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Archive for the ‘Rack Cards’ Category

We all know photographers are big Wanting Things. They want new lenses and backs, new programs and apps, they want chic cases and they want the latest and most extravagant everything. They all want STUFF all the time, I guess because there is SO MUCH STUFF TO WANT. It gets confusing, not to mention expensive, when you draw a photographer’s name for gift giving at this time of year. So, to make your coming few shopping weeks less hectic, may I humbly suggest you just call me up and order a beautifully letterpress-printed gift certificate, in a denomination you find most appropriate, for letterpress printed business cards. You know they’ve been ogling other photographers’ cards, just wanting away, like Kip Beelman’s fuchsia edged, super-thick square cards, designed by Ross Tanner and printed at Studio Z:

or Dana Goodson’s vibrant blue edged letterpress business cards AND stationery suite:

or dramatically fabulous Clark Bailey’s black and gold super thick museum mount cards with black gloss foil:

or Hiram Trillo’s big-sky-shiny-blue-foiled cards and stationery wardrobe:

You know she wants them. You know he has been yearning… Or maybe the photographer on your list has been hankering after a completely new brand. Like the ones I did for Alana Couch and Jonathan Chan and Maria Bernal — the sexy black ones with hot pink edge painting —  or Laura Gordon. You can apply a gift certificate to branding and/or printing, business cards and/or stationery, invitations and/or whatever. You can choose to make it for the whole job or just something they can apply toward the printing of their dreams.

From the most austere to over-the-top wild, a letterpress business card from Studio Z Mendocino, or a new logo design, can make a difference in the clients one attracts and the jobs one lands. Ask our clients this,  about what having jaw-dropping cards like the ones shown here has done for their businesses.

Here, for instance, are Florida photographer Audrey Snow’s pearl foil and chocolate ink ones:

And of course the gift certificate idea is not limited to photographers. Jennifer Chapman’s new brand and cards are an example of one of many “other” categories.

Lawyers and interior designers and Realtors want fabulous design and letterpress, letterpress, letterpress:

Well, you get the idea. A gift certificate in any amount from Studio Z Mendocino will put a smile on the face of just about anybody who’s in business on your list, and will help them get closer to their vision of passing out business cards that stop people in their tracks.

Call 707.964.2522 to order your specially printed gift certificate for a loved one…or for yourself! We ALL want stuff this time of year, don’t we? Tell somebody! Call Santa!

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The Westport Hotel, Westport, California
All photos by Pablo Abuliak

A few years ago, Dorine Real and Lee Tupper bought the old Cobweb Palace, a hard-used, decrepit hotel and bar that had presided over the pristine seaside village of Westport, California, about twenty miles north of Fort Bragg, since the 1800s. They undertook the intimidating mission of transforming it into its twenty-first century incarnation as The Westport Hotel and Old Abalone Pub. Only people who knew it “back in the day” (I am one who visited the Cobweb Palace in the 1970s), and inhabitants of the population-200 town who watched the remodel as it happened, have a grasp of what Dorine and Lee had to do to get it to its newly splendid state. It’s almost beyond comprehension to find the place whole again, serenely overlooking sunset over a rumpled Pacific, as it has since Westport’s glory days as a major logging town. The Hotel has re-birthed to a level of comfort and loveliness that, I am sure, it never possessed, even when brand new. Because of the vision, dedication and, I can only surmise, stamina of its new owners, Westport has become a destination for people seeking a retreat from modern culture and busy-ness, an imaginative and delicious meal, a place to gather in a community that is exactly what it is: homey, substantial, unaffected and really fun.

You enter from The Hotel’s beautifully finished, west-facing front porch to find the Old Abalone Pub gleaming in light that streams from every window: the deep blue room with endless views westward, pressed copper ceiling, red chandeliers, warm woods and even warmer greetings from its staff.

The Old Abalone Pub

The best part of all this is that The Westport Hotel has somehow retained its warm, welcoming, unpretentious soul through its rebirth. It’s a place I want to visit again and again, to drive that gorgeous road to a gathering place for friends and family, locals and visitors, where we all can get something fabulous to eat, something wonderful to listen to, unparalleled natural beauty, something soulful to inspire our lives. There is no place like it. Their tag line is “cozy, casual and a little bit elegant.” Yes, I’m a fan. It succeeds on all counts, exceeds every expectation.

