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Posts Tagged ‘Letterpress Printing’

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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Matthew Cotter, an amazing photographer from Southern California’s just got his black, super-thick, foil stamped letterpress business cards AND his complete stationery wardrobe of letterhead, envelopes and buck slips/thank you notes for his E-Ticket Photography business. We printed cards for Matthew and his business partner Patrick Hartson on black Museum Mount for a significant heft in the hand. We foiled his “EP” logo in black, glossy foil, and E-TICKET PHOTOGRAPHY, as well as the back contact information, went on in shimmery silver foil. The cards are the shape of a piece of chewing gum, long rectangles, which is a feature that sets his business cards apart from the crowd.

The black-and-white contrast of these cards against florescent white stationery is breathtaking. We used twenty-eight pound Cranes Crest letterhead paper, which is thicker and snappier than more usual twenty-four pound stock. Again, the logo is in black gloss and the type is in matte black ink. These textural contrasts have a subtle but undeniable impact. The impression that letterpress printing leaves, too, adds one more element to the overall experience.

The final fillip to this zesty package was Buck Slips (shown above), otherwise known as Script Cards. These are 4″ x 9″ note cards that can be used to paperclip notes to scripts (all directors, actors, producers, etc. MUST HAVE THESE) or other things, AND they fit right into the #10 Envelopes so you don’t need a dedicated envelope for your thank you notes. I recommend Script Cards whenever I make business cards for anyone. There is nothing like a hand written thank you note on a scrumptious piece of paper that will impress a client more. We printed their names (each got a clutch of these cards) at the bottom so they can “slash” through the printed name and pen their initials or signature.

The Chicness Factor is as clear as black-and-white. E-Ticket Photography looks great on paper!

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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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I have been wanting to show you the business cards we did for photographer Ellen Anon for a while now. There is just no way to describe them or even to photograph them, though, that can really impart the amazingness of these beautiful objects, although Ellen’s photo above comes close. What doesn’t show is the way the color pops off and morphs as the angle of the card changes in relationship to light. This is because … well, let me start from the beginning:

Ellen called me one day out of the blue and wanted me to do some business cards for her. She is an award winning photographer who travels the world incessantly and takes the most staggeringly gorgeous photographs of the natural world and had stumbled onto my blog. I felt like I had known her all my life after the first phone call. We just clicked. It turns out Ellen is also the author of six books about photography and Photoshop, gives workshops all over the place and is interviewed for her expertise in these subjects.

We dug into the project immediately and it was the most fantastic collaboration. She started sending photographes to me and I was looking at them with a graphic designer’s eye for line, color, something that would give me that physical hit I get when I just know something is right. With letterpress printing, you really can’t have a four color image, at least not one you would be happy to look at. Photography and Letterpress Printing are two art forms that are in different galactic systems in terms of how color is laid down and of course many other factors, although there are many intersections, too, in the way we approach our crafts and how we perceive things.

Letterpress printing, particularly, with its deep impression into soft, non-shiny paper seems at odds with how a photograph can be interpreted. But that is the charge we set for ourselves. I wanted to incorporate one of her images into the design and logo, but it was going to have to be done in some very unusual way. I had recently finished Elizabeth Perkins’s business card that used a photograph of a grand stairway in England, turning it into a negative and printing that in white ink onto black paper. It was a very successful experiment and I thought I could use that experience to advantage for Ellen’s project.

Looking through her galleries was a great pleasure and of course an equally big puzzle. We looked at many images from all over the world together… wildly colored agricultural steppes in China, drama-queen trees, a crazy geyser in Nevada…all mind boggling, but when she sent me a picture of a river in Iceland that looked like a big tree branch, I just stopped everything.

This was IT.

So, how to turn a full color photo into something I could make into a letterpress image?

Yes…quite a question. Ellen went to work in Photoshop and so did I. We were burning up the airwaves with various iterations, nixing and mixing, then suddenly, there was this duotone…I said, what would happen if we turned each of the two layers into its own foil die? Then there was a moment when inspiration went out of control and I said, OK, the foils are going to be PEWTER/SILVERY and HOLOGRAPHIC TURQUOISE that turns into every shade of blue in the spectrum. That was also IT. We decided to put this glowing idea on black, super-thick Museum Mount paper for even more dramatic impact.

There were a lot of experiments that went back and forth to Pennsylvania — holographic blue with pewter, pewter and copper and even copper and holographic foil. They were ALL gorgeous! Everybody concurred. They were a big hit.

Because Ellen was hanging out of a plane high above an Icelandic landscape, trying to keep her camera from blasting out of her hands in the intense wind in order to take this shot, the many trials and errors, extra Skyping, and much discussing of ins and outs about the designing and printing of this image seems like almost, ALMOST, a piece of cake. Can you imagine? She is my hero.

Above, you see the original photograph and below, what we did with it to make it into her new logo and business card. Sheesh.

It was a very exciting and fulfilling project that got me and Ellen into the Friend Zone. There were a few doubts about whether the whole crazy idea would even work, as I conferred with our fabulous printer Rhea…the tension mounted and then…it did work and it is gorgeous.

We are all kind of gaga about the cards and the incredibly intense experience of working together toward such a satisfying ending. This is something, I am pretty sure, that has never been done before in the world. How cool is that?

Please go see Ellens work at ellenanon.com. Totally worth the trip.

