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Archive for the ‘Couture Letterpress Invitations’ Category

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A happy birthday party for her husband brought our long-lost, always-wonderful client, Helen MacKenzie, back to us last month. As usual, it was a total pleasure brainstorming with her over the perfect wording, perfect image, perfect design for a party that would feature a bagpiper at the entry door, balloons covering the ceilings, gracious and non-ordinary catering, and a good reason to get out your tux…or kilt.

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The first things she told me, as we began our explorations, were that David loves, I mean LOVES, penguins! And he LOVES RED. Oh boy, appropriate clues revealed. I started searching for penguin images, and, as Helen observed, the thing that’s generally wrong with penguin images is that they are either too cute or anthropomorphic, or too realistically penguinish. I found the perfect thing on Etsy, from poordogfarm, in Pennsylvania: this Penguin Queen had just the right insouciance.

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We tipped her onto our gorgeous 600 gsm Lettra paper with a brilliant RED letterpressed “dent,” which framed her ironic and regal presence quite dashingly. Rhea Rynearson, our printer extraordinaire, applied deep impression to the raised text, giving each letter a little shadow, the shadow we live for in Letterpress Printing. Rhea is the most talented printer, and I’ve known a lot of printers, including even ME.

Gleefully inviting friends to a Swanky Soiree, admonishing them to Dress To Kill (Rhea’s favorite thing she ever had to apply to paper!), and sending the thick, luxurious, practically frameable invitations to invitees’ actual mailboxes gave the entire affair an air of the absolutely-cannot-miss-this, and at the same time, just hilarious fun, which, Helen tells me, carried over to the real party. A blast was had by all.

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laser die cut cage for wedding invitation

We were commissioned to print the letterpress wedding invitations for a Canadian couple. It’s a little convoluted, this story, because the pedigree of these invitations spans a continent, borders and imagination: The designer (Nicole at Duly Noted) and the stationery store (Duly Noted, in Halifax, Nova Scotia) are in Canada, as is the laser-cutting company that accomplished the incredibly complicated filigree seen above (Laser Creative in Ontario, Canada). They gave me permission to put their photos on my blog. The part played here at Studio Z Mendocino in northern California was to print the invitations and the Rsvps and Rsvp envelopes on very thick white paper in gold foil and black ink. I think it’s incredible and extraordinary in every way, and honestly I wish i had designed it! How utterly gorgeous can you get?

Here is the Rsvp and Envelope. All pieces were printed by Rhea Rynearson on Heidelberg Windmill presses. Black pieces were laser cut at Laser Creative.

Rsvp and envelope

Rsvp and envelope

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InvitationInvitations and Rsvps were printed on 600 gram Lettra.

Closeup of invitation

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Attorney Marc S. Albert opened his law offices in Queens and Long Island, New York, earlier this year to the fanfare of this letterpress printed announcement from Studio Z Mendocino. We used white opaque foil on slate-colored paper, for a gray-flannel-meets-Cary-Grant-chic-meets-Old-World-meets-New-World mailing piece. We mounted the printed piece on a slightly larger backing sheet of black cover stock, giving it an attractive, attention-grabbing frame and more substantial “hand.” For even stronger effect, we printed the back flap of these textured Americana A-7 envelopes in a matching gray ink.

When announcing the opening of a new office, it’s imperative that the announcement’s envelope make people want to open it. So much mail gets tossed before it arrives at the desk of the final recipient, so the “packaging” of an announcement like this needs to look very inviting…likeĀ  an invitation, not a bill! The address should be hand written or calligraphed and real stamps should adorn the upper right corner. These measures will insure it will get a closer look than other ordinary bulk mailings.

Be sure to include a business card inside the envelope too, so your contact information gets stored forevermore. This is effective marketing for attorneys at law, understated and beautiful, yet it unabashedly stands out from the crowd. At the same time, an announcement like this should never be flashy or “advertise-y” looking. It must inspire confidence in your abilities and talents, and your attention to detail. And a little creativity showing in it never hurts, reinforcing a message of resourcefulness. A really fabulous business card furthers the effectiveness of the message as well. We recommend letterpress printing on very thick paper (of course) for maximum impact.

Post, and get ready for the phone to ring!

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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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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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I love love love Annette Thurmon’s wedding dress designs. They are sooo dreamy and gorgeous, and I am lucky to say that Annette is also a dreamy and gorgeous client of mine.

I got to work with Annette when I did her business cards a while back, and today she posted an interview with me on her beautiful website: Chaviano Couture.

I hope you will go see her beautiful designs and read my interview!

xo Zida

 

 

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Three color letterpress folders: gray, black and papaya colored inks on 300 gram white Cranes Lettra . Papaya envelopes with a jazzy stamp. A fabulous menu and guest list.

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