Archive for the ‘Custom Work’ Category

Lord of the Letterpress Flies

July 22, 2010

I remember some sort of  Mexican-standoff In an early apartment that involved my roommate, dirty dishes and refried beans. Neither of us wanted to do the dishes and so they were stacked, teetering on the counter – pots and plates on top of other pots and plates – the bottom of the pile forgotten like a lost tribe. My roommate, a vegetarian, had a particular pot that she favored for heating her refried beans – she used this day after day until one day it was forgotten – and the pot joined the pile. But not before she filled it with water, she believed in the pre-soak method. I’m not sure how much time passed – a forensic scientist would be able to determine that based on the evidence in the kitchen.

One morning (or was it afternoon?) I discovered something disturbing: the kitchen windows alive with hundreds of flies. I don’t remember either of us being overly surprised. I do remember having to do the dishes in the bathtub.
There are no dirty dishes in the shop and certainly no vegetarians – and yet, I awoke to the same disturbing scene: windows alive with flies. The only conclusion that makes any sense has something to do with the devil. I’d like to believe that our printing projects aren’t evil but I guess I can’t be the judge of that.
Oh, by the way: Before the flies, I finished those prints for Room & Board:

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Tortured (commercial) Artist

July 13, 2010

I need to get into character for the big Room and Board project… “WHAT’S MY MOTIVATION??!”

Backstory:

In a post-apocalyptic world, one breathtakingly beautiful woman finds herself wandering through the residential remains of South Minneapolis. She stumbles upon a letterpress print shop – it is impossibly intact. She drags her shopping cart of possessions inside and studies her surroundings. Type, ink, paper, a giant wrench and an autographed photograph of Kelly Clarkson. This is exactly like her dream – except without Abraham Lincoln. There isn’t much time before the feral cats find her…  But she finally has a method to preserve the dying language – at last! At long last…

Whew! That was intense! Okay, enough screwing around – the clock is ticking and the cats are coming.

Letterpress in Minneapolis

June 9, 2010

Sunday: The Corpus Christi procession brought oodles of the Devout through Loring Park – all busses were rerouted and the Minneapolis Police department was on high alert for any shenanigans. Still, I couldn’t help but feel a little emotional as the church bell solemnly rang out and I watched Barb perform CPR on my husband.

Tuesday: Our new intern (Andrea Sanow) showed up with the enthusiasm of a 22 year old girl. We love her – and we’re not just saying that because she reads the blog and is, like, the strangest mix of a Type A Personality and totally laid back. What?! It’s true. Thanks to her, I got so much done: Here are the Room & Board prints in color:


Black ink can be so nice

June 2, 2010

It’s unofficially Summer around here and to celebrate I’m going to make some more prints for Room & Board. People always ask me (no, they don’t) if I feel lonely or maybe a little afraid working out in the studio/shop/time warp at night. But how could I feel lonely or afraid out there when I have all of those cabinets of cold, lead type and Mark Wheat‘s voice coming from the plastic radio?

More letterpress for Room & Board??!

May 27, 2010

I hit my head on the asphalt yesterday and when I snapped out of that familiar concussive daze, I thought to myself: Again? And: That wasn’t as bad as running into the tree. Or the windshield. Or the Christmas tree-stand. Or the windshield.

Walking my bicycle and openly weeping, I made it home just in time to work on the new Room & Board project:

Thanks MADGE for introducing me to the Polaroid app for my iPhone!!

Achieving perfect balance

May 19, 2010

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.

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

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

May 12, 2010

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.”

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.                                                                                      

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

(Edina) Minnesota! Where the Booze Drips Freely From the Trees

May 6, 2010

Right? We met with half of the “Jelly Shot Test Kitchen” AND if you don’t know what I’m talking about – you soon will. These Edina ladies (why did I italicize that?) answered a pretty serious question: “What would a jell-o shot look like if it grew up?”

Here’s the answer:

A Jelly Shot Test Kitchen “cookbook” (cookbook?) is in the works and they have come to Zeichen Press to help create some buzz. I wonder if it’s because they caught wind of our professionalism. Probably.


OH, I get it! PR is like stalking!

April 29, 2010

Creative, elaborate, polite (but persistent) stalking! Nothing against the creative stalkers out there. You know who you are. Please don’t start re-stalking me.

I sent out the press package for Tanek today, it contained everything but a pan of brownies and a lock of my hair.

I hope Neal St. Anthony likes kittens.

Did I hand set that type?

Yes.


email is so 2009

April 26, 2010

I love getting a letter in the mail – and getting a package in the mail is like finding money under your pillow. Or discovering a coin in a freshly gutted fish.

Reading my email goes like this: delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete,  delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete… oh, that’s important… delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete, delete.

As you know, Zeichen Press is handling all things that fall into the realm of communications for Tanek Inc. This job is usually less messy than gutting a fish but just as satisfying. Contacting reporters is part of the job and we realized that doing so via email might just be a little bit like whispering to your date across a crowded room. Not that we have dates. Or are ever invited to rooms that are crowded.

Here is the first part of a press package going out to local reporters. (Neal St. Anthony, you lucky devil!)

(Here’s a story: Ken Piper of Tanek was the head designer for the brand-new KMOJ station in North Minneapolis. That’s right: North Minneapolis. Watch out, South Minneapolis – the Northside is picking up steam!)