Posts in Letterpress

0°, Hydraulics and a Hair Dryer

published by Fran Shea

Why is it that the one time I leave my house something awesome happens?? Jack drove the Heidelberg Windmill down from Wahpeton, North Dakota this morning. Drove it right down to our fancy studio.

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I’m in Brainerd not running around the house in my underwear and Jen is back at ZP headquarters. Who knew (Jack the mover knew) that the press was going to be delivered TODAY? Apparently, the hydraulic part of the pallet jack (not Jack the mover) didn’t love the 0°. I guess it was frozen and I’m no expert but that seems like a setback. Jen called me wondering where she could find a hair dryer. I don’t know why she wanted to style her hair but I’m not going to judge. Apparently, Jen’s beautiful hair did the trick because the new press is safe and sound in the SW corner of the shop.

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get-the-heidelberg-on-the-pthe-heidelber-is-home

 

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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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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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.

fran-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.

thoughts-that-count-real-ma

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.

zeichen-press-new-logo

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

Life is really going to change

published by Fran Shea

No more casual afternoons at Starbucks. No more sidewalk cafes. No more days at the park with the kids. No more walking down the sidewalk with a kid on my shoulders while sipping a Starbucks Latte while going to the sidewalk cafe from the park.

Not any more. Because we’re celebrities. I know, I know – don’t worry – I’ll still make me-time.

If you are living in a well, you might not have heard that Zeichen Press was proclaimed Best of Show by -my new favorite- magazine: Do It Yourself 

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With the magazine in her hands and a cart full of groceries, Jen called me. She called me over the loudspeaker. I was in the frozen foods section and she ordered me to get myself to Lane 7. I did as I was told and Thank God because Jen was being dragged away by security – I got there in the nick of time, explaining that we were on a “living on your own” outing and I’d be taking her right back to the group home as soon as we bagged her groceries.

Phew!

Okay, here’s a sneak peak into the magazine – go and get your very own copy and don’t forget to buy some of our goddamn holiday cards.

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Will I win the Nobel Peace Prize?

published by Fran Shea

Maybe. Oh, who am I kidding? I can’t broker peace between nations. I’m no Dalai Lama. I’m no Barack Obama. I’m just kidding about that second one  –  I just wanted something to rhyme with Dalai Lama. Wait, what? Barack Obama really did win the Nobel Peace Prize? Oops. My bad. It’s hard, toiling away, day after day – trying to make this crazy planet just a little bit cheerier. Ghandi knows how I feel.

*alfred-nobel

Alfred “Alfie” Nobel

What would Fran do?

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 ANYWAY. I wrote some new cards. Perhaps, one day, they will bring peace to war-torn countries…

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PSST, is this my birthday party or my funeral

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The gifts don’t count       themselves.
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*of-course-be-eaten

The strong would survive the winter. The weak would, of course, be eaten.
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*im-christmas-stalking-you

I’m Christmas Stalking you.
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*piano-lesson
The Christmas concert would be her chance for revenge.

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*lounging-women

I’ll celebrate Christmas however I damn well please.

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*man_wrapping-package-18_lg

I hope she likes thoughts that count.

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*bra-ad2

Thank you for your support.
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*lovebirds_14525

Great. My parents just got home.

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