Posts Tagged ‘Corporate Event Invitations’

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…like  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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It’s not too early to start planning your Kentucky Derby party for 2012. I know, Animal Kingdom has hardly stopped sweating, but believe me, a Kentucky Derby party worth its julep is going to take lots of creativity and lining things up in advance. You don’t want to get down to the wire and suddenly find the best party planners have already been booked, or that the guests you counted on have already responded to another save-the-date.

You might want to emulate this invitation we created to a Kentucky-Derby-theme birthday party that happened last December here in California. We printed them letterpress on super thick white paper, which we mounted to a gorgeous, deep red backing sheet. That formed a frame and gave the piece even more presence. Then we put it into a deep red BOX. The mailing labels mimicked the horse theme and we tied the whole thing up with a skinny little brown ROPE. We included also in the box instructions about its being a surprise party, and a directions-to-the-venue card. Everything went into a FedEx box and was delivered one-day-air.

The tickets were also printed letterpress on the same super-thick white stock, replete with a perforated stub to make them look even more official. I love the idea that they were sent in a subsequent mailing in #10 Cranes square flap envelopes, which only added to the anticipation for all the fun.

.The party was a hit and everything went off without a hitch, so to speak. Perfect food and drinks, perfect place, perfect guest list, perfect everything. And it was a complete surprise. A perfect winner.

We have been doing lots of wedding invitations in boxes over the last few years, and the idea in this post can be adapted to any number of party or reception themes. Boxes come in a big array of colors and we can choose gorgeous contrasting ribbons to tie them up and an infinity of different ways to make them uniquely your own.

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Law firms tend to be very conservative in regard to design and color: read that, black ink, white or cream paper, no embellishments, formal, button-down and serious. HAN Legal‘s newly designed logo and letterpress printed papers prove this can be accomplished with elan and grace. Beautiful and chic, these pieces adhere to the strictest rules of conduct while setting HAN apart from the humdrum by miles.

Hilary Newcomb asked us to make up announcements for the opening of her new law office. We printed them on gorgeous Cranes Lettra 600 gram paper in black ink, with the little bar in cappuccino pearl foil that says “LEGAL.”

The purpose of an announcement is to call attention and to be remembered. The memorable announcements we did for HAN Legal succeed on both counts:


To finish the stationery wardrobe, we made A-7 Correspondence Cards for thank you notes and other, less formal, communications that don’t require an entire sheet of letterhead, and also Mailing Labels that can be attached to 9 x 13 black envelopes or put onto boxes.

Correspondence Card

Mailing Label

Whether attracting clients or working on a case, corresponding on beautifully designed, letterpress printed materials will make a significantly more professional and lasting impression.

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711 North Main — Overdressed for the Par-tay

The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Wayzgoose of Studio Z Mendocino took place on November 6th, but I am still in LOVE with what happened at it, so here is the lowdown, a little late, but oh well. In a nutshell: A zillion people came. It was fantastic.

I have been waiting for the photos to come back from my very busy brother in law, Hugh Smith, and they arrived yesterday. He took all the photos in this post. THANK YOU, Hugh!! You can see his amazing wild mushroom web site at HughSmith.com.

I got so many beautiful  thank you notes and  impressions of the Wayzgoose, so decided to tell this story in the words of a few of my guests:

Ed and Jen put up a zillion lights so we glowed like a Wayzgoose beacon in the nightl

From Judy Tarbell: What do you do in the presence of twenty-five years of creativity of a beautiful woman: tear up so it’s difficult to see the images; go upstairs to get a drink; dance to Zida’s powerfully lovely voice; return, champagne in hand, to the images, the poetry, the accomplishments of Zida’s life lived well and fully; rejoice that there is more to come.

The Shop, Festooned with Printing from 25 Years of Work, & Celebratory Guests Galore

From Erica Fielder, eco-artist, dear Libra sidekick and bringer of the tofu curry pate: Your Wayzgoose event was filled with light and laughter and very fun people. I saw folks there I had not seen in 10 years. Wonderful surprises like Beans and Champagne. What a pairing!Then Zida sang passionately with her eyes closed. We  danced, and a beautiful couple gazed into one another’s eyes. I felt so blessed to be there. Love, E

John & Daurine Braet brought me a silver family heirloom as a silver anniversary present. Displays of Letterpress & other printing along every wall and hanging from the rafters

From the Splendid Cammie King Conlon, who brought me her book Bonnie Blue Butler (whom she played in Gone With The Wind at the age of Five — a GREAT read!!!) Darling Zida: My mother would have had a heart attack knowing I was sending a thank-you note via email.  How rude!  But it might not get to you otherwise.Smashing party.  Wondrous Wayzgoose!  You are such a class act:  everything was original and personal and delightful.  The house looked spectacular.  Thank you so much for including  … Cammie

My Beautiful Ed and My Beautiful Creeolleee…

Carole King, my best friend in first grade, came all the way from Oakland. Imagine!

From Carole King, my best friend in First Grade: About the waysgooze: i knew it would be a great party before i entered: the rows and rows of lights lit up the yellow house like a little sun, even in the dark. i knew too that there would be good company, big hugs from you and ed, excellent food, the best “cheap champagne” around, maybe some torch songs, and a party mood. you always give memorable parties, but this one was even more special because all around were the  beautiful examples of your work and progression through the 25 years of the letterpress. the mission statement near the door (dennis read it and said, “zida has poetic ability”-and he hasn’t even read your poetry yet),the witty and touching cards,  the wine labels, invitations to events great and small, proclamations of all kinds, business cards like little works of art. it adds up to an exceptional career built with passion and talent by my exceptional friend. love, creolee.

