Posts Tagged ‘Letterpress Printing for International Clients’

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


InvitationInvitations and Rsvps were printed on 600 gram Lettra.

Closeup of invitation


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Carsten Mol Photography Business Cards

Carsten Mol Photography Business Cards

Danish photographer Carsten Mol found Studio Z Mendocino online and contacted me about a year ago. He wanted to have some really special business cards, and, of course, that is what we do here. We instantly felt a rapport, even though separated by many miles and much water and emailed enthusiastically about what he had in mind, ideas I had for the design and materials, colors, possibilities and his dreams. It was sort of like meeting an old friend I didn’t know yet. Carsten was rebranding and got back to me after several months when his website was completed, as he promised he would.

Edge painting put the icing on the cake

Edge painting put the icing on the cake

His website was the inspiration for the design we finally landed on. go see: Carsten’s website

The backs are equally yummy

The backs are equally yummy

When the cards arrived to Denmark, this is how Carsten started his blog post about them: “Today I got my brand new Business card! And what can I say more than, I just love them!!!! They are small pieces of art.” The nice things he said about working with me almost made me cry! He immediately sent me these wonderful shots he took of them and I feel proud to post them here today.

The first cards we have done for someone in Denmark!

The first cards we have done for someone in Denmark!

I often say, “I love the modern world!” and, really, I mean it. Never before have we been able to do business in this way, to connect with like-minded people in any corner of the world and relate to each other, feel into others’ lives in this marvelous way, affect each other and even affect each others’ friends and colleagues and, of course, clients, most importantly. It really seems like some sort of miracle, a miracle we take for granted every day, that allows unprecedented communication and relationship to occur regardless of geographical location.

Thank you, Carsten, for reaching across the ocean from Scandinavia to the USA, to California, to Mendocino County, to my little office at Studio Z Mendocino, and to my heart. It’s a beautiful miracle to know you.


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Brookstreet Pictures
, Ottowa and LA movie company, had designer Chad Harber design their new business cards, and Studio Z Mendocino printed them. They are amazing: Black gloss foil on the front of the extra-thick 600 gram Lettra white card stock for the logo — so that got a little shine — and matte black ink on the back for the contact information. We finished them off with round corners and black edge painting.

Fabulous, edgy, chic and professional, deluxe business cards for a very edgy movie company.

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Recently I was contacted by a photographer from the Velvet Strand, in IRELAND [I love the modern world]. David McNeill is a wonderful photographer who wanted a new look, new brand, new, new everything that would actually reflect the kind of work he is doing now. He had a DIY logo that was very outdated and he knew it wasn’t working for him. We discussed design and various printing options by email, and established quickly that, because he was still in the throes of establishing exactly what he wanted, that this project would be a stopgap measure. The budget wasn’t there and neither was the commitment yet for a full-on rebrand with fanciest letterpress business cards on thickest paper, which is what we do here at Studio Z most of the time. I suggested that we do a modified approach to get him through the transition. I would design a new logo at the lower end of my design fee range and we could do a digital card for now that could be adapted later on for letterpress. David agreed and we started the process of giving him a brand makeover. It was really fun to work with David. He is so open and pleasant and kind and fun. I can see why people love to have him do their weddings and baby portraits.

I went into my creativity trance and came up with this design that incorporates the present name of his business, the place he lives (Velvet Strand is a famous beach), with swirls suggesting water and waves (but not TOO obviously) and a grayed-pale-blue color (or colour as we like to say in Ireland). It is modern and romantic and a ton hipper than his last logo. I also modified his kind of long tagline to “more precious with time.” David loved the new look. It was a go.

The backs are done in a gray colour with reversed out type for the contact info.

I had them digitally printed on thick, glossy stock and shipped them across the Pond. These will carry David through the transition he is in right now, giving him time to consider every nuance, yet is something he can be proud to pass out as he negotiates through the rethinking of his entire brand and establishes himself with a new identity.

Total makeovers CAN be hard, but this actually was a lot of fun and not stressful in the least. Digital cards can be very beautiful. Actually, with a good design, any kind of printing will carry it through. Letterpress is the most beautiful thing to my eyes, of course. It always will be. But I often will do a digital card like with great results that I end up love, love, loving. It’s great to get to have clients all over the world, don’t you think? I am amazed by this. Twenty-five years ago, a negotiation like this would have taken months and months. This zoomed through so quickly and smoothly, even getting samples to Ireland so he could see the various treatments and papers available. Those covered-wagon days are long gone. International business cards: no problema!

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Jessica Chapman of Brio Media wanted business cards with a very big WoW factor. Here are Jessica’s own words:

I absolutely had to do a quick post about my new business cards from Studio Z Mendocino!  Zida did such a wonderful job guiding me to finalize the design for the most “moxie,” getting them to print, and even getting some edge painting done!  These are certainly not your typical, cheaper business cards for sure, so I will be hoping on a good Return of Investment as I start to WoW people I will pass them out to!

