Posts Tagged ‘Letterpress Gift Tags’

DeShelia Spann, a fabulous fashion and wedding photographer, has a similar problem as I: she has a name that people are not sure how to pronounce. The upside of this is practically the same as the downside: well, it’s that we both have weird names. People remember us, even if they don’t say our monikers with the right accent. How you say DeShelia is this: DeSHEELA. How you say Zida is this: ZEEDUH. So see, we were immediate best friends when she called me not too long ago looking for letterpress business cards. Sharing that kind of life experience makes you know something about each other. It was so much fun to work with DeShelia. She knows what she wants and is very flexible and open, and totally down to earth and great to be around. No wonder people love to work with her. We did!

DeShelia posted a blog post today about her new business cards that absolutely gave me goosebumps.

Here are DeShelia’s own, very poetic words:

And I Fell in Love

Wed. August 25, 2010 Posted in MY LIFE, PEOPLE & PLACES

In my business I strive every day to exceed my clients expectations. Well I can honestly say I know how that feels because someone just exceeded mine. About a month ago I sent a tweet out to my fellow colleagues and friends asking them to share any recommendations they had for a good letterpress company. I’ve been working to update my brand and really liked the look and feel of letterpress for business cards and stationary. A few tweets later, the name Studio Z Mendocino came across my screen.

I decided to check Studio Z’s website  and  blog to see some of their work. It was definitely what I’d been looking for. After having several great conservations with Zida, the studio owner and designer, I knew she understood my brand and the direction to grow it. We decided to start with my business cards since I’d be heading out for a couple important events (more on that soon).

I’ve been excited to see the finished product since I signed off on the proof. Last Thursday, my friendly FedEx delivery man, dropped a bit of happiness off to me. I saw Studio Z on the box label and began to rip into the package. I caught a glimpse of my new business cards…..and I fell in LOVE!!

The super thick Cranes Lettra 600 gsm we used for DeShelia is the perfect base for her strong, feminine logo. We printed it in a gray blue ink that matches her web site colors, deeply impressed, of course. The little shadow cast by letterpress’s impression is what sets this type of printing apart from any other techniques. It’s unmistakable distinction engages prospective clients like nothing else. We can’t wait to hear what happens in NYC to our fashionista photographer client whom we so love to work with.

DeShelia Spann, Photographer

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The annual Wedding & Portrait Photographers International convention has already been swinging away for several days. I am getting ready to hop on a JetBlue blue jet, headed to the MFM Grand, Las Vegas, in a few hours, and I can’t even describe how elated I am finally, finally to get to meet so many of my fabulous clients.  For the last couple of years, photographers have made up a big percentage of my business. They call me up, we work together intensely, they are so talented and enthusiastic and beautiful, I send them their awesome business cards and stationery, WE LOVE EACH OTHER, and then we never actually get to look at each other in person or go have margaritas or go for a walk on the beach or anything. Today will change all that, no?

Oh, boy, People!! I can’t wait to say hi and see your real-live selves. So happyyyyyy!!!!

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Shawna Noel, thank you Darling, for sending us these photos of your Studio Z Mendocino letterpress printed stationery.

Back in the day, as they say, most people had what was called a Stationery Wardrobe. It was part of every civilized person’s accoutrements, like cravats and hope chests, hoop skirts and snoods. You know. So, the Stationery Wardrobe contained all manner of things to help said civilized persons get along socially and correspond in a civilized manner. There were “calling cards” of course. That would be a little card with just one’s name on it. No phone number (no phones), no URL (no computers or internet), no cell (what’s a cell?), no blog, Facebook, Flickr or Twitter info (ditto ditto ditto ditto), and no address either, even though surely these people had homes.

When one called upon an acquaintance, a Calling Cards was given to the maid, probably on a silver salver, though I was not there at that time so I am not sure about this detail. The maid would take the salver or card up to her mistress so the mistress might get up and go to the drawing room and greet the visitor without having to guess if it were the Jehovah’s Witnesses or the Fuller Brush Man calling. We have all seen this scene in every period movie ever made. Perhaps it was the Vicar. Perhaps it was the Earl from next door who wanted to ask her hand in marriage. Perhaps it was the ladies arriving for tea. I don’t really know. It was somebody calling and that somebody had a Calling Card and that is what we are talking about here.

The Calling Card of course has morphed into the Business Card and we all know what that means, full of extraneous information besides the name engraved in severe, unrelenting black ink  (see more Business Cards in previous blog posts here), and surely they are used for more than calling nowadays. Never mind the dirth of silver salvers and maids to carry them around. They are a little portable advertising power houses, but never mind that right now. We are talking about Stationery Wardrobes in the Olden Times so I will try to concentrate on that right now.

If the civilized person were invited to a grand party, a Calling Card was handed over so the name could be announced in a loud voice to the already arrived crowd. “Sir Blahbbedy Blah!” and everyone would have to look up and case the costume and hairdo and start gossiping about him.IMG_8961aweb

The rest of the Wardrobe consisted of various sizes and shapes of writing papers. In your specially made wooden box you had to have a range of formal papers, from monarch (personal size is still7.25″ x 10.5″ sheets and their matching envelopes, lined or unlined) for letters; Correspondence Cards (usually 7″ x 5″) horizontal flat cards for shorter notes and thank you messages; Informals (5.5″ x 4.23″ folding note cards and envelopes to match). Informals came in several ways: one with the woman’s first and last name, one with the couple’s two names, like “John and Jane Jones;” and one with only the husband’s name. You could also have stationery for your house, so that your house guests could write letters while visiting at your manor. I want a manor, don’t you? And there were various sizes, starting with a 5″ x 3.5″ note on up. And that was just the personal stationery. There were also several kinds of business stationery, of course. And there might be other things … for instance, personalized place cards, note pads for lists and such, gift tags, and of course your own letterpress printed book plates, which were an artform all their own. I am surely forgetting something here, but as you can see, those were the days that really kept printers busy.