Steve Paul accidentally brought his trumpet. That’s me hitting a note next to my great friend Jon Solow, who is also a dreamy sax player. Who ever heard of torch singing at a Wazygoose???

Pam Amante with Michael Brown. Pam sent me the most beautiful bouquet in the history of the world. She is my “other” sis! The bouquet came in the door at the stroke of 5, then Pam and husban Dan came as my very first guests. I had been worrying about having a party and nobody coming but that was not a problem at this one!

What a fun and fantastic party!  I never thought beans and champagne could be so fabulous! Pam
Beachcomber Motel On The Beach!

Pianista Lisa Stedman & Printer Extraordinaire, Rhea Rhynearson

Rhea printed up lagniappes for our guests: “Business Cards” that said things like: “My card, Sir! I’m a pretty good bullshitter myself but it’s a rare treat to encounter one of your caliber.” and “Is GROOVY still in?” and “It’s all good.” and”Watch your Ps and Qs.” If you want one, call us or come in…we still have lots. Collect the set!

Son-in-law Noah, David Marks, artist Julie Higgins, and my little Zoe

Riantee and Maggie O’Rourke

My Beautiful Zoe (right) had a ton of her invitations and designs up on display too. She is not only a genius, as you can see.

Carla Frazier and Richard Anderson. Richard brought his spectacular Fejoada

Yeah! Ayn Ruyman Being Ayn Ruyman

David in backgroud, Moonlight, Jim Tarbell yukking it up at the Party

Vicki & Amy

Favorite artist and great friend, Bob Ross, who had so much to do with encouraging me to open my own shop, in 1984, and fabulous artist and pure jazz bass player, Nina Mera

Ken Wun brought me the most exquisite and huge present: a photograph by HIM. I put it right up in my office where I get to look at it all the time. It is stunning.

My darling Kris Reiber and granddaughter Sara Rose. Kris made mole beans to die for.

Lots of biz cards on display, including my own!

Did we say YUM??? Beans make you say that!

Linda Friedman took over downstairs and made it into a vision of loveliness and a little paper boutique while schmoozing it up with the paper-loving shoppers

Zoe & Auntie Sandi (wherever Sandi is, that’s a Party)

It’s a Family Affair…Joe and Sandi at the “Bar”

Jazzmen Steve Paul and Jon Solow…also yum!

Belting Printer with Point Arena Jon on keyboards

Rox, my sister-out-law, and Karen, came all the way from the Bay Area too xoxoxo!!

Christmas-ready front steps by Ed Murrell & Jen Heebink

Enraptured Me, with my friend, Taylor Slevin

I am so happy and grateful to everyone who participated in the preparations. Joe and Rhea and Linda Friedman, first, for the mighty efforts at getting the shop ready for over 200 guests. THAT was a feat! And Ed and Jen Heebink, who together transformed the outside of the shop into what you see above…a big, glowing beacon to party-goers who wandered up from town. To Zoe and Maia and Kris and Erica and Judy and Richard Anderson and Ed (again) and Joe (not to mention my Tuscan beans with sage nor my buttered black bean dal) for their contributions to the Bean-Feast and Dessert Table — Yum. People are still raving about the bountiful international array of beans and champagne. You would think it was Dinner at Chez Panisse, the way they talked. To Linda F. (again), for visualizing the downstairs as a shopping spree gallery and Joe (again) for putting up the “Christo Wall of Butcher Paper” and making it so welcoming and pretty.

OK, when I looked up and people had spontaneously combusted into dancing…that was IT! Jim & Judy, “That’s my Sistah” Sandi, and Creeolee’s husband, Dennis, tripping the light fantastic to me singing “Since I Fell for You” or something…

Bartender, with Paper Cutter

Brother Joe did the honors with the Cheap Champagne

And many thanks to our beautiful Christina, who just came in and made herself useful in every way without anybody telling her what needed to happen.

Also, tremendously, to Jon Solow and Steve Paul, who came with piano and cornet and changed the atmosphere to a little bit of a jazz-club-cum-printshop with their extemporaneous, cool playing, and accompanying me on a few tunes too. And of course, a party cannot be a par-tay without guests, so I thank everyone who came to celebrate at the shop, ate beans and drank champagne, appreciated the distillation of twenty-five years of work displayed along all the walls and hanging on lines across the width of the shop above our heads (Zoe’s idea). It was a beautiful collaboration and a beautiful community love-fest. I couldn’t ask for a better fete for my Silver Anniversary of being in business.

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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.


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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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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I am all excited about the unveiling of artist Julie Higgins’s painting tonight at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. She is the featured artist this year and I got to be the graphic designer of all their printed advertising, which included big posters, small posters, rack cards, post cards, and an invitation to the unveiling. Everything looks so LUSH…Julie’s acrylics have this vibrant inner glow; it was SO much fun to work with this art. I can’t show you ANYTHING yet, not till after the unveiling…Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wait till you see! I will show you tomorrow after tonight’s festivities. The party’s outside at 5:30, if you can make it. Hope the 40% chance of rain gives over to the 60% chance that this overcast will clear up by then and we can all revel away sans umbrellas.


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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,


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