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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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We just finished designing and printing letterpress business cards for a wonderfully talented new arrival to the Mendocino Coast. Karen McGrath brings many years of knowledge and experience in planning outdoor spaces in Redding, California, where her client base included residential and commercial property owners, contractors, architects, interior designers, and fans of every stripe. Her intelligent use of space and luxurious landscaping instincts will be put to good use in our cool, moist climate. She’s excited to work with our coastal cornucopia of cool weather loving plants.

And she loves her new Studio Z Mendocino letterpress cards like crazy:

MGC side view

We printed them on 600 gsm Lettra in a very deep, forest-y green ink, then foiled the word GARDEN in some kind of indescribable pale green metallic foil. You can see the gleam in the rather moody photo above.

The backs are printed in ink except one little botanical dingbat is done in foil:

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The frosting on this delicious cake was a green edge, which perfectly matches the foil.

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MGC front photo

Deep, deep impression, super-thick paper, chic-but-slightly-whimsical typography, a bit of bling, a certain spirit in it: the cards describe Karen’s outgoing personality and gorgeous work. We aim for this effect, this matching what we do to graphically signal what you do with subtlety and verve, and are always gratified when we nail it for our clients. We feel lucky that Karen has chosen to move to the coast, too.

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Knoxville photographer David Payne called one day last year and wanted to talk about business cards. I can talk about business cards all the live-long day, so we had a  conversation that ranged from printing and design to photography, cars, weddings, and the fact that I’ve long wanted to visit Knoxville, Tennessee. Etc. When two talkers get on the phone, you can expect some communication to occur.

Specifically, he was ready for a drop-dead-amazing business card, had encountered the Studio Z Mendocino website and blog, and thought I was the right person for the job. That’s always a lovely thing to hear, of course, and it was a pleasure to describe what my work is to someone as perspicacious as this new customer/friend David Payne is. He really got it — like, everything! I think that’s why he’s a great photographer, too. He gets it. He feels it. And he intends it. IT being excellence, devotion, a work ethic, aesthetics, the power of image and beauty, the pleasure of conversation.

I immediately got to work designing his new logo, which is a ‘dp’ inside a box that you can spin on its head and it’s still the same. We went back and forth with some ideas about color, type faces, and what you see above is the happy result, printed perfectly by Rhea Rynearson.

When the actual printing part started, though, that’s when we ran into some snags.

We got busy ordering his gorgeous, super-thick Cranes Lettra paper, the foil die and beautiful, sheer pearl foil, the film for the type on the back, the plates, the this, the that…minutia that make up what happens with letterpress that we are so used to and that usually goes very smoothly. Not every story has a straight-through trajectory, however. There were some illnesses, there were this hitch and that hitch, and in the end, I can only say, sorry… it took a long time. David was never-endingly patient, bless him. He was incredibly nice and understanding about every single thing and just kept his eye on the prize that he wanted. In the end, after everything, they got delivered and he sent me this email:

“Cards came in. They are PERFECT!!!!!!!”

 

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Splendiferous!

Splendiferous Boutique’s letterpress, gilt-edged business cards — oh la la!

Studio Z Mendocino

gold edge cardsMonica Wellington’s impossibly fabulous SPLENDIFEROUS women’s clothing boutique, on Fort Bragg’s most fashionista-friendly Laurel Street, needed a new business card. The last one I had designed for her was a little bit funky (thick kraft paper), a little bit swoozy (ultra-wild typesetting), and had served its purpose well for several years.

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Now, almost out of the old ones, she wanted something to match the way Splendiferous! had evolved over the ensuing years, to 2016. Monica wanted to keep the dandelion puff we’d always used, and she still loved “Splendiferous” spelled with an exclamation point in place of that “i,” in the middle, but it needed a new, sleeker, chicer, more uber interpretation that befit how the shop is now: Ultra-glorious.

2016 bc black front

Monica couldn’t make up her mind whether she loved white paper or black paper. Each gives off such a different vibe. So, of course, in line with…

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gold edge cardsMonica Wellington’s impossibly fabulous SPLENDIFEROUS women’s clothing boutique, on Fort Bragg’s most fashionista-friendly Laurel Street, needed a new business card. The last one I had designed for her was a little bit funky (thick kraft paper), a little bit swoozy (ultra-wild typesetting), and had served its purpose well for several years.

IMG_0478Super cute, right?

Now, almost out of the old ones, she wanted something to match the way Splendiferous! had evolved over the ensuing years, to 2016. Monica wanted to keep the dandelion puff we’d always used, and she still loved “Splendiferous” spelled with an exclamation point in place of that “i,” in the middle, but it needed a new, sleeker, chicer, more uber interpretation that befit how the shop is now: Ultra-glorious.

2016 bc black front

Monica couldn’t make up her mind whether she loved white paper or black paper. Each gives off such a different vibe. So, of course, in line with my motto, If it’s worth doing, it’s worth OVER-doing: I printed her new designs on BOTH–half on white Cranes Lettra 600 gsm, and half on black super-thick, thick, thick, amazing Museum Mount papers, and then, of course, we gilded the lily…

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Oh, gee. What can you say? Gold, metallic edge gilding.

On the white paper, we used a pearlized white foil for the puff and on the black paper, we used gloss black foil for the puff. Everything else was in gold foil. Everything else was just, you know, splendiferous.

Here’s the back.

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Next time you are in Fort Bragg, you HAVE to go shopping there.

You can order YOUR over-the-top, gilded-lily business cards from Studio Z Mendocino whenever you’re ready for the Next Step. 707.964.2522. These cards are very expensive, it’s true ($1.70 each for 1000 — and no, getting 100 doesn’t work to lower the cost, those would be well over $5 each), but they are worth every cent for the astonishment these little pieces of art provoke in potential clients, the curiosity, and the perfectly fitting vibe. If you’re going to have an ambassador out in the world representing you, it had better be capable of the heavy lifting your high-end clientele expects.

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Source: STAK — Steven Young’s Startling Silver-Edged Business Cards

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_O8C1644Very happy to present one of our latest letterpressed business cards, which feature EDGE GILDING in silver foil. This is a new offering from Studio Z Mendocino. We have been edge PAINTING (in ink) for years and years now, but we can finally give you what you have been hankering for, for such a long time.

Steven Young has this amazing, riveting logo. That upside-down “A” just holds you for ransom.

P1050780One of the coolest things about this job was that Steven had me divide it in half: one part was done on 600 gsm WHITE Cranes Lettra; the other was done, in the same amazing electric blue foil on BLACK Museum Mount. All had silver edge gilding.

P1050784STAK Photography is Steven Young’s boutique studio in NYC with international, award-winning wedding photos. Visit his blog at http://www.getstak.com.

P1050782Even the back has his distinctive, edgy vibe. LOVE these!!!

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