When I worked for Al Moise, we used to do a lot of that kind of printing, personal informals and it was a yearly shopping spree for many ladies on the Mendocino coast. Maybe we would change the ink color year by year, but we would probably keep their type set up in the morgue and just reprint as the orders came in, doing up enough to last a year of invitations, thank you notes, condolence, notes, letters to relatives, and notes about why Johnny couldn’t make it to school yesterday.

You might think this is excessive, since emails are so much quicker and cheaper, but may I just say that having stationery to fit many occasions somehow makes one WANT to write more often, and not just an email or a Facebook post. You might find yourself using a more florid form of your own handwriting, hunting down the latest and most attractive matching stamp to put on it, thinking of poetic metaphors and wondering whom else you might want to thank. In other words, writing a note has become an occasion, and it is one of life’s little pleasures. People who receive these missives, I must tell you, find them awfully appealing. Oh!! Not a bill!!! Not another bid for a donation to a good cause!! A letter!!!!! It’s so extravagant. It’s so civilized.

Shawna Noel has what I would call a modern, slimmed down version of the  Stationery Wardrobe, and we are doing more of this type of order these daysIMG_9003awebWe made Business Cards, Buckslips (also known as Script Cards) and Envelopes for her, using her already designed, three color logo. The Calling Cards…I mean Business cards…were printed in three runs on 600 gsm Cranes Lettra. We put her Script Cards on 300 gsm Lettra, and used Cranes square flap envelopes to finish off her set.

Script cards, we find, are the perfect modern alternative to a zillion sizes and shapes of stationery. At 4″ x 9″, they fit right into a #10 envelope, which, when you need it, is also good for an 8.5″ x 11″ business sized letterhead, sending a check or request to pay up.

It all looks awfully good in tones of orange and warm gray on Flourescent White stock. Don’t you think?


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Here at Studio Z Mendocino, every day brings a new opportunity to bring people to their knees with beauty. Here is a letterpress business card we did for the stellar New York City photographer, Mercedes McAndrew. We love the monumental & stunning red “M” deeply impressed into our favorite paper, 600 gram white Cranes Lettra. Here are some photos Mercedes sent us just now. We only have one word to say about all this: WOW…


Minimalist WOWWWW!!!


It’s surprising that even though we printed these up ourselves we are still wowed by the power and gorgeousness of letterpress printing. One more:


What the heck, one more really:


Thank you Mercedes. We loved working with you!


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Tim Sohn, a wonderful SF photographer, just sent us these incredible photos and these very kind words about the business cards and stationery we just designed and printed for him.


“’Wow! This is nice!’ That’s the reaction I get every time I hand out one of these beautiful letterpress business cards designed by Zida Borcich over at Studio Z Mendocino. Several months ago I started to explore rebranding Tim Sohn Studios and knew that there were two things I wanted – a new logo to represent our style of photography and stunning business cards that would reflect our commitment to high quality products and services. One day I happened to stumble upon Zida’s blog and saw her amazing work on other business cards. When I spoke with her over the phone, she understood exactly what I was looking for and there was no doubt she would deliver an amazing logo design and business card. The logo is in the symbol of an “S” for Sohn. The two circles represent wedding bands that are being joined together. The design was so good, I went ahead and ordered script cards and envelopes to match.

I’m so excited to hand these cards out. If you see me around, be sure to ask me for one. You have to feel it!”


Here are his Script Cards, which he can use as thank you notes, invitations to coffee, to paper clip to a bunch of proofs. They fit into his #10 Envelopes and are useful in a million ways.



We printed Tim’s business cards on 600 gram Cranes Lettra and his script cards on 300 gram Lettra. The extra huge square flap envelopes are Cranes Crest, all in Flourescent White. We love the soft, fluffy texture that takes the bite of letterpress so beautifully. Happy note writing, Tim. From experience, we know that when people receive their script cards and other thank you notes, there is a gigantic spike in thank you note writing. You just can’t help wanting to express your gratitude on such amazing paper. Thank you, Tim. It was our pleasure to work with you. Z

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Curtis GuestJamie Lee Curtis discovered Studio Z almost 15 years ago. I was working late and got a call and a voice said, “Hello, my name is Jamie Curtis. I saw some printing you did for Angelica Houston and I was wondering if you could do some for me.” She has been my costumer ever since. She is an inveterate thank you note writer and we have printed her letterheads and envelopes, thank you notes, mailing labels. The latest addition to her stationery wardrobe are these deluxe letterpress printed gift tags. They were printed with a deep impression on the super thick 600 gram Cranes Lettra paper. The large hole allows for a multitude of ribbon, wire and string options perfect for any gift or wrapping paper. We printed half of them with Curtis in black ink and Guest (her husband Christopher Guest’s last name) in grey and the other half is the opposite.

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