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Archive for the ‘Letterpress Printing’ Category

Salvador Baby Announcement

This birth announcement for baby Salvador was printed on luxuriously thick and subtly textured 600 gsm Cranes Lettra so we could take full advantage of letterpress’s characteristic impression. The rectangular dent at the top makes a frame for the tipped-on photograph. Printed by Rhea Rynearson for us, the 100 5″x7″ announcements and matching envelopes were around $10 a piece, including shipping to Europe. Salvador’s parents told me that their friends and family loved it. And how could they not? It helps to have the most beautiful baby in the world, too.

The dent makes a frame

The dent makes a frame where the photo nestles. Tipped-on or tipped-in means a separate piece is glued to the paper, giving one more textural point of interest.

deep impression

It’s all about texture. The inked type sinks deeply into the very thick paper and leaves a little shadow around each letter and number. This is how you identify letterpress. A beautiful way to tell the world your darling new child has come into the world.

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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…

close up

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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I love this article from the New York Times last week:

SAN MARCOS, TEX. — On the day before New Year’s Eve, after making the 19-hour drive to Texas from Wisconsin, the writer and artisan Gaylord Schanilec began checking the status of the precious cargo that had been sitting, uninsured, in the bed of his Chevy Silverado. In the home studio of Craig Jensen, a bookbinder here, Mr. Schanilec plucked more than half a million dollars out of Rubbermaid storage bins. The money was in the form of 100 bubble-wrapped copies of “Lac Des Pleurs,” Mr. Schanilec’s ode to Lake Pepin, near his home in Stockholm, Wis., population 69. The going rate for each copy is $5,000.

The book took more than seven years for Mr. Schanilec to make. Now, Mr. Jensen would have to rush to complete the binding for 30 copies in time for the Codex Book Fair & Symposium in Berkeley, Calif., the premier international showcase for handmade books, which starts on Sunday.

The project began when Mr. Schanilec, a self-taught wood engraver and fine printer who seamlessly uses traditional techniques to modern ends, acquired a Lund fishing boat and retrofitted it with a drawing table and library so that he could create while pondering the lake. “I’m really into just going someplace I know nothing about, or into a subject I know nothing about, and just kind of letting it take me wherever,” Mr. Schanilec, 59, said.

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Catherine Carpizo's Business Cards with Coral Edge PaintingI’ve known Cathy Carpizo for many, many years. She has visited me in Fort Bragg many times and every time we meet, it’s always just so deep and good. We even met one night in Mexico City at a crazywild salsa night club that had metal detectors at the entrance and bottles of whiskey already on the tables when you came in. This, believe me is NOT how we usually act! But the music was amazing and the scene was out of the galaxy. I have made her business cards in the past but recently she called and wanted something new and different. We came up with this:

Coral EdgesThe palette is subtle: khaki and gray inks impressed into English watercolor paper that has a very beautiful and distinctive texture. And then, there’s this little WoW factor: coral edge painting.

Front and BackCathy does work for all kinds of busy, successful people who want to make their lives very efficient. It’s almost not like a business, it’s more personal than that, more a magic ride. It says “organizing” — but Cathy describes it as more like a sort of alchemy with her clients…what happens next is …the magic.

Her business cards have some of that in them, too. You can feel it and see it — it’s not a formula. She is spontaneous and intuitive, sensing what’s needed and wanted and getting busy making it happen. It’s work, work in the synergy that happens between her and her clients context, work that is so much more than “organizing.”

When she talks about what she does, I so get it. This is probably the thing that draws us to each other, love of the mystery of creativity, passion for mastery, being open to what is and what might be, sensing into how we can mediate between the desires of the client and the finished actual product. Just seeing her smile makes you want to get to work with her!

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Larson Finallnacial Planning Client Birthday Cards

Financial, Medical, and Law Professionals often opt for generic offerings from online houses that supply stationery and other kinds of mailing materials. It can make sense because the price is usually right and it doesn’t take too much thought or effort to pick from among their samples. But what is the reaction of the client who receives those mailings?

Christina Larson asked me to do some Client Birthday cards for her — an extension of her beautiful stationery wardrobe you can see in another post here — and this is what I came up with. I have used similar ideas for Christmas cards and people love them. Red paper!

Christina was in love with them when they landed on her doorstep. LFP Birthday Cards & Envelopes

It seems so much more thoughtful to send a custom designed greeting to precious clients who depend on us and whom we depend on, too. These were foil stamped in gold and letterpressed in gray ink on 600 gram (super-thick) Cranes Lettra paper. They feel special, rich, exuberant and real.

Wishing YOU everything wonderful on Thanksgiving!

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kelley-woods-makeup-letterpress-cards-1
Several years ago, Washington DC photographer Troy Woods, of Clark Bailey Photography, came to me for some really eye-popping business cards. Impressed with their effectiveness as business-building tools, his wife Kelley Epps-Woods (Washington, DC-based Bridal Airbrush/Makeup Artist, Beauty Editor and Speaker) followed suit a year or so later. Kelley has worked for some of the most prestigious cosmetic companies in the world. Her beauty and bridal artistry have landed her in dozens of local, national and international magazines, including, Grace Ormonde’s Wedding Style Magazine, The Knot Magazine, Washingtonian, BRIDES Magazine, Essence Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Charlotte Wedding Magazine, Sophisticate’s Black Hair, international BliNK Magazine, and BRILLIANT Magazine, to name only a few.

Known for her ‘luminious’ skin applications, Kelley has beautified several hundred brides, celebrities, and politicians., including America’s most renowned and award-winning nutritionist, Dr. Ro, and former Secretary of Labor Dr. Alexis Herman. Her work has been featured on The View, Dr. OZ, CNN, Bloomberg, ABC, CBS The Early Show, Bet.com, Fox TV, and Oprah’s ‘O’ The Magazine Tour. Her business cards needed to express her fine aesthetic, expertise and dedication to detail and gorgeousness in all its forms.

Instead of the gold and gloss foils we used on Troy’s cards, Kelley wanted the cards to reflect more feminine influences and asked for a particular shade of warm pink for the foil, though she wanted us to use the same super-thick black paper as Troy’s. We went on a search for foil that would come close and found it — a kind of lipstick color we all crave. Troy designed the cards.

kelley-woods-makeup-letterpress-cards-4

 

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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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