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Archive for the ‘Business Cards & Stationery’ Category

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We made up these gorgeous script cards and envelopes for one of the nicest clients we’ve ever had, Carrie Mullins, CEO of Washington, DC consulting firm, The Bachner Group. Carrie looked far and wide and tried many printers in search of business cards and script cards that would flout the masculine/drab/understated/button-down look of most stationery and design in her field. She found us here on our blog and website, bringing this quite beautiful logo she’d worked long and hard to perfect. She had been looking for someone who could make it really sing. Instead of using ink, we interpreted it in three metallic foils, gold for the type and smaller wing, pearl for the background wing, and deep red for the circle around the smaller wing.

Sing, sing, sing!

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They gleam, they glint, they are unabashedly feminine and powerfully bold, filled with a dynamic rhythm that discloses undercurrents of the powerhouse she is.

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The business cards turn the color scheme upside down. Printed on super-thick black museum mount in gold, red, and gloss foils, their gold foil edge gilding further dazzles the eye and startles the status quo out of its gray rut.

As always, out-of-the-box moxie shakes up the room.

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fullsizerenderFernando Crosara is a genius of fine upholstery. He learned his arcane craft with Italian master upholsterers and brings his most persnickety, perfectionist traditional talents to the US via his birthplace in Brazil. He can reupholster ANYTHING and make it new again. Better than new. He’s also the handsomest man in the world, just saying.

I felt lucky to get to make his new logo, which I completely love for its simplicity, modernity, and even if I do say so myself, cleverness. See what’s going on? A circle turns into a monogram C and D. Have I mentioned how very much I love designing monograms? LOVE.

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We chose to do digitally printed cards with a glossy finish to set off the chic black-and-white design. Less is more, less is more, less is more.

(The little spotted plate is by a local ceramicist whose last name I forgot. Her first name is Lizzie and I’m crazy about her work! You can find it at the Artists Coop in downtown Fort Bragg.)

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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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gold edge cardsMonica Wellington’s impossibly fabulous SPLENDIFEROUS women’s clothing boutique, on Fort Bragg’s most fashionista-friendly Laurel Street, needed a new business card. The last one I had designed for her was a little bit funky (thick kraft paper), a little bit swoozy (ultra-wild typesetting), and had served its purpose well for several years.

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Now, almost out of the old ones, she wanted something to match the way Splendiferous! had evolved over the ensuing years, to 2016. Monica wanted to keep the dandelion puff we’d always used, and she still loved “Splendiferous” spelled with an exclamation point in place of that “i,” in the middle, but it needed a new, sleeker, chicer, more uber interpretation that befit how the shop is now: Ultra-glorious.

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Monica couldn’t make up her mind whether she loved white paper or black paper. Each gives off such a different vibe. So, of course, in line with my motto, If it’s worth doing, it’s worth OVER-doing: I printed her new designs on BOTH–half on white Cranes Lettra 600 gsm, and half on black super-thick, thick, thick, amazing Museum Mount papers, and then, of course, we gilded the lily…

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Oh, gee. What can you say? Gold, metallic edge gilding.

On the white paper, we used a pearlized white foil for the puff and on the black paper, we used gloss black foil for the puff. Everything else was in gold foil. Everything else was just, you know, splendiferous.

Here’s the back.

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Next time you are in Fort Bragg, you HAVE to go shopping there.

You can order YOUR over-the-top, gilded-lily business cards from Studio Z Mendocino whenever you’re ready for the Next Step. 707.964.2522. These cards are very expensive, it’s true ($1.70 each for 1000 — and no, getting 100 doesn’t work to lower the cost, those would be well over $5 each), but they are worth every cent for the astonishment these little pieces of art provoke in potential clients, the curiosity, and the perfectly fitting vibe. If you’re going to have an ambassador out in the world representing you, it had better be capable of the heavy lifting your high-end clientele expects.

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Bella Viva Business CardDeanne England, the incredibly talented interior designer and owner of Bella Viva Interior Design, called me one day out of the blue. She was surprised to learn that my studio is only an hour-and-a-half drive from her northern California office. She was looking for someone to design her new logo, business cards, stationery, etc., and had found my website and blog, liked what she’d discovered there, and suddenly we were chatting excitedly away like two old friends making plans.

