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Posts Tagged ‘Letterpress Printing’

Mike Tseng‘s fabulous new black-on-black business cards take “basic black” to a whole new level. Super-thick black museum mount in a slim rectanglular shape provides the foundation for the black gloss foil-stamped swirling background pattern designed by Flosites, and matte charcoal ink for his name. Though everything is subtle, it is also somehow extravagant and ravishing.

Mike says, “Thanks again for the cards, people are blown away when I give it to them!” Well, ahem, I told you that would happen, Mike. Blown away is always the reaction we go for. We love that.

Perfectly yummy…

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Making progress on the seemingly never ending schlepp of moving my shop after twenty-five years of making and archiving a zillion letterpress jobs. Every file drawer and shelf presents yet another little jog down that old Memory Lane. Good thing the Kelley House came in with their SWAT teeam last week, Carolyn and Betty, to go through the flat files and many nooks and crannies to find the most historically relevant pieces for their archives. WoW — were they efficient. And they loved everything so much that it made me feel very happy to have done what I have been doing all these years. They ended up taking boxes and boxes of my design and printing work with them and, guess what: there will be a Zida Borcich Collection there, at the Kelley House, and at the Guest House Museum in Fort Bragg, as well as an expanded collection at the San Francisco Public Library Rare Books Room.

There is still a ton of paper and stationery and cards and whatnot downstairs but the free scrap paper left the shop yesterday, headed for grammar school classrooms. Several file cabinets, a huge desk and many, many pounds of type and ornaments have found new homes, but OMG there is still so much more to do. People will be coming in this week to move the heavy equipment out. I have been going through the galleys of standing jobs and collecting fonts that need their families back, putting into boxes type for people who have bought up my larger collections to finish them off. Extremely time consuming, may I say. But what treasures. I was struck the other night about one a.m. at what beautiful typesetting we have done over the years. Complicated, exacting, persnickety to the nth degree. So much care and love in the knowledge we keep in our fingers, our eyes. All the work that has filtered out into the world, creating who knows what ripples in people’s lives. Someone just sent me an email about having sent one of my Ladies Who Lunch cards to a fellow and now they are going to get married. Ripples!

Today I will tackle my desk with the help of my friend indeed, Cynthia Wall, AKA Angel from Heaven Girl. She helped me so much all day long yesterday. My other Angel from Heaven Boy, Ed, will leave for a day or two but he worked so hard and lifted so much heavy stuff over the last days I don’t know what I could have done without him. All of this is arduous and satisfying, wistful and joyful, disappointing and elating all at once. Itis a process I would not want to miss for the world. So happy to be doing it now and getting ready for whatever comes next. Many good-byes: Good-bye, little 1924 C & P. You are so beautiful. I hope you get to work more than you have in my shop the last years.

Good-bye type all dusty and gnarly and elegant. Good-bye little yellow house with all your memories. Good-bye Good-bye Good-bye. I know you aren’t supposed to put a hyphen in Goodbye anymore but I am feeling old fashioned to-day. But anyway, it’s not good-bye to everything at all. I will keep designing and Rhea with keep printing, just like before, only in new places. I am just feeling a bit nostalgic today so thank you for indulging me.

Off to the move again. Please tell yr friends to come by and get some stationery for Xmas presents or whatnot, OIK? There is so much beautiful stuff and it’s so crazy cheap you won’t believe it.

I love you.

 

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Seth Sirbaugh is a terrifically talented graphic designer whose new letterpress business cards carry the message of the new “tribe” brand he’s developed, in the most stylish way imaginable. We did two versions, which you see pictured above. The first was the more complicated. We used French’s Gray Durotone 80# cover, a mottled, slightly gnarly-in-a-chic-kind-of-way sheet. It’s not very thick, so to add substance (and mystery), Seth had us make a “sandwich,” laminating the backs and fronts of the gray Durotone, with a “filling” of pumpkin-colored Durotone. You can see the little, subtle, yummy orange stripe when you turn the card sideways.

The fronts of the cards were printed in black glossy foil with the “tribe” logo and the uber-hip tagline, “design. cultured.” I love that. The backs have the contact information foiled in white opaque foil. With darker colored papers, white ink will not block out the background color entirely. There is always some bleed-through, so to alleviate that, we always use opaque white foil, which is much more opaque.

The entire laminated card is still not as thick as, say, 600 gram Lettra, which we use most often here these days for our most premium jobs. He didn’t want them to take up that much room in his wallet. At first. But then there was a small crisis, which I won’t go into right now, which allowed us to make another, smaller batch of cards on white 600 gram Lettra. On this run, we edge painted them in the same pumpkin-y orange. And, oh la la, baby. How can he decide which version to pass out?

Working with a designer of the professional caliber of Seth Sirbaugh is a pleasure beyond pleasure. Collaboration is always necessary on a job (jobs) like this one. He had the vision and I acted as mediator between that and making the vision into something he could hold in his hand and be proud and assured that it represented him well. When the crisis occurred, Seth was gracious in the extreme. Often, with letterpress, patience is a virtue, and Seth’s virtue showed up in the form of little wings sprouting from the shoulders of his tee shirt.