Chef  Shana’s inspired, imaginative, locavoracious potstickers

Get sconed at the Westport Hotel — Dorine’s famous scones
The Arches Room with a View — yummy lodging by the sea

Imagine how exciting it was for me to get to design The Westport Hotel‘s new business cards, ads, rack cards, and just-launched web site. Maybe you can’t imagine it, but I was excited, may I just say. Working closely with Dorine and Lee throughout these various projects is one of many creative delights of this work because their vision didn’t stop at the building, but informs all of it. Yet they are open and welcoming to my ideas, which, if you have worked with me, are kind of never-ending and don’t want to be squished. They never squish. Everything is part of this big, amazing idea that almost takes on a life of its own. Here are the business cards:

The Hotel’s wide front porch is decorated with a huge metal sculpture, forged by a local artist, of seaweed spiraling over a giant replica of an abalone shell. This I took as the motif for the front of the letterpress business cards. To reiterate the pressed copper ceiling, we chose a gleaming copper foil. The the finishing surprise was finding a holographic foil that looks a lot like the inside of an abalone shell. I used Lee’s sumi-e brush drawing of an abalone and filled it with the blue-green-silvery patterned foil, making every card one-of-a-kind. The paper is deep blue on one side & white on the other (this is called “duplex” paper); on the white back side,  contact and schedule information is printed in deep blue ink.

Eco-artist, Erica Fielder, helped me figure out how to redraw the seaweed one night while enjoying a little impromptu dinner party and Photoshop session at my house. A big, collaborative beauty, don’t you think? It continues to be a pleasure to work on the printed materials and web site for this place; to be able to use Pablo Abuliak’s unerringly spectacular photographs, with brilliant styling by my daughter Alicia Borcich Abuliak; and to work with my brother, Joe Neves, on the web coding (see our handiwork at www.WestportHotel.us). Yep, I am so lucky to have such a talented family.

We did not stop at business cards. Below is an ad I made for the Hotel, for the magazine 101 Things to Do in Mendocino County.

Worth the Drive, indeed

If you want to make reservations for rooms or meals, call them up: 877.964.3688 (locally 964.3688). You can discover more, plus see our web design work, on the web site we just designed for them: www.WestportHotel.us

If you want to have a consistent branding context, it makes sense to have a designer who can provide creative design, letterpress printing, a sensitive ear and eye, a million ideas, extensive experience, and one-stop shopping for all print collateral, as well as advertisements and web design capabilities. That would be Studio Z Mendocino. Did you know we did more than letterpress printing? Yes, even digital rack cards like these:

The Westport Hotel offers breakfast when you rent a room, gorgeous Sunday Brunches, afternoon tea on weekends, and absolutely worth-the-drive dinners by Chef Shana Everhart, four nights a week, plus beer-wine-espresso and a brilliant pub menu in the bar. Let’s meet there sometime and talk about YOUR branding over a beautiful glass of wine and something delicious at sundown.

We welcome your inquiries: 707.964.2522

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All I can say is, get your tickets early this year for the Mendocino Music Festival. As the designer and printer for the Festival these last three years, I’m one of the first to be privy to what’s coming. Lemme tell ya: It is going to be so fantastic. You can read all about it on their web site (designed by Studio Z Mendocino!!): mendocinomusic.com

Every year for the last twenty-four, the Festival has mounted a gigantic white tent right out on the headlands on Mendocino Bay. Inside that tent, for a couple of weeks in July, occurs the most gorgeous, inspiring array of musical offerings you can imagine. From classical orchestra to opera, from world to blues, from folk to JAZZ, we get to feast our ears and eyes on music music music, making our world go round a little bit faster and happier in the middle of summer. I LOVE the MUSIC FESTIVAL!! Here is the inside of the ticket brochure I designed for this year’s Festival.

Yummy, no?

OK, I have to go get ready for the Ball. Oh, didn’t I tell you? I am going to a masquerade ball in San Francisco tonight! Wait till you see the invitations we printed for it. I will tell all when I get back to town. Meanwhile, get your tickets so I can see you here in July at the Mendocino Music Festival!!

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JennAffairs salmon-edged black business cards. Photos by Pablo Abuliak.

The first question many people ask me is,  ‘How much will my new logo and business card cost?” This is a loaded question. More to the point, what do you want these things to do for you? What is it worth if it is so powerful that it increases your business? The second question many people ask is, “How long will it take to make me a new logo?” Super loaded question. Sometimes it takes one minute. Other times it takes a year and a half.

