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Archive for the ‘Letterpress Stationery Wardrobe’ Category

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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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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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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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, hadĀ 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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Alexia and James got married in Mendocino last month in one of the great celebrations the town has seen. We were so happy to work with them on their invitations, which they wanted to be very luxurious and traditional, but with a modern flair. We kept a very muted palette of cream, cappuccino and chocolate brown, and of course printed everything by letterpress on our thickest, yummiest paper, 600 gram Lettra Pearl White. The motif of a graceful olive branch held it all together beautifully.

Everything about the wedding was so romantic, happy, fun and gorgeous. The whole wedding party went out on the headlands then paraded through the village back to the big white tent at the MacCallum House for dinner and dancing to a totally get-down funk band. Very much fun working with this beautiful couple on their amazing day.

Their folding thank you notes finished the wedding suite and they got lots of extras so they could use them long into their marriage for many purposes…invitations to dinner, thank you notes, quick messages to loved ones, announcements of important events, condolences, congratulations and happy birthday missives. There are still times when a nothing but a hand written note on real paper, with a stamp, in the mailbox, will do. Yes, really. And it’s great to have some beautiful paper to grab when the moment strikes. No more going to the store to look for that perfect message: you make up your own and put it on your own personalized informal, which is what this smaller folding note is called.

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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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Matthew Cotter, an amazing photographer from Southern California’s just got his black, super-thick, foil stamped letterpress business cards AND his complete stationery wardrobe of letterhead, envelopes and buck slips/thank you notes for his E-Ticket Photography business. We printed cards for Matthew and his business partner Patrick Hartson on black Museum Mount for a significant heft in the hand. We foiled his “EP” logo in black, glossy foil, and E-TICKET PHOTOGRAPHY, as well as the back contact information, went on in shimmery silver foil. The cards are the shape of a piece of chewing gum, long rectangles, which is a feature that sets his business cards apart from the crowd.

The black-and-white contrast of these cards against florescent white stationery is breathtaking. We used twenty-eight pound Cranes Crest letterhead paper, which is thicker and snappier than more usual twenty-four pound stock. Again, the logo is in black gloss and the type is in matte black ink. These textural contrasts have a subtle but undeniable impact. The impression that letterpress printing leaves, too, adds one more element to the overall experience.

The final fillip to this zesty package was Buck Slips (shown above), otherwise known as Script Cards. These are 4″ x 9″ note cards that can be used to paperclip notes to scripts (all directors, actors, producers, etc. MUST HAVE THESE) or other things, AND they fit right into the #10 Envelopes so you don’t need a dedicated envelope for your thank you notes. I recommend Script Cards whenever I make business cards for anyone. There is nothing like a hand written thank you note on a scrumptious piece of paper that will impress a client more. We printed their names (each got a clutch of these cards) at the bottom so they can “slash” through the printed name and pen their initials or signature.

The Chicness Factor is as clear as black-and-white. E-Ticket Photography looks great on paper!

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