites: we mixed his new beigey-taupe color scheme as a Pantone color and reversed the plate so that we could ink it up and press it onto 600 gram Cranes Lettra. His chic logotype sticks up out of the background slightly because we have to use pressure to transfer the ink onto the fibrous paper.The effect is a tactile, luxurious take on an ancient technique that brings it all up to the moment.

It’s an interesting turn. The back of the card uses the opposite technique, the usual way letterpress is applied, with the letters pressed down into the paper…so there’s this sort of interactive little surprise when you turn the card over.

The advantage is, you can get your logo color custom mixed and printed on one side, which gives some extra verve to the presentation. It’s a little more expensive to accomplish. With cards this luxe, the impression you leave when you pass them out is incalculable.

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Susan Stripling is a wedding photographer whose astonishingly beautiful images, skill, inspired imagination and devotion to the craft have landed her in the midst of some of the most amazing nuptials ever. She just had Studio Z Mendocino do her new business cards and stationery. Susan has photographed weddings throughout the US, the Caribbean, South America, Finland, France, and the Bahamas. She’s been published in Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings, Grace Ormonde Wedding Style, Bride and Bloom, Modern Bride, The Knot, Professional Photographer Magazine, The New York Times Style section, Rangerfinder Magazine, Capture Magazine, Elegant Bride, in Trade Publications for Nikon USA, and Town and Country Weddings. Susan’s teaching career has developed as well; she has been seen at past Digital Wedding Forum conventions, gives private and group workshops throughout the USA, and has spoken at WPPI. Busy Susan, had Infinet Design devise her double-S monogram and we foil stamped it in gold onto her lux stationery wardrobe: business cards on very thickest Cranes Lettra 600 gram cover stock, and script cards in the same ultra-thick paper (think thank you notes, quick messages accompanying samples, etc., etc.) that fit into spectacular Cranes number ten envelopes with rather monumental square flaps. This is the blockbuster envelope we love to stuff:

Here is the script card:

Because it is foiled in a single color, with the monogram/logo on the front of the business card and only the website address on the back, overall costs were kept to a minimum, but the finished pieces carry all the gorgeousness and panache anyone could possibly desire.

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I’m hardly even going to say anything about these cards because Serena Severtson made such a complete and articulate blog post about branding as it relates to business cards this morning. I am just going to let that do all the talking: click HERE for her post.

These are photos Serena took of the beautiful letterpress business cards we made for her using her own design, and my suggestions and input about materials and other questions — a great collaboration. Pearl foil gleams up the dove, gray and Tiffany blue inks give the lowdown, and Tiffany blue edges finish them off with elan. They are smashing on super-thick 600 gram Cranes Lettra. Best of all, Serena LOVES them! Go see!

Wonderful to work with the very talented Serena to such a great result!

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Corine Tran of Studio Tran, in Louisiana, called me before Christmas with a vision and a hope to get some awesome business cards made up for her photography business. After a couple of emails she casually mentioned, “I can’t believe you’re in Fort Bragg.” Mystified, I asked her why that was amazing to her — had she been to Fort Bragg?? — and she answered that she’d lived and gone to high school here! The Small-World connection and her warm personality made this one of those jobs that seems a little bit magical the whole way through. Right off the bat, she won me over completely be sending us a King Cake — the most scrumptious, sweet, way-too-tempting Louisiana Mardi Gras confection we ever tasted. OMG is all I can say. Also, YUM. I never even heard of a King Cake before and could not believe she did that!

Corine had to be veeerrrrry patient with us because, as some of you know, we were in the throes of moving out of our shop after twenty-seven years (more on this later, I promise), which took the better part of two months, but the upshot for the Transes was that it took a ridiculously long time to get the cards done despite the cake. Honest, we are not usually like this, but that move was taxing even our most angelic customers!!! Luckily, she was not in a huge hurry. We did send a few to her after they were printed but before they got the final embellishment, hot pink edge painting, so Corine and Beebe could attend a convention with some cards in hand (which, we hear, went over big anyway).

Her husband Beebe had already designed the truly inspired and beautiful “BC”monogram for their logo, and the vector files for the cards were all ready to go. All it needed was what Studio Z Mendocino does so well: letterpressing colored foils onto super-thick black Museum Mount paper and turning a lovely dream into an even lovelier reality.

The hot pink edge painting finished them off in the spectacular way that that one small detail can. The cards are completely off the charts in terms of beauty, charm, WoW factor and amazingness. Corine says, “We absolutely love the business cards. They are everything I wanted and had in my mind when I first set out to find someone who could make this happen! Thank you Thank you Thank you!  Everyone just ooohhs and ahhhs over them and asks where we got them.”

It was, may I say, my very great pleasure to work with Corine and Beebe and to produce these amazing little pieces of art. I am sure that anyone who works with them will feel that same way. I know the cards will bring you new and exciting clients. They are kind of magical like that.

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