In the case of Jennifer Chapman, South Carolina entrepreneur extraordinaire and total new BFF, the more pressing question was the second one. How long. Jenn had found my website and loved what she saw there. Her dilemma was that her fabulous new Charleston showroom location was opening in a few weeks and she still had not found The New Branding. What could I do and how fast. After talking to Jenn for not very long, I was hooked. We decided on a price for the work and to tell you the truth, I was stumped. I wanted to do a monogram but “J” and “A” are really hard letters to put together in an artistic way. What to do? She needed these fast and she would also need a rack card or brochure to take to a big show she had signed up for. All within two weeks. Could I pull this rabbit out of this hat?

A couple of nights later I woke up in the middle of the night with this arrangement of letters in my dream. JA! OMG. I drew it in the notebook I keep next to me at all times and in the morning executed it on my computer and sent a PDF to Jenn. She was mad for it almost immediately. I had the idea to put it on black, super-thick museum mount with gold foil and Caribbean Sea blue foil (for the dots that cross the A and top the J, plus her tag line, “Fine Floral & Event Decor”) that would shimmer and shine. Then I told her about edge painting.

It was a crazy scramble to collect all the things we would need to make these cards and ship them to her in time. Edge painting for the show was out of the question, but guess what…we got the cards to her AND the rack cards in record time. This black letterpress card with foil stamping and edge painting has resulted in much attention to the new shop, which features Jenn’s gorgeous floral arrangements and wedding and event decor rentals,  like candelabra, furniture, tabletop and accessories for big events and small.

The first shipment of cards arrived in the nick of time for her show, but of course they had black edges, not salmon pink. The remainder of the cards got shipped to the edge painters and then to Jenn a bit later, in time for her next show. According to Jenn, people are stopped in their tracks by these beautiful cards. This is the point. This is what we go for. Will the business card do the job of making you and your business memorable.

Successfully utilizing the spectacular latent power of a great business card’s potential is not so much about the cost per card, nor is it in the amount of time from conception to completion that is the main question. It is really about what is my business card doing for me and my business. Is it the ambassador I want out there working for me, doing the delicate diplomatic work of reminding potential clients to call me up and give me a job. Jenn’s cards are so unusual, so fabulously amazing that people won’t put them in their purses. They ask permission to keep them. They want to talk about how the logo looks like a chandelier or the Eiffel Tower or a tent, and how perfect and how fun, etc. They are little pieces of art that speak volumes about Jenn’s taste and attention to detail and her giant store of creativity. Yes, each card costs over a dollar, but if that dollar brings in a $1000, or $3000, or more job, what is the value of that card, that dollar? Priceless.

Jenn is so much fun to work with that I often call her up in the morning and have coffee with her over the phone. Sometimes I send her an email at 11 o’clock at night and she is still up…3 hours later in South Carolina…answering my email. She is amazing and funny and we have developed a friendship in a short span of time that I can hardly imagine happening…about as fast as the business card concept came to me, we are friends.

I love this business. I love the modern world that allows things like this to happen. I love the creative trance that brings such beauty and effectiveness for my clients’ work. There is no other process that is capable of accomplishing a card like this: only letterpress can print on this type of paper, and only a great deal of skill and experience can even begin to attempt the technical aspects of it.

When I show people these cards, they literally gasp. They turn them over and handle them, rub their fingers over the impression, turn them on their sides to admire the little flash of color. It is like a magic trick. Stunning. This is what we want to see in a business card. This is the real work a business card needs to do.

Next time, I will show you Jenn’s rack cards, and all the stationery and envelopes and other things we are making for her right now.

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Everybody is drawing names and worrying about what to get for so-and-so, who needs so many things (or already has everything he or she needs). Not another necktie! And slippers…nuh uh… Cozy jammies are always nice, but maybe there is something even more appealing and creative, don’t you think? A fabulous and elegant solution to the yearly dilemma could be a Gift Certificate for Graphic Design and Letterpress Printing from Studio Z Mendocino. You still have time to order one and have it delivered in time for the Holidays, all gussied up in a pretty colored envelope, letterpress printed on premium paper, in the amount your budget allows.

Your special someone will appreciate having personalized letterpress printing and creative work done up by the designers and crafts people here at Studio Z Mendocino. To get some idea of the array of work that is available, go to our web site www.studio-z.com or look around on our blog for more recent work. A calling card, correspondence papers, stationery, a new logo, extraordinary business cards for the entrepreneurs on your list, or even something toward the bride and groom’s upcoming wedding invitation.

Name the amount you wish to give, send us their names and addresses, and we will take care of it from there.

707.964.2522

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VF-Zida-designed-Biz-Card

CAN YOU SEE THE “V” AND THE “F” IN

THE VICTORIAN FARMHOUSE

BOTANICAL MONOGRAM?

