The true story behind the Zeichen Press logo:

published by Fran Shea

Okay, let’s call her “Sheila” and let’s call him “Franz Ferdinand.”

She resented every one of his hair-plugs. Row after row of weak little sprouts – such an offensive landscape. Each bloody little ring contained 4-5 “transplant hairs,” the math was easy enough – she figured that each stubby hair cost $7.40. Her pre-taxed, hourly wage at the Seed-N-Feed was $7.45 – barely enough to cover the cost of a single hair.

He had convinced her that the new hair would make him a better dancer. She knew now that it did not – his “moves” reminded her of the farmhands baling hay. Each jerky swinging of his arms nearly punching her in the stomach.

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His unemployment was running out and now, thanks to this unwise investment, they would have to move into his mother’s trailer. Her whole life she wanted to be a professional dancer and had been searching for the perfect partner – why hadn’t she listened to her gut or that certified psychic that really seemed to understand her? Still, she danced with him – her graceful movements, her twirling skirt – he would have been captivated by her beauty if he wasn’t so fixated on the pounding in his chest. 

°°°°°

Wow! We all know what happens next. Thank the Lord she knows CPR and that despite the bitterness the hair-plugs caused, she still wanted to keep him alive. Sheila and Franz Ferdinand might just make it.

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Here’s the part about salvaging letterpress equipment:

published by Fran Shea

People (my mom) always (whenever she feigns interest) ask me, “where do you get this stuff?” Type, cabinets, printer’s cuts, ink, chases, quoins, sticks, cutters, furniture, leads, slugs, tympan, rollers… letterpress takes up a lot more space than this tidy little laptop. I wonder if that’s one of the reasons people stopped using it? I doubt it.

Jen and I both agreed that our favorite salvaging-situation involved a compulsive hoarder with a murder/torture-pit (alleged) in his basement. This house had it all; two commercial espresso machines:

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two Kluge Printing Presses:

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(just in case you’re wondering: TWO Kluge Printing presses are massive and would look like this if not covered in books, dvd’s, televisions, kleenex boxes, grocery bags, magazines and mail):

SONY DSC

a family-style restaurant booth: (this suspiciously barricaded the basement door)

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dozens of old computers: (so sentimental)old_computer

 

“stackable” type cabinets: (we took these)

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and this:

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and this:

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Oh, here’s a fun game:

Can you find the treasure in this photographic vignette?:

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How about here?:pixelated-face-450x600don-butner

°°°°

Oh, well. Enough of the sweet, sweet memories. Here’s part of our latest salvage:cabinet-of-wood-type western-wood-type condensed-wood-type

A long, long time ago there was no Tanek. Only empty space.

published by Fran Shea

I loved when Mom would get out the Scotch-tape and add my latest work to the dining room wall.

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I’m not sure if one day she ran out of paper or tape – but she also let me paint right on the windows and the refrigerator.

I spent the last 10 weeks art directing Tanek’s new website. It was very similar to painting on the refrigerator except without paints or a refrigerator. I worked on the project with my old boss. Don’t confuse this old boss with another old boss I had at the Leeann Chin in Richfield, circa 1989.

You can go look at the new Tanek site. It’s not painted on the fridge or hanging on the dining room wall but it’s still super awesome. You can really build with the masthead blocks! … Actually, that gives me an idea… build something cool, take a screen grab and e-mail it to Zeichen Press – WHY? I’ll pick the best one, send out some fancy letterpress cards to the winner and publish it on the blog.

HEY! This is fun!

Potato-Guns and Make Magazine

published by Fran Shea

The other day, I needed to learn how to make a potato gun. It doesn’t matter why. Anyway, I made my way to the MAKE Magazine blog – If you haven’t been – I don’t know what to say. It’s not like we can’t be friends. It will just never be more than that.

So, they are doing this Maker Business Series and I thought, “hey, I make things… I own a business…” The potato gun would just have to wait. Sorry Edmund. …I sent an e-mail to someone named Gareth (Jen keeps referring to Gareth as “her” – I don’t have the heart to correct her) and told him about Zeichen Press – he responded and then it turned into an interview and… Go read it!!

Wake up call

published by Fran Shea

I try so hard. Really, I do. I try to follow the rules.

I’m jealous of those people (is it everyone?) that climb out of bed at a respectable hour, get dressed, fuss with their hair, apply make-up, brush their teeth, read the paper, make and drink a cup of coffee…

In high school, my morning carpool (I say “carpool” but really it was just my friends carting me around like some sort of package. A smoking, swearing package) would lay on her horn outside my house while I lay in my bed – dreaming that I was missing tests because I was laying in bed dreaming that I was missing tests.

Flush

published by Fran Shea

Apparently, it’s healthy to flush your gallbladder. How? A delicious nightcap: A hearty blend of olive oil and grapefruit juice. Chilled, of course.

In the spirit of the flush – I thought I’d flush out some old designs. These designs were rejected by clients.

Not because they didn’t like the designs but because they are just jealous of me.caesar-line-color-bar-450x434 american-dream-diamond chef-hat-american-dream-log1 ne-factory-logo-alone ne-easel-logo1

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Step one:

published by Fran Shea

Part of the World Domination Plan involves a complete Zeichen Press website redesign. Just imagine our new logo in living, breathing, MOVING, technicolor! Oh, the anticipation dizzies me. My prop shopping list includes a wig and a man. …I guess my husband could be the man… Lord knows he’d love the attention. Especially the mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

My friend Fred started photographing our product line. It’s a Fair Trade – just like when the Indians traded Manhattan for wampum.

PS: Did you know that Zeichen Press cards can be delivered right to your door? That’s right! You don’t even have to leave your house. Or your bed. Like me. What will they think of next??two-bald-men surprise-i-totally-forgot hello-is-this-the-police does-this-sandwich what-the-duck oh-kitty-where-have

As we descend into the bowels of that beast called Winter

published by Fran Shea

It is February 1.

If anyone is left please contact me. I have locked myself in the furnace room and my rations are dwindling. I am eating Panko Japanese Style Breading with a dirty popsicle stick and telling myself it’s Lik-A-Stix. Mmmmm, Lik-A-Stix…

Somehow, I was able to make this card:sup-dawg-450x577

Je m’appelle Françoise

published by Fran Shea

If I were getting married I would design and letterpress print my own invitation.

What am I saying?? No, I wouldn’t. I don’t even send out the Christmas cards that I design and letterpress print. WHAT??!! I know. This is a blog post and a confession.

Anyway, Minnesota Bride included  one of our wedding invitations in a nice little spread they called “Vintage in Vogue.”

See?

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2. Inspired by the couple’s romantic first meeting in the city of love, designer Fran Shea blended imagery from Paris with a vintage postcard theme to create a classic yet distinctive invite. Using letterpress printing and a unique accordion layout, this design evokes an aura of chic French elegance. Zeichen Press, 612.432.1943, zeichenpress.com