As with all interior designers I have worked with, she had many, many ideas and concerns, and at the same time she was wonderfully open to my input. After establishing a mutual recognition and rapport, we hung up on a note of simply infinite possibilities as I zoomed into my favorite space: the trance of design. Where does that thing come from? How does it work? Honestly, it’s the biggest mystery, and I love it.

Bella Viva Business Card BackOne of my favorite parts of the work I get to do is designing monograms. It just knocks me out. For Deanne, I drew a lot of little doodles all over everything I saw for the next few days. I had envisioned something very crisp and modern, yet classical — but I did NOT envision what eventually emerged out of my doodles, not at all: A playful little “flower,” a nestled b and v, very hand-drawn looking. To tell you the truth, I was a little scared even to show it to Deanne because it was so far away from what we had talked about! But I got up my nerve and pushed the button anyway, because I really loved it. The worst that could happen was I would go back to the drawing board, right? So there it was, traveling to her via a brave little .pdf attachment. Fingers crossed, I awaited her response…

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And guess what: SHE loved it too. LOVED!

The next step was designing the typography, which came together so naturally. And then deciding on colors: Deanne was definite — seafoam green and gold foil. That too was surprising…and perfect. These incremental decisions have so much importance when you are in the designing mode, patiently moving toward a final product. Each tweak, each gradation of color, each space between each letter…all come to mean so much to how a logo lands on paper and in how it is perceived by prospective clients. Everything has to ‘speak’ of attention to detail, to beauty, to rhythm and proportion, and mood, and a million unnameable things that play into what finally happens. This is the beauty of design and the beauty of collaboration.

In the end, we printed up an entire Stationery Suite for Deanne, all by letterpress and all just so beautiful. It included the amazing business cards you see here, letterhead and #10 business envelopes, thank you notes and envelopes for those,

Folding Thank You Note mailing labels, great big black envelopes with personalized mailing labels for sending out samples and unfolded sheets of paper, and the amazing press kits, which required a LOT of very special techniques to make them work.

Bella Viva Press Kit FolderEverything but the folders was printed on our venerable Heidelberg Windmill presses, as always, by Rhea Rynearson, the best letterpress printer I have ever known (and you should know her too), using age-old knowledge, intuition, and deep reverence for this 500-year-old craft we keep alive every day at Studio Z Mendocino! We are so grateful to have clients like Deanne England, who understand the power that resides in great creative design and beautiful printing.Inside pocket of press kit folder

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Michelle Jonne photos of cards

Marvelous photographer, Michelle Jonne designed her own business cards, then collaborated with me on the finished product. Black gloss foil on super-thick black Museum Mount over-sized cards are edged with a gorgeous salmon-y-coral paint. Fabulous in any language!

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Randy Borges Business Cards

Randy Borges Business Cards designed by Ross Tanner at Flosites

Miami photographer Randy Borges had his fabulous new branding package, including these business cards, designed by Ross Tanner at Flosites, and came to Studio Z Mendocino to have them letterpress printed. Rhea Rynearson printed them in black ink and then they were edge painted, also in black. There is simply nothing like the deep impression of letterpress printing on a super-thick card, combined with really fine design, of course, to make a splash whenever you hand someone your business card. The little flash of black along the edge adds that extra I-don’t-know-what that takes them completely over the top and stops people in their tracks. Randy was a joy to work with, as is Ross, always, and if you go to Randy’s new website, also produced by Flosites, you will see his beautiful photography, which, I think you will agree, deserves this kind of presentation.

 

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Embossed pattern is a replica of Carole's wedding ring

Embossed pattern is a replica of Carole’s wedding ring

Sometimes being in business brings the nicest surprises. This is a case in point. Carole King, Ph.D. was my best friend in first grade. We were inseparable chums in high school, tooling around town in Lee Wanda Milbradt’s dad’s gigantic Cadillac (with fins half a block long) with all our friends at lunch time, being slightly (in my case, very) dorky, and considering each other the funniest people in the world. Then, for whatever reasons, we went our separate ways after graduation. Fast forward about thirty years to when Victoria Magazine did that article about me and my shop. Carole read it and contacted me and we never looked back. We are back to the old, dear friendship, made so much deeper for our long absence from each others’ lives. We see each other as often as possible and it’s that old familiar feeling. We love each other!

