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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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Studio Z Mendocino is proud to have designed all the printed advertising for this year’s upcoming ART IN THE GARDENS, the primary fundraiser for the Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, the only botanical garden in the United States that is situated right on the coast. It’s a beautiful day of Art and Craft, with Pacific vistas, masterful gardens, great wine tastings, food yumminess and community love fest-ing, and, guess what, you still have time to get tickets for the August 1st affair. Here are some of the pieces we created using featured artist, Julie Higgins’s ravishing painting, “Back to the Garden.”

This is the rack card:

AIG Rack Card_Page_1

And this is the paoster:

AIG Large Poster FINAL 18 x 24

We also did this post card:

AIG Post Card_Page_1

We are all so excited for the big day to arrive next Saturday. Will we see you there?

As a designer, there is nothing more exciting than feeling into an event and a piece of art and matching the typography and layout to that mood. My experience with this image, Eve in the Garden with her pomegranates and figs, and the ubiquitous raven… the glowing color palette that just reaches out and whacks you over the head…now, that was what I call FUN, that was happy. Never mind that I totally adore Julie-Higgins-the-person, anyway. This is my first go-round getting to play with her scrumptious work and also my first time to work with the Botanical Garden here, so I feel doubly blessed.

Make sure you get your tickets soon: www.gardenbythesea.com

And if your business or non-profit is planning an event for the next year, please don’t hesitate to call my studio here on the Mendocino coast to see what we can do to increase attendance and get noticed. We love this type of thing very much and get very good results.

Here is the invitation to the unveiling of Julie’s painting:

AIG Unveiling Invite

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Studio Z Mendocino designed the promotional advertising pieces for Mendocino Music Festival for the second year in a row. The logo we designed last year carries through everything, even though we changed the colors and musical image completely. When I do a logo, I like to make it as flexible as possible, so it can be played with in all kinds of ways while strongly retaining its branding mojo. The MMF logo is a perfect example of this. Big, bold lettering, all lower case sans serif, can be split up, run up the side, and really used in every way that’s required of a mark, with no question about who’s boss around here. Set over this year’s egg yolk yellow and deep orange color palette, it draws the eye with a vivacity that echoes the Festival’s eclectic appeal. I love this photo by Nicholas Wilson that shows the great white tent on the glorious Mendocino headlands.

Mendocino Arts Mag 3

If you’re in the neighborhood, may I say there could not be a better way to spend an evening (or two) here this coming week than to get a ticket to one of the concerts at the Mendocino Music Festival…IF you can wangle one, that is. During the first week, the tent was quite often sold out. Aside from the stellar posters and other things we did for them, this year’s concert offerings have been uniformly delicious…thrilling, inspiring, breathtaking, swinging…love, love, love!

Believe me, I hate to listen to people rhapsodize over music they just heard as much as you do, so please forgive my gush…

I have been Festivalized…Wednesday, The Seldom Scene brought down the tent with their full, fat bluegrass sound and harmonies that pulled us into the ecstatic zone. La Boheme made me cry all over the place on Friday night. Alexander Markov produced nothing less than rapture in the village both times he played his violin. And last night’s Big Band night was a triumph, particularly Julian Waterfall Pollack’s breathtaking arrangement of My Funny Valentine. Brilliant piano improvisation by Julian, jamming away with the full band, and his dad, Allan Pollack, the conductor, who blew a scintillating sax vamp that brought down the house. Ja’i Michele chanteused her sparkly red dress through a plummy lot of favorite standards with moxy and verve. This week’s lineup is amazing too. Particularly a coup to have Joshua Redman here from New York on Friday night.

It’s been fantastic to be involved in the promotion of this incredible community event this year and last, and especially to see that sales are actually up. People usually associate Studio Z Mendocino with letterpress printing, but you can also find us doing other types of printing and lots of design and ad campaigns and printed collateral of all sorts. I designed the posters, the ticket brochure, rack cards and a ton of print ads, plus the program cover. Above is one of the ads and below is the poster. We also did the Mendocino Music Festival’s web site, which you can go buy tickets from right now. If there are any.

8.5 x 11 Yellow Poster FINAL

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Recently I told you about the Art in the Gardens posters, rack cards and other collaterals I designed for the Fort Bragg Mendocino Coast fundraising event. Here are a couple of views of what I did for them. This is the unveiling invitation:

AIG Unveiling Invite

It’s a 4 x 9 inch card that fit into a #10 business envelope. We didn’t want to give anything away before the Great Unveiling so we just put little snippets of Julie Higgins’s painting Back to the Garden as teasers. It was very economical, yet very appealing with the bright, dramatic colors.

Here is the poster:

AIG Large Poster FINAL 18 x 24

We also did small posters, and more things to come. Everyone is so happy to look at these things. We predict a HUGE success this year!

AIG Rack Card_Page_1

AIG Post Card_Page_1

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Hello, World

I am thinking about letterpress printing today, as usual. It is so much a part of me and my life that it’s a bit like breathing. I have been a printer since 1974 or or 1975, have had this business I so enjoy and love since 1984. It was rare to be a woman in this industry, particularly in that moment as letterpress had already been replaced almost entirely by offset printing. I was not strategic about it; I just wanted to do it, the way Amelia Erhart said, “I want to do it because I want to do it.” Women were not printers, letterpress printing was not revered. Thank goodness that part has changed.

Letterpress printing changed my life and continues to enrich it every day. I am very grateful I get to do this work, have this shop, make these relationships, create something new every couple of hours. It’s so much fun and so hard and so beautiful and people always kind of fall to their knees when they see it. A long time ago I discovered there is a lot of power in letterpress printing. It has the power to capture people’s curiosity. It has the power to make everybody want to come to the party. It has the power to create a desire to know you better when you give them your fluffy, deeply impressed business card. It is an art that is a craft that is a powerful force and hardly anybody knows about it. Even not knowing, when they encounter it, they know it is different, it has something about it that tells something interesting. What is that? I think it is the hand of the craftsperson showing in the work.

Gee, guys, I have a BLOG!

Big kiss,

Zida

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