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Posts Tagged ‘Fabulous Letterpress!’

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, moreĀ 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…

IMG_0098

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.

2016 bc back

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.

2016 white front

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Bella Viva Business Card

Bella Viva Business Card — Seafoam green ink with gold foil stamping

Interior designer Deanne England recently contacted Studio Z Mendocino because she wanted a new look for her branding of her business, Bella Viva Interior Design, and a new business card. She found us online, and we were both surprised that we live and work only an hour-and-a-half from each other. From the first minute we talked, we knew there was a special spark in the quality of our communications. We “got” each other in the special way that makes you know things are going to be really exciting if you get to work together.

Deanne wanted something elegant that also showed her slightly quirky side too. We talked about the myriad possibilities, the infinity of choices doing any design project … and then I set to work over the weekend.

Right off the bat, I drew this little conundrum of a mark…a flower, maybe?…but if you look closely, you will see the initials “bV” for Bella Viva hidden in the leaves. She loved the mark, even before she saw the initials; then she loved the game of having to look and find the little mystery. She also was very clear that a “seafoam green” be included somehow. The card you see above is the result of our very flowing, mutual creativity.

If you have ever worked with interior designers, you know that there is no detail too small to suffer over until it’s perfect, and that is how we are about printing too. We got along like peas in a pod. Her meticulous attention to keeping things clear guided the project to its happy conclusion.

Ms. England works with clients in both northern & southern California on full scale remodeling & building projects, as well as design consultations in property investment evaluation, home staging analysis, professional organizing solutions, and even event design. Deanne is available by appointment only and welcomes all inquiries regarding her work, design philosophy, and design process. She can be contacted at 626 722 7809.

Deanne was immediately in love with the feel and look of Cranes 600 gram, super-thick Lettra, which takes the “bite” of letterpress techniques like nothing else, and feels wonderfully substantial in the hand.

Bella Viva Business Card Back

The backs of the cards had to be as pretty as the fronts, and they are.

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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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laser die cut cage for wedding invitation

We were commissioned to print the letterpress wedding invitations for a Canadian couple. It’s a little convoluted, this story, because the pedigree of these invitations spans a continent, borders and imagination: The designer (Nicole at Duly Noted) and the stationery store (Duly Noted, in Halifax, Nova Scotia) are in Canada, as is the laser-cutting company that accomplished the incredibly complicated filigree seen above (Laser Creative in Ontario, Canada). They gave me permission to put their photos on my blog. The part played here at Studio Z Mendocino in northern California was to print the invitations and the Rsvps and Rsvp envelopes on very thick white paper in gold foil and black ink. I think it’s incredible and extraordinary in every way, and honestly I wish i had designed it! How utterly gorgeous can you get?

Here is the Rsvp and Envelope. All pieces were printed by Rhea Rynearson on Heidelberg Windmill presses. Black pieces were laser cut at Laser Creative.

Rsvp and envelope

Rsvp and envelope

Reply

InvitationInvitations and Rsvps were printed on 600 gram Lettra.

Closeup of invitation

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A stunning business card carries the day when networking in Hong Kong, or anywhere

A stunning business card carries the day when networking in Hong Kong, or anywhere

 

The backs of the cards are as gorgeous as the fronts. Almost!

The backs of the cards are as gorgeous as the fronts. Almost!

Nami Lee, CEO and Founder of Tokyo Luxe, recently contacted me about doing business cards for her Luxury Concierge Services in Japan. She came with most of her logo completed — the design just needed a little fine tuning to adapt it for letterpress techniques. Because Nami wanted something that would stop traffic, we decided to print them on our super-thickest black museum mount paper with three foils: black gloss foil for the “T”, metallic silver foil and metallic gold foil. Then, after some consideration, I’m happy to report that Nami decided to go for the boldness of salmon colored edge painting.

Closeup of edge painting

Closeup of edge painting

 

When the cards were finally delivered to her in Tokyo, Nami immediately filled up her purse with them and flew out to network in Hong Kong. She emailed me that she has never had such reactions to a business card before. She says she is so happy we met each other online…one more miracle of modern life…she found this blog, called me, and the rest is history.

 

Tokyo Luxe black business cards with three gleaming foil colors on super-thick black paper
Tokyo Luxe black business cards with three gleaming foil colors on super-thick black paper

The finished cards have a vibration of something like jewelry, something at once timeless, unique, and somehow managing to seem contemporary yet also classic. Incredibly thick, luxurious paper foil stamped in gleaming metals, and flicked with the understated-but-ever-so-THERE salmon color along the edges are a force of marketing to be reckoned with. You will not be forgotten when you leave behind something this amazing and beautiful.