Keeping in line with what we were taught in a recent workshop, I kept it simple, clean and classy by steering away from any temptation to do a card that included images.  Also, for the WoW! effect, I went with a square shape on thicker black museum mount with silver foil stamping and light gray edge painting (much of this thanks to Zida’s recommendation).

Needless to say, going with a classic black with the edge painting makes a statement!  So black that you won’t be able to write on it, and so classic and sturdy that even if you don’t book me, you’ll keep my card around for decoration!

The Wikipedia definition of MOXIE is: “courage, daring, and energy,”

I think this describes Jessica, her beautiful work, and her new business cards equally.

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Dallas photographer Lynette Johnson‘s business cards go so far beyond the beyond that it has taken me about a year finally to get them on my blog. They have EVERYTHING. Lynette specializes in photographing Southeast Asian weddings and her designers incorporated an updated Indian theme into her logo, website and blog. I wish I could claim credit for the logo work but I didn’t do it. I did work with her though to get the maximum WoW factor our of her business cards, which we produced here at Studio Z Mendocino. Her colors are a very spring-y green and deep navy blue. In order to do justice to this incredible design it was necessary to go a few extra miles in the production of her business cards.

The stylized, modern paisleys were stamped onto kiwi green paper in a pearlescent foil, then overprinted with her clever, dark blue ink “LynetteJ” logo. Put that aside now and imagine the other side… Well, actually, you don’t have to imagine it — here it is:

The contact information was letterpressed onto white paper. In order to get these two separate pieces of delicious paper to come together as a single business card it was necessary to send it across the continent to our edge painter’s shop back east. There, they sandwiched the two pieces of paper together, with an extra piece of chipboard between, to build them to the extra thickness we wanted, then edge painted them in the same, exact dark blue ink for a little flash/pop/WoW that conveniently disguised the sandwich along the edge.

Do they make some kind of explosive impact? mmm…hmmmm…

Do they represent the incredible and artistically iconoclastic work Lynette does? mmm…hmmm…

mmm…hmmm…you could not ask for anything more.

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EmmaRose Photography, in Nova Scotia, Canada, just got her new letterpress business cards done up by Studio Z Mendocino and is very, very happy about them. I am not even going to say anything in this post, actually, except that I totally LOVED getting to work with Emma Rose. She is a creative geyser and completely fun and adorable and energetic and a great photographer and mom. Sheesh. Here are her own words and her own incredible photographs (taken hours before the big show we got them to her in the nick of time for) of her own spellbinding business cards, designed by her own amazing self:

Hi Zida! I hope you got my voicemail yesterday thanking you from the bottom of my heart for these beautiful little pieces of artwork… I just couldn’t wait to photograph them and share the photos, my blog is up just now! Will send photos asap, hope to work with you again!!! xo Emma.

Hi Folks! Yes, I’ve been in blogging hiatus, but I’m back! I have been biting my nails in anticipation of this blog… thinking of how I will make these photos, when I would be able to blog about this event… my new business cards have arrived! Just in time for this year’s biggest wedding trade show in Halifax, Brides 2011, at the World Trade & Convention Centre. I think this is my 7th year at the show and I’ve got a completely new booth this year, one I’ve been planning all year…

OK, back to the business cards… I have to admit first of all that I’ve become a tiny bit obsessed with the work of Zida Borcich… she’s the owner one of the blogs I watch and more importantly a letterpress and design studio, Studio Z, in Mendocino California. “You watch a letterpress blog?” you say to yourself? It might sound a bit crazy, but I’m drawn to all kinds of art, and Zida’s work is so much more than printing, it’s ART. After I came across her website and blog I just HAD to have her do some cards for me. It’s been a journey, with my thrifty, controlling and perfectionist sides battling with the sides of me that want extravagant top-of-the-line things, and the sides of me that want to encourage other artists and allow them to do their work in the best, freest way possible. There was inner conflict, let me tell you! In the end I did the basic design and Zida lovingly tweaked it for me, gave me her opinion (thank goodness), and was one of those people I wished lived down the street so I could run in and hug her for this amazing art-on-paper that is the end result! Who knew you could do such lovely things with a sheet of paper. I can’t believe it’s just paper!

I hope you can see in the photos the texture of the paper, though, and how the two gray inks are pressed into it and how the pink O is pressed even deeper and coated in a foil so that it shimmers in the light like a jewel… *sigh* My heart was beating as I opened the box yesterday… just look at the pink painted edges, the thickness of the paper! Stunning work Zida, thank you so much for your patience with my questions, indecision and do-it-yourself attitude, haha! These are real show-stoppers!

xo Emma.

Wait: I said I wasn’t going to say anything but really, I must. Which is: we printed them on our favorite Cranes Lettra 600 gsm, super-luxurious, super-thick paper, on both sides, in two gray inks and this hot pink metallic foil. Then edge painted them in the same hot pink. They are so very very extra-ordinary! As you can obviously see.

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