Posts in Marketing
Our U.K. distributor placed another large order and while Jen is printing her fingers to the bone, I am busy documenting important behind-the-scenes developments. The Zeichen Press ship sails on serene waters now that Jen and I have embraced our roles in this partnership.
Today, she stepped over me and made her way to the shop to print this:
That seems important but so does this:
Melissa Peterman and George Keller turned a hot, mosquito-filled night in the Zeichen Press backyard into something magical.
METRO Magazine thinks their readers might like to see a how-to on letterpress printing. Strangely, they asked me to put one together. It should be online in a week or so but I’ll post it here first because I’m generous. °°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°#1) This is called a printer’s block or advertising cut. All Zeichen Press cards start with one of these.
#2) These backwards lead letters are called type. Before computers, they were the only way to print anything. We have cases and cases of them and I like to arrange them into words.
#3) Everything is locked into a heavy-metal frame called a chase using furniture (wood and metal blocks) and quoins (expanding metal wedges). This weighs about as much as my firstborn child. (Ten pounds. TEN POUNDS.)
#4) The chase is pinned into the bed of the press where the rollers can roll over it.
#5) This 1,500 pound printing press was made in the 1930’s by the Chandler & Price Company in Ohio. That round thing in the upper right is called the ink disc. A little ink is dabbed on it, the rollers ride up the rails and onto the ink disc – get covered in ink and spread it across the forme (the type and printer’s block locked into the chase pinned into the bed of the press). I love this press because it is capable of creating beautiful things and crushing your hand.
#6) A blank piece of paper is held onto the platen using little pins. The paper will meet the inked forme when the press closes like a giant evil clam. I always smile like this when I face danger.
#7) Jen will print a bajillion of these and they will be added to our line.
The third instructional video is complete for the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. If only children could drink alcohol these would be perfect for a Summer birthday party.
One more trick added to our nearly packed act makes us four-trick ponies.
1) Design (obviously)
2) Letterpress (tons of it)
3) Creative (vague and non-committal)
4) Jell-O Shot Instructional Film Directors (why not?)
The Zeichen Press Headquarters were transformed into a satellite Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, complete with a tableful of alcohol and motivated (sober) women.
The prep was taken care of the night before the shoot. So as usual, instead of putting the kids to bed, we were busy creating fancy Jell-O shots.
See how Jen garnishes? With the precision of a surgeon:
A surgeon who has to delicately place lime zest on a patient’s incision.
Our talent (that’s what they call the actor/actress in the biz) was most talented – and her nails were perfection. And despite kids, dogs, cats, water balloons, side-chatter, and the tableful of alcohol – Jen kept things running as smoothly as my Grandma’s kitchen.
Two done. One to go.
The customs official demanded we tell him our plans while in Toronto. I told him it was none of his business, and as I reached for the silver cigarette case in my coat pocket, I was wrestled to the ground. The tasers saved me a trip to the bathroom.
Thank God my husband speaks Canadian or we’d still be in the interrogation room.
I should have told that official that my plans were to watch t.v. in my bathroom mirror while soaking in the tub. I think that’s what I did? My head still hurts pretty bad from being banged on the terrazzo.
Like Dora the Explorer, I packed a map and a monkey in my backpack, finished my screwdriver, and headed out.
Using the handy Where To Buy page as a guide, I was able to track down three local stores that carry Zeichen Press goods. Needless to say, my reception was overwhelming – being hoisted up on shoulders and paraded down Queen Street was too much. Do you hear me, shopkeepers??
First shop: Outer Layer, a cheerful boutique. Full of fun and, dare I say, whimsy? No. I’ll never say that again.
But how else could I describe a doll that is also a cheese grater?
Or the Ann Taintor magnet collection on the antique bank safe?
Or a manager named Jett Black???
On to Shop #2: Valhalla Cards & Gifts:
This shop felt like everything in it was curated by a man named Chadwick. Wait, it was! From the Dumpling Dynasty Bunny Kit:
To the Unicorn Wishes action figure:
This shop wouldn’t let me leave – Chadwick finally had to throw me out. But not before he placed an order for more cards.
Okay, onto #3: The Paper Place:
Because paper is my bread & butter, I felt extra reverent crossing the threshold. As I knelt before the card rack, something inside me said, “hey! I wonder if this place has erasers shaped like peanuts.”
And it did! I bought the whole bowl.
I hugged the sock zebra before I left. It was time to go. I knew this because I saw the policeman walking through the door.
Until we meet again, Toronto. Until we meet again.
is the perfect way to welcome the new kids to the block. I don’t care if they meant to use this card:
I’d rather live in a neighborhood full of limbless, historical reenactors.
Edmund made latte after latte while Loretta babbled in the background. We think she was talking about Pam the kitten/her prisoner. Anyway, I had to punch Pat in the face to get one latte away from him for a prop. He took it like a man. Except for the tears.
I made this card
on the Poco No. 0
before Don Draper was a twinkle in Matthew Weiner‘s eye.
Or, a wiener in Matthew Twinkle’s eye.
I’m pretty sure that’s Don Draper, sans cigarette, putting the “A” in MAN. Don Draper, or my idea of the perfect man: Briefcase in hand, exiting the home.
REAL SIMPLE must feel the same way, because they included the card in their Father’s Day collection. I love that magazine. Like Martha Stewart LIVING, it makes me feel inspired andinadequate. I think that’s called having the eye of the tiger. Right? No? Oh, I don’t know.
I was right in the middle of a dream where both of my eyeballs were, curiously, weeping blood. This was, of course, followed by an intense search for a public toilet and, AS USUAL, the only available toilet was in a high-traffic area of the Southdale Mall.
Thank God Jen called and woke me up. But not before I reluctantly (why do I always do it??) sat my bare bottom on the toilet.
If I’ve learned anything in my life it is how to be wrenched from a sound sleep and into a car in under 5 minutes.
It’s not pretty but neither is childbirth.
Jen and I stopped for our traditional latte at the May Day Cafe and then it was onward to the State Fairgrounds. The Fine Arts Building was our cold and unwelcoming host, its huge doors left open to remind us that April can be just as cold as November.
I’m sure the whole building was full of crafty-goodness but unless tables were set up on the way to the bathroom, I wasn’t going to see them. For eight hours, I did observe the folks running the Burlesque of North America table. They are screen printers – a craft that I have always had a crush on. Anyway, despite the sweetness of their prints, they were just as freezing as us.
Our big experiment for this year’s fair involved a QR code
that led to our latest Watch and Share card.
It was successful. If you measure success in terms of wishes and smiles. Which I do.