Posts in Custom Work

Achieving perfect balance

published by Fran Shea

People always ask me, “Fran, how do you balance everything so well?? Zeichen Press, kids, marriage, hypochondria, facebook, animal-taming, daydreaming – It doesn’t even seem possible!” I wish I had some fluffy (Oprah-approved) secret to share but it’s really much more simple: Evil twin. What?! Yes. You’d be surprised by how many people actually have evil twins.

This has been a regular rat king of a week: The big Tanek party is tomorrow and Jen and I have been planning the whole thing – From venue to letterpress printed coaster to life-jackets. One of my favorite things is the Tanek 10 Year CD – a music mix and letterpress printed sleeve/party favor/door prize. My playlist skills were honed as a teenager – hour after hour spent with the dual cassette player… see, mom?? I told you it was more important than algebra.

Tanek 10 Year Party CD Sleeve
Tanek 10 Year Party CD Sleeve

 

Tanek 10 Year Party CD Sleeve

As soon as this party is done I can get rid of that mannequin.

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Wherein the dog wears a wig for Room and Board and Jen pies type

published by Fran Shea

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Yes, well… As you can see, the dog was ready to meet with Room and Board today. We fought over the wig but there’s just no talking to her. I don’t even think the wig looks that great  – her fur is a totally different color.

Whenever Room and Board stops out to visit, Jen dumps a case of type onto another case of type. I think it’s a waste of time but Jen loves wasting time – I have to be like, “Jen, quit wasting time.”

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Oh, well – the meeting went great (I think they think we’re strange. Maybe the wig was too much??) They told us to make some more alphabet press-type prints.

Room & Board - Alphabet B&W

That’s what they call those. I call them tickets to Cape Cod but that’s none of your business.

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

has-legs-technicolor

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?

minnesota-bride-logo-450x173mn-bride

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

It’s ART!! DO YOU HEAR ME?? ART!!

published by Fran Shea

Alphabetically speaking, Zeichen follows Warhol in the Room and Board dictionary. Andy Warhol and Zeichen Press sit side-by-side on the Wall Art page – I don’t want to speak for Mr. Warhol BUT I’ll bet he is thrilled with the proximity… This might be just the thing to jump-start his career… Good luck, Andy!! You weird, prolific little man!!

So, back on the R&B website – here’s what the description DOESN’T say:

Produced entirely by hand using
vintage (super old) printing equipment,
Zeichen Press creates this letterpress
design exclusively for us in their
Minneapolis studio. Actually, they call
it a studio but really it was once the
family garage – an issue that nearly
cost the owner (Fran Shea) her marriage,
and more importantly, the garage.
I mean, studio. Using a centuries-old
manual printing method, they set salvaged,
antique type by hand in limited print runs
to give the work a one-of-a-kind quality
that feels both modern and classic.

°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°
They edited that copy down to the nub! But I suppose they know best.

Have a look at these photos: GASP! They make me want to buy one of my own prints!

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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.

touchpint-coaster-card-fron

touchpoint-coaster-card-bac

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?

brady-bunch

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

big-screen-grab-santa-nat-k

When I get my hands on Santa

published by Fran Shea

Nothing says Christmas like sitting on a boozed up strangers lap. Especially if that stranger promises you all sorts of “goodies.”

The 1970’s were a rich time for the Shea family. 5 of 8 kids had already come through the hatch, (what did she say?) Mr. had a job, Mrs. kept house. Santa Clause sat at Dayton’s just waiting to kick off Christmas-Time. I do remember wondering how he could waste precious toy-making time just SITTING THERE on that throne. That wondering turned into anxiety which turned into paralyzing fear.

That might be why I’m not in this picture.

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Nat, Em, and Zak are in it.

Andy and I are noticeably absent. There might have been a pants-wetting episode, or a throwing-up episode. Or a poopy-pants episode. Andy was always trying to get attention.

With the help of photoshop, I’ll be revising history. Soon, Nat and his BUSINESS partner, Ken, will be sitting on Santa’s lap… together. Ken needs to scrape up some childhood memory and get it over to me. I will remove Em and Zak (Zak clearly wants to be removed) and replace them with a little Ken. THEN, I will create a 4-color process halftone – OF COURSE it will be 50 lines per inch.

Duh.

It will be the new holiday card for Tanek. The finest architectural firm in the land.

I’ve heard it’s tricky to print a 4-color halftone using the letterpress printing method. But you know what I say to that??

DO YOU?!

I say, “you’re not so tricky!”

So, here’s what that image looks like when it’s all pulled apart and put back together as a 4 color separation. Isn’t it delicious?santa-em-nat-zak-screen-grab-for-web1-450x353