This is the photo Nami sent to me from Hong Kong:

Photo Nami took when her business cards came
Photo Nami took when her business cards were delivered to her in Tokyo

 

 

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Some of the most respected and talented, not to mention insanely good looking and darling, photographers and teachers in the industry, Bob and Dawn Davis had Studio Z Mendocino make up their latest iteration of business cards. The brand and design was already established but we needed to do some modifications on the design to make it really work as a letterpress piece of art — to make it swing and to make it sing…The backs, especially, needed an update, which, between Dawn and me, came out much nore interestingly than what they’d had before. It took a good deal of negotiation and trial and error to get to this place. Sometimes the limitations of letterpress printing are hard to understand, but having worked in this medium for over 35 years, it seems I can spot trouble coming and head it off at the pass. Sometimes it takes massive amounts of creativity to make a design really work, and sometimes it’s a cinch. This already beautiful branding just needed some fine tuning and the WoW factor swung into the stratosphere.

We printed them on super-lux, super-thick 600 gram Cranes Lettra in two colors, a smoky blue and a warm gray, then die cut them outside the front inside rule. Deep impression and beautiful materials and infinite skill and care made everyone so happy about these amazing business cards. Especially the adorably cute and talented couple who gets to pass them out!

See more of their own comments on their blog.

 

 

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This is the business card we produced for New York City event company, Platinum Soirees. Nacole Powers designed the logo herself and wanted the major wow factor of a matte black, ultra-thick card with platinum and royal blue foils. I had adapt here existing logo into a two-color image that would work for letterpress. As you probably know, not every design is letterpress-friendly. The original design was not specifically created for this techniques; drop shadows had been applied to make it look like letterpress (kind of). Instead, Nacole got the real thing and no drop shadows were needed. The deep impression of letterpress achieves a little shadow around each image and letter — very beautiful, don’t you think? The registration of the two foils was extremely minute and required a great deal of skill to print properly.

The outcome, as you can see, is nothing short of spectacular. The message is clear, from the name of the company itself, to the execution of the intricate design, choice of paper and colors, the shape and the treatment: this is luxury, this is beauty, this is attention to minute detail and it adds up to a big communication.

 

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Over the years, Studio Z Mendocino has created a lot of amazing business cards and letterpress printing, so you have to know we are not kidding when we claim this as one of the MOST amazing of all. Australian developer and general genius, Nathan Orbach, became one of our favorite clients, too, in the course of this very, very long process that involved quite a lot of Skyping in odd hours and quite a lot more, how shall I say, “translation” or “instruction” of the letterpress vernacular and techniques so he could really understand better and his designer could prepare the files properly. It was a tremendous and very fun-filled effort with a tremendous result.

After having discovered us online and subsequently receiving a big parcel of samples of our work in Australia via FedEx, Nathan had definite ideas about how he wanted the cards to look. Very specific about every detail, but without knowledge of the various ins and outs and weird limitations of what we do, his decisions made it necessary to work around numerous obstacles.

For instance, he wanted the paper to be exactly THIS dense black, but that exact paper only comes in eighty-pound weight, which was MUCH too thin for what he wanted. He wanted extra-extra thick cards with red edge painting. To accomplish this, it was necessary to print two separate pieces of the black paper and laminate them with something like chipboard sandwiched between them. This was just one in a lot of various negotiations that kept us in conversation pretty much the better part of six months. Or more.

In the end, we were all over the moon about the resulting cards.

The backs are as stunning as the fronts.

It all proves that we are always willing to go the last ten thousand miles. If a business card is going to represent you in the world, it really should say everything about you that can be said in two dimensions. In this case “Q” (Quest) to the Zed Power says exactly that: stop at nothing for the sake of perfectly what is wanted and needed in the situation. Plus, letterpress actually adds a third dimension of tactile depth and visual texture. Nothing more need be said.

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We’ve been getting questions about “reverse letterpress” lately and I wanted to show you this effect. Usually, images printed by letterpress are made by pressing a raised image (i.e.: type or a polymer plate) down into thick, fluffy paper. The surrounding background, then, is whatever color the paper is. With reverse letterpress, the background is inked and pressed onto the paper, and on the plate or die the type is a void, meaning the paper shows through as the type color on the printed piece, as you can see above. The example here is with the amazing wedding photographer Gavin Wade‘s fabulous oversize business card, the logo designed by Ross Tanner at Flosites: we mixed his new beigey-taupe color scheme as a Pantone color and reversed the plate so that we could ink it up and press it onto 600 gram Cranes Lettra. His chic logotype sticks up out of the background slightly because we have to use pressure to transfer the ink onto the fibrous paper.The effect is a tactile, luxurious take on an ancient technique that brings it all up to the moment.

It’s an interesting turn. The back of the card uses the opposite technique, the usual way letterpress is applied, with the letters pressed down into the paper…so there’s this sort of interactive little surprise when you turn the card over.

The advantage is, you can get your logo color custom mixed and printed on one side, which gives some extra verve to the presentation. It’s a little more expensive to accomplish. With cards this luxe, the impression you leave when you pass them out is incalculable.

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Dallas interior designer Sheryl Maas is best known for her perfect, inspired interiors, sleek lines, stylish furnishings and polished, contemporary combinations. She is one of Dallas’s top designers for both residential and commercial properties. We helped her decide on the name Maas Modern and designed her new logo, which, of course is very chic and simple and less-is-more, with sans serif font letterpressed in gold foil on super-thick black paper.

 

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