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that Studio Z Mendocino is more than a print shop and more than a card line. Actually, we are very definitely a graphic design studio where new logos and ad campaigns are part of our everyday landscape. I wanted to show you this business card we recently did for Jo and Fred Bradley for their tranquil B&B retreat near the sea, in Littleriver, California, Dennen’s Victorian Farmhouse.

Jo came to me excitedly, and a little trepidatiously too, because she had been living with her old logo for a very long time. She knew she needed an updated look, but it was a loaded transition, and what I designed for her was such a big departure from her old look, that it took a bit of getting used to, polling her advisors, and sitting with it just trying to figure out if she loved it totally or was just scared.

A new logo is like that sometimes. You know you want it, but it is almost too big a decision to be able to commit to even doing it, much less to commit to a single thing that will be your representative for years and years to come. It is HUGE.

The process, as a designer, was typical for me…I started fooling around with the name, the location, the intention of the owners, went over and walked around the property (this is NOT my usual habit but they are close by, so I did that too), went into my trance state, drew up five or ten things until something made me jump. OOCH! Suddenly, I am in love. I get this body hit and I just KNOW.

I loved the leafy monogram idea because the garden at the Victorian Farmhouse is so incredible you can’t believe it, and I thought that would convey a sense of the natural world that is so much a part of their atmosphere. I do love making monograms too, I have to admit. Playing with the alphabet will never lose its appeal for my inner first grader. Although Bernhard Modern Bold is not a “Victorian” typeface, I was going for a more modern twist on the whole Victorian vibe. After all, they didn’t have hot tubs in Victorian times either. They didn’t have web sites and they didn’t have ten-million-thread-count sheets either. Things change, no? Justifying the three lines of their name made a strong statement and underlined the monogram.

For the color palette, I used a paled-back sage green ink and went back in with little threads of gold metallic foil for “veining,” and for the border. I was in love but would Jo be in love???

VF-bc-leaves

I showed it to her. She didn’t know what to say. We talked about it. She sent it to everybody she trusted, showed it around, lived with it for a while, thought of all the ways it was different, cautiously began to accept the idea of this giant change. It was exciting, but hard. I wondered if I was all wet, but I just had this feeling about it and stayed with her process. It took some time, but I just talked to her yesterday and she has fallen in love too. The response from her guests has been everything she and I would possibly want…they are basically crazy about it too. How amazing life is. I love happy endings.

Here is the back of their business card:

VF-biz-card-back

We also designed and letterpress printed letterhead, envelopes, and had their confirmation cards printed digitally. We are in the process of completing the design of her new rack cards, which are going to be very gorgeous too. I have this feeling about it…

If you are thinking of coming up to the Mendocino coast for a little getaway, you could call Jo up and ask for a reservation so you can cozy up at the Victorian Farmhouse and take advantage of their affordably indulgent, deliciously romantic welcome. And the weather is great this time of year, too. If you come up around Friday, November 6th, you can make it to my Wayzgoose too. We invite you.

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Vanessa Wedding Cover_Page_1

Vanessa Gomez and Michael LaGatta will be married and have their receptions very soon in two, not merely one, fabulous destinations. The first will take place in Yountville, California at the superb Auberge du Soleil, and the second in MacCallen, Texas (The City of Palms), both in November. Above you see the front of their folder for the first celebration. It’s made from shimmering burgundy colored Stardream, with a band of paper and medallion that is letterpress printed with a yummy grape image we adapted here for her. Inside, the invitaion is tipped on (mounted) on the right panel, and all the extra pieces (directions, Rsvps) are tucked into the band on the back of the cover. Mary Meermans did the calligraphy for her envelopes.

Vanessa Wedding Cover_Page_2

Below, for the second, and much less formal event, is the Script Card invitation Vanessa tucked into a green #10 envelope. This one is for a Mexican Fiesta in Texas, and uses the historical town’s favorite trees as its motif.

McCallen TX FINAL

These two invitations show the flexibility with which Studio Z Mendocino approaches design and printing. The first invitation is of course our specialty, letterpress printing. The second one, we did digitally, almost like an ultra-festive rack card/invitation. Totally fun and happy and much easier on the budget.

Here at our little printshop on the Mendocino coast, it’s a “wedding” of the very old and the most up to date, OK? We love that part! We also love working with Vanessa on her wedding invitations, all of them! You can see lots more of our spectacular custom letterpress wedding invitations at our web site studio-z.com. Or call for information at 707.964.2522. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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