It’s not usual to get to give a design two entirely different treatments like this, so as a way to show off the amazing versatility of letterpress’s many virtues, there could not be a better example. The entire mood is changed, the vibe, maybe even the clan, in these two very different versions of the same design.

We all wanna be in Seth’s groovy tribe!

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4 of Chance Creek Wines Studio Z Mendocino Labels

Lou Bock is the Winegrower behind the crisp, gorgeous offerings from his winery, Chance Creek. Grapes from his own vineyards in Redwood Valley, California are raised and tended by himself, and the wines he creates express not just a refined palate but a love for and dedication to the land he has farmed organically for many decades.

I feel very lucky to have encountered him at a party some ten years ago. It was very funny because we actually had dated in high school over thirty years before our re-introduction. Life. Very crazy.

Lou happened to be looking for a new graphic designer right then and guess what…of course, it was perfect timing and perfect serendipity and perfect Universe falling together as usual. Since then i have designed and printed up many, many labels for Chance Creek and my old friend.

Not many labels nowadays get the hands-on treatment we give these. They are printed offset and then we go back in with foil on the Heidelberg lettrpresses in my shop.

This label is his new Terroir 95470 SangioRosso, a red table wine he just added to the Terroir 95470 white we loved so much the last two years. The Redwood Valley zip code takes center stage on this…what better way to talk about terroir, the essence of the land the grapes are grown on?

The new SB label looks wonderful on the golden hue of Chance Creek’ sauvignon blanc. They offer THREE sauvignon blancs, each with its own undertones, overtones and degree of yumminess. The gleam of gold foil against a dramatic black background enhances impact from the shelf.

Last year’s Sangiovese showed up on all the right tables. Another winning offering from Chance Creek and Lou Bock.

Lastly, this is Lou’s Chance Creek Classic Sauvignon Blanc, his most popular offering. We love love love it with salmon and especially crab, but i could drink it with anything. It is perfect.

Wine label design is only one of the areas Studio Z Mendocino exercises creativity. Call us when you need any sort of design expertise — from a new logo or branding to a website, we are certainly happy to speak to you about what you are dreaming up.

Here are Lou Bock’s business cards, which i derived from the above label.

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Danny and Loreta Kash are the principles and great talents behind Danny Kash Photography, which operates out of Connecticut and is available for worldwide destination shoots. It was an incredible experience working with them to develop their new brand because they were so specific about the tone they were looking for, and at the same time so ready to listen to my ideas and inspirations. It was an ideal collaborative experience. Loreta was amazing…she sent me a kind of vision board to work from…showing colors and passions and attractions, moods, and just things that made her heart beat faster. She is so organized and creative at the same time. Look how fab:

It was always fun to confer with them on the phone, always excitement, curiosity into the mysterious process of creation. When I sent them this design, we all just KNEW: this was IT. They definitely wanted this gorgeous pale Caribbean blue-green color, and there were other accent colors we considered, like a sunny orange-ish shade, but in the end we opted for a charcoal gray as the second color.

We deeply impressed the type into 600 gram Cranes Lettra, with the contact information on the back to keep the brand really pure and important. This is my favorite way to make a card really sing. The edges were painted in the same watery-green-blue color, a little accent that pulls the WoW factor up several thousand notches, as we all know.

O, EDGE PAINTING!!!

And yummy shots of the business cards by Danny.

The flowing lines and swooshes of the “dk” monogram set an elegant, celebratory mood behind the classic-yet-slightly-quirky Roman typeface. It’s a fresh, distinctive look for two very special people. And it is always a big treat for me to participate in redefining a company’s graphic look from the ground up. An honor, and a super-fun and exciting adventure. I love the creative trance that brings me to a finished product like this. Do you like it?

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Three color letterpress folders: gray, black and papaya colored inks on 300 gram white Cranes Lettra . Papaya envelopes with a jazzy stamp. A fabulous menu and guest list.

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The great big “L” monogrammed¬† on Leo Druker‘s oversized letterpress printed business cards strikes as bold a statement as the Washington DC photographer makes with his work. Leo came to Studio Z Mendocino with his logo already designed. We conferred with him about the best materials to use, how to give the cards their majorest WoW factor possible and came up with these beauties.

Printed on a 2.5 x 4 inch sheet, and weighing in at 600 grams on super-thick Cranes Lettra luxurious stock, these are not cards to fool around with. They mean business. We printed them in two tones of charcoal gray ink, then, to put the upper cut into the already big punch, we edge painted them in the darker of the two grays. As Leo has told me several times in emails: they “are getting rave reviews from every person who looks and/or touches them.” Well, we are not surprised. They are stunning.

I wish you could feel them. Substantial. We love strong beauty and these are that.

If you really want to make an impression that lasts when you leave, you could not choose a better vehicle than cards like these. You will not be forgotten easily.

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