The strong would survive the winter. The weak would, of course, be eaten.

published by Fran Shea

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The Long Winter is the true tale of a Minnesota family surviving one of the most brutal Winters in our recorded history. Trapped in the house – day after day after day – the blizzard makes it impossible to see out the window or even walk out to the barn without getting lost. Good ol’ Pa rigs up a rope to follow, he is always coming up with some creative solution! Ma follows that rope because Pa finds himself trapped in a ditch by the creek. The wood pile dwindles to nothing and the family is forced to twist hay into little bundles – they would burn these in the cast-iron stove to heat their little house. … Tough, brown bread is the only food left to eat.

Or is it?

What if that was on the jacket flap? I’d totally read that book.

It’s time for Christmas rejects!

published by Fran Shea

Gosh, that’s a scary movie! Those poor misfit toys… the choo-choo with the square wheels, the pistol that shoots jelly, the effeminate jack-in-the-box…  I think the jack-in-the-box and that little dentist-elf would make a cute couple.

Okay, so I keep trying to design something to print on these FIVE THOUSAND BEVERAGE COASTERS that we have lying around. I guess no one cares about preserving the shine and luster of their finished furniture.

I think that’s barbaric.

Maybe they think it sends the wrong message? I don’t. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to booze it up through the 12 days of Christmas. In fact, it is acceptable all year round IF you set your drink on one of our beverage coasters. (Was that some sort of plug?? Yes. Here’s a link: AND here’s one I designed just for Touchpoint Retail. It has the recipe for a candy cane martini right on it. Isn’t that handy?? coaster-for-touchpoint-450x229

They decided to go with a card design from the Zeichen Press line but JUST TO BE DIFFICULT (I mean, sui generis.) they had us print it on an oversized SQUARE coaster. But I must admit, it’s pretty darn nice.

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Two-timing ZP

published by Fran Shea

But I LOVE you Zeichen Press! I do. It’s just that Tanek has something (money) that you don’t have. Does that sound shallow? It’s not, I swear. It’s not just the money. They make me coffee. AND they tell me I do good work. You just sit there and take. And take and take and take – a word that comes to mind is “relentless.” But not in a bad way. Did I mention they’re architects? I know! Restaurantsretailresidential… Wait, did I mention restaurants?… Of course you had to know, the signs were everywhere. Remember when I made those Tanek paper dolls? tanek-paper-doll-inside-card

Or that 4-color halftone?

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Wait, that was just last week. Anyway, I’m totally NOT breaking up with you. I’m just going to be seeing them too. But that’s cool, right? Don’t be so selfish.

**Editor’s Note: What does this mean??? Zeichen Press is just doing some marketing for Tanek.

No Coast 2009, Sleestacks and ANOTHER Doppelganger

published by Fran Shea

WHEW! What a weekend!

First of all, Amanda came to my house to do my hair.

She did.

Shut up.

I totally care about how I look. It seemed strange to look so beautiful AND carry 500 lbs of cards from a loading dock to a folding table. But I did it for the kids. Jen and I have worked out a system of communication that really facilitates a speedy set up: Jen orders me around like some sort of slave and I stifle sobs behind my Crying Scarf.

There was another letterpress company about 10 feet away from us and we had to fight to defend our turf. Zeichen Press ended up winning because we have better dance moves and we bribed the judges with Bazooka gum.

I figured out something pretty important on Saturday morning: I look like a Sleestack.

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OH! Another thing that was pretty amazing: That dapper gent from one of our new cards actually bought the card that he is on!

I hope she likes thoughts that count. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

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I love a handsome man with a wallet full of cash. (Do you hear me, Kenny?!)

Let’s see… oh, yes.. the show was jam-packed and we made gobs of moola. I mean, we spread the joy of the season through letterpress goodness.

Here’s me laughing at one of my own jokes:fran-laughing-no-coast-2009

And here’s Jen endlessly fussing over a display:jens-arms-arranging-cards-2

I almost forgot to share this bit of news: Somebody actually stole an entire stack of these:I'm still stalking you. Letterpress printed on recycled paper. Comes with coordinating envelope and packaged in cellophane sleeve.

What the???

She must be a professional stalker.

There Is No Turning Back

published by Fran Shea

The new logo has been crafted of copper and is ready for printing.

…But who are those people supposed to be?? And why does the woman wear her hair as if it were 1986?? Only I know the answers to these mysteries and I have just boarded a train headed for Zermatt.

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Rewriting History OR Making Ken Piper sit on Scary Santa’s Lap

published by Fran Shea

Dear Scary Santa,

How is Mrs. Scary Santa? How are the reindeer? That’s nice.

Could you please bring us our own architectural firm? Just like Mr. Brady from the Brady Bunch?

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He’s always making models in the den and walking around with rolled-up blueprints. It looks like so much fun. PLUS, we would totally take care of it. We figured out the best name for it:

Tanek.

Get it?

It’s our names! Spelled backwards!!

Anyway, we’ll let you get back to working with the elves.

From,

Ken & Nat

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My very special night at Maiden Minnesota

published by Fran Shea

What a night! First, I was paper-bagged by my girlfriends and THEN I was handed a glass of wine and a sack full of pencils.

We were greeted by a wall of women at the The Grave’s Hotel – I was frightened at first – it was like a giant bridal shower… I always feel awkward at bridal showers. This is going to surprise some people but I’m just not really a girly-girl. I can’t walk in heels and I have no idea what to do with make-up or hair. My casual wardrobe may as well be borrowed from the Cloggy’s Friday Night Karaoke Ladies. matthew-from-a-magazine

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But who’s that in the bathroom with you, Fran? Well, silly, that’s my bathroom friend!

Okay, onto the vendors at the event. What event? Hush. Illume Candles was there – spreading their joy through the scented candle. We’re printing their holiday card again this year. They’ll pay us in candle currency which they assured us is just as good as real money. Let’s see… then there was some stationery vendor… forgot the name… it wasn’t us… so I didn’t care… And lastly, Foat Design. They do urban couture and yoga wear. I chatted with one of the owners – A nice gal who claims to have a twin in San Francisco. I’m not buying it, I bet she made up the whole “twin thing” to get away with crime.