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This is why I am in business: I get these incredibly talented clients; I get to work creatively with them on really fun, exciting projects; they come back for reprints and we get to connect all over again, over something even MORE creative and fun. Stephen Dohring is a case in point. A wonderful photographer from Tampa who had us do black Museum Mount business cards with silver foil the first time around. Now he wanted a different look, sort of a black-and-white different, and this is the result. Here in his own words is how he feels about the new cards, with their chic, understated, lightened up beauty:

This is my second investment in my cards with Zida and I am excited to hand them out. My first thick museum mount letterpress foil card was very unique in my area, wedding professionals would say things like “Oh you are giving me a stack” when it was only one card. or they would try and open it. Vendors at events would hear about my card and ask me for one. Of course I want people talking about my photography but when you network you can’t show your images, so giving them something to remember me by is the next best thing.

For my new cards I wanted them a bit more feminine with a softer feel and non-traditional shape.  I love the simplicity, the detail with the painted edge, and how the logo will look soft and elegant and then catch the light and pop with more impact. All of those are elements I like to see in my photography. My new cards are just one part of my branding that can say a lot for me all by themselves.  There is no way they will get lost in a pile of other cards and are unlikely to ever be thrown away.

Thanks Zida!

What more can I add to that? Thank you, Stephen. I absolutely adore how these came out. I think the lighter palette will appeal to brides and their moms even more than the black ones did, although they were also very amazing. These, though, printed on Cranes Lettra 600 gram paper, with gray ink and pearl foil are plainly The Bomb, as we used to say. Elegant, sexy, demure and commanding all at once.

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Nini Nguyen, embodiment of all things gorgeous, stylish, elegant and chic, including herself, wanted nothing but black-on-black and deep texture for her Fashion Stylist business cards. Her husband Loc designed these industrial-strength cards using a Stencil typeface, and we applied black gloss foil onto super-thick black Museum Mount with very deep impression. It amounts to understatement that packs a mysterious wallop.


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Mihai Serban is a fabulous photographer from Romania who, through the miracle of the Internet, came across this blog and had Studio Z Mendocino, on the wild northern California coast, make his fantastic business cards: 600 gram, super-luxe Cranes Lettra, black ink, silver foil, deep impression, very good impression.

It was a thrill to ship them off to their new home 6447 miles away. That is SO FAR…

Serban has this tag line: Photographic Influence.

What more can I say?

Here are Serban’s words:

Hi Zida
How are you?
I have started showing my business cards to other people and everyone was impressed.
I hope they are going to bring me alot of business.
Meanwhile, I have pictured one of them for your blog.
Thank you once again.
All the best.
Serban Mihai Popescu.

Here is how the front and back look:


Don’t you love the modern world?

Thank you, Serban, for finding us and for being such a fun client to work with. We all LOVE how they came out and the beautiful, mysterious photo you shot of them. You have to come to California one day and we will have a big party for you, our most far-flung customer ever!

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Ottawa, Canada, artist Michael Morris’s bigfatmedia produces work that is so hip, brash and hilarious I can’t believe it. With impeccable skill and imagination the multi-genus genius designs graphics, games, incredible animations, greeting cards and more that will astonish and crack you up. He designed these audaciously understated business cards for himself over the course of several months. I got to participate by fielding questions and playing devil’s advocate until he was satisfied. We used our favorite sheet, 600 gram Cranes Lettra. Here are Micahel’s own words:

I designed these ultra-thick 4-ply cotton business cards that feature a white Pearl foil and Grey ink deep impression on the front for an ultra minimalist look, and a light Grey light impression on the back, featuring contact info and a QR code pointing to the bigfatmedia website. The white foil appears and disappears depending on the angle of view, and with many weeks of consulting with Zida Borcich (Studio Z Mendocino), a master in the art of letterpress. This was the result.

Thanks Zida, it was a pleasure working with you on this project and I look forward to working with you again in the future.

Michael Morris

Bigfatmedia

This is the first time we have letterpressed a QR code on anything at the shop here in Fort Bragg, so we are feeling awfully moderne. I love the juxtaposition of newest and oldest technologies on one little piece of paper, spanning over 500 years — and how many iterations of upgraded communication tools is anybody’s guess. We love the cards and love working with Michael.

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Newborn, Baby, Child, Maternity, Family photographer Angela Weedon, of Dallas, Texas, received her letterpress business cards from Studio Z Mendocino right before the holidays. She just sent me these beautiful shots of them, which, she says “are a hit!” We love the watery blue edge painting and the darling logo she brought to the project.

They are appealingly fresh, deeply impressed onto Cranes 600 gram white Lettra paper, which is made for letterpress especially, in the same soft aqua blue and medium gray inks.

The edge painting sends them right into the stratosphere for style, beauty and a surprise WoW factor.

This is the way to start the New Year: Branding that follows through visually as well as with the tactile flourish only letterpress printing imparts. Subtly three-dimensional, her new cards perfectly exemplify the artistry, quality and sensitivity with which Angela approaches her work and sweet little clients, and their families. You can see some of her beautiful work at weedonphoto.com

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I want to wear every single thing Nha Khanh and her partner Nini Nguyen design. They are the most gorgeous people, and their clothes are beyond exquisite, beyond crafted, and even beyond beyond: they are scrumptiously fashionistaissima!!!

The question here was, what would you do for a business card for such gorgeousness?

Loc Truong, Nini’s husband and a partner at Nha Khanh, designed the very understated typography for their logo. THEN there was a conversation. With me. What paper? What color? What what what??? Here you see the outcome of our deliberations: understated, modern, classical, textured, white-on-white, pure beauty.

One of Nha Khanh’s designs

This is Nha’s limited edition run: pearl foil flood with the type knocked out so the type is paper texture and the pearl foil is pressed down around the type, making a little pillow of the logo. This is not a usual use for letterpress. But they too are very beautiful.

Two editions and the backs.

Pearl foil deeply impressed into uber-thick Cranes Lettra 600 gsm

Yum.

So beautiful. You have to go see her website now. Wait till you see what we just did for Nini!! Next post coming soon. Merry Happy!!!

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