Carole loved reading the article in Victoria, too, and loved knowing that her old friend did letterpress printing. After re-finding each other, it was wonderful of her and her husband Dennis to come to the San Francisco Public Library twenty-year exhibit of my work several years ago. That was a fabulous show, may I just say. And it made her want some letterpress printing of her own. So, of course, she could have her heart’s desire from little ole me! She met my friend Cynthia Wall at that show and the cards I had made for Cynthia had an embossed image of her wedding ring design on them. It just sparked for Carole. She wanted HER wedding ring on HER business card.

The embossing

The embossing

We got an artist to render a drawing of the design (Carole actually sent her ring IN THE MAIL — I could not believe it) and we made the drawing into an embossing die. This is the second run of cards we have done for Carole (AKA Creeeollee), this time using a pool-aqua colored paper and deep navy blue ink. She wanted the backs to be blank so she could use that space for extra notes or whatever.

Carole recently told me that when she got her new cards she passed them out at a gathering and it’s all anybody wanted to talk about the whole time.

Magical powers of letterpress printing

Magical powers of letterpress printing

I have often suspected that my business cards have magical powers for drawing attention to their owners. See?

 

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Carsten Mol Photography Business Cards

Carsten Mol Photography Business Cards

Danish photographer Carsten Mol found Studio Z Mendocino online and contacted me about a year ago. He wanted to have some really special business cards, and, of course, that is what we do here. We instantly felt a rapport, even though separated by many miles and much water and emailed enthusiastically about what he had in mind, ideas I had for the design and materials, colors, possibilities and his dreams. It was sort of like meeting an old friend I didn’t know yet. Carsten was rebranding and got back to me after several months when his website was completed, as he promised he would.

Edge painting put the icing on the cake

Edge painting put the icing on the cake

His website was the inspiration for the design we finally landed on. go see: Carsten’s website

The backs are equally yummy

The backs are equally yummy

When the cards arrived to Denmark, this is how Carsten started his blog post about them: “Today I got my brand new Business card! And what can I say more than, I just love them!!!! They are small pieces of art.” The nice things he said about working with me almost made me cry! He immediately sent me these wonderful shots he took of them and I feel proud to post them here today.

The first cards we have done for someone in Denmark!

The first cards we have done for someone in Denmark!

I often say, “I love the modern world!” and, really, I mean it. Never before have we been able to do business in this way, to connect with like-minded people in any corner of the world and relate to each other, feel into others’ lives in this marvelous way, affect each other and even affect each others’ friends and colleagues and, of course, clients, most importantly. It really seems like some sort of miracle, a miracle we take for granted every day, that allows unprecedented communication and relationship to occur regardless of geographical location.

Thank you, Carsten, for reaching across the ocean from Scandinavia to the USA, to California, to Mendocino County, to my little office at Studio Z Mendocino, and to my heart. It’s a beautiful miracle to know you.

 

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Holographic foil shimmers as the light or angle change.

Holographic foil shimmers as the light or angle change.

Shelley Deneau, a photographer from Chesapeake, Virginia, found Studio Z Mendocino online, fell in love with a few things she found on this blog, and called me. She already had a logo, which she emailed to me and my brain immediately set to work on what would make it sing even more than it did in its original form, blue and brown inks. Shelley was incredibly eager to play, so when i suggested using a blue-green Holorgraphic foil for the sea gulls and the type of her name, she was intrigued enough to want to know more. I sent her some samples in the mail and she took a deep breath and said, “nnnnnYES!”

She also did not want the cards to be as thick as our usual 600 gram Lettra, so instead we opted for Lettra that’s half as thick, but still has the gorgeous fluff and texture. This was our outcome, and they are so amazing. It’s hard to capture in one shot the “dance” of light as the angle or intensity changes, bringing even more liveliness to the marvelous artwork.

Shelley Deneau Business Cards
Shelley Deneau Business Cards
The ligh dances against birds and logotype

The light dances against birds and Shelley’s logotype

Shelley was so easy to work with, and so fun, that it feels like I have a new-found friend back East. I am totally crazy about how these cards came out and so, I understand, is Shelley. Here is what she wrote to me when the parcel arrived: “OMG!!!!! I absolutely love them!  I love the seagulls changing color with the tilt!  You are incredible!  The best! Thank you!  ~Shelley”
Now THAT was a great email to wake up to. Thank YOU Shelley, for entrusting this key piece of your business to us. We love to make you happy! It makes US happy!!

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