A DELICIOUS BUSINESS WITH A BIG HEART – MEXICO

Las Mermeladas de Beatriz, Las Galletas de Elena and El Licor de Ricardo

Back in November of 2020, my client Alfredo Taborga touched base requesting a handmade calligraphy design, predominated by a decorated letter as the focus…product labels for his new start up company. Alf was sheltering in Mexico, after being grounded from his business travels due to the pandemic. Being the smart man that he is, he shifted gears towards alternative life goals 2 and 3. Goal 1, career. Goal 2, take seminary courses. Goal 3, start a business to help struggling women in Mexico earn a living. It was my honor to create the labels as part of his Goal 3. Below, I will share my pictures and process. Alf’s website/email at the end of this blog entry.

Prototype Vinyl label with Decorated Letter for Las Mermeladas de Beatriz

Alf requested that I first design the jam labels for “Las Mermeladas de Beatriz,” as he has 10 flavors. I typically start with pencil sketches for all of my clients. As you can see, all of the wording is in Spanish.

ABOVE was my first sketch, which was the most influential to the final design. As the design evolved, Alf decided that the B should be in a circle with the ‘wild’ vine work around the letter. (Later you will see the other two product lines represented – E (Panadaría) and R (Licor).

ABOVE, we rejected the script, too hard to read on a label. Border – too stiff.

The ABOVE design won the award for shape, so although we made a circular wreath of fruits around each letter, this shape worked best on the jar. At the time of these sketches, I did not know there was going to be additional lettering on the label.

Final sketch….I reduced the large sketch to the approximately 2.75″ in height to see how it would fit on the wide jam jar. It is tiny, but legible.

The watercolor work begins. The fruit represents a few of his flavors.

ABOVE, this image shows the hand lettering around each circle, in black, and the gold gouache in the R and E, which came after the B was designed. I was able to ‘Photoshop’ them into the original “B” design, retouch and add color to the lettering.

BELOW, we tried a variety of background colors, but the ivory won out. It will look lovely on top of the colored mermeladas. It took quite some time, to clean up the original artwork’s background, so the background color would be flawless. I applied the Bevel & Emboss feature in Photoshop.

The two images ABOVE show what the label will look like in general. The printer needed the artwork in Adobe Illustrator for work flow and so my invaluable designer friend Greg Eckel, DesignCrew, Cincinnati, OH helped me finalize the images. He positioned the cut and safe lines and placed the arch. His digital assistance and coaching has been invaluable. The image BELOW, shows you the black layer that I had to create in Photoshop, to show the printer where the gold is to be placed. There was a black layer on the file for E and for B. Clicking off of the black layer reveals the gold layer.

BELOW, you will see my shiny vinyl labels. Sorry about the glare! Francis Printing, Oregon, did a great job directing me to this type of label. Water proof! Any stray jam can be wiped off and the label is stable. Alf wanted gold. This process, prints the design on a silver film, which once the PMS metallic gold is printed, it shimmers.

This is just a little peek at a hand cut label. The printer will die cut them all to the correct shape so the little pink cut line won’t show. The labels look beautiful, when you see them in person. Something good out of 2020!

Alfredo is a delight to work with, so I am happy to promote his business and share contact information. His website as of early February is still under construction but when up and running, you may ORDER his delicious offerings at www.LasMermeladasDeBeatriz.com, email is up and running now ventas@LasMermeladasDeBeatriz so get on his list and support his business with a great big heart!

Bible Dedication Page with Calligraphy

Over the years, clients have requested a short dedication lettered in the front of a Bible, they are gifting to a special person. This Christmas, I was asked to letter in The Message Bible, which didn’t have a specific page with the “To” and “From” lines in it. In a way, I was so glad, because publishers don’t always plan those pages well for the calligrapher and the ink. They are often slick paper, don’t take pencil guidelines well and don’t erase well, if you do add a pencil line. Very frustrating. I would love a matte finish on this type of page.

This Bible, referred to the client because it is a very easy to read version, has wonderful end papers with a delicious color. It took pencil lines well, too. I used liquid metallic gold acrylic (so it wouldn’t smear when dry) and lettered directly on the crimson end page with Engrosser’s Script, a style that I learned from my father, who studied with Lupfer, of the Zanerian College. I went off script a little with the flourishes. The oblique pen – which was hand made by Dao Huy Hoang, is made of holly wood, so as you can guess, I bought it because my name is Holly. This simple entry was well received by my client and his sweet recipient.

CUSTOM WEDDING DOCUMENTS

Weddings, weddings, weddings! This is the time of year when preparations are being made. I receive phone calls for numerous types of wedding documents. I will picture them below with brief explanations. Perhaps you’ll get a few ideas….

This first picture is a framed GUEST SIGNATURES gift. The brides father, my client, requested flowers indicative of Colorado in all 4 corners, their names and space for a certain number of signatures. He also specified the colors.

At first, he wanted people to randomly sign. He came back to me later and said that he wanted the doc to have a more organized feel and would like penciled lines. I gave him a Mars Staetler eraser so he could remove the lines later. (I will do that for you, but he was in a creative career, so he could handle this!) For those who want the lines inked in, that is definitely possible. I either place them with a ruling pen and ink OR a Zig or Pigma Micron Pen. These are fade proof, water resistant and archival so I recommend that guests sign with them.

This next piece is a the WEDDING WISDOM that the pastor shared with the couple at their wedding…..flourished and simple. Italic lettering.

The picture below is a Quaker Marriage Contract.

It includes the bride and grooms name and other important information. This one more traditional in feel with the flourishing, Old English and Engrosser’s Script. (Older technology leaves me with a less vibrant copy….sorry about that!) I could email you a close up of the script, if you’re interested. Bound & Lettered, Volume 10, Number 4 has an article about creating these documents.

 

Wedding Vows

couple wanted the Three Sister’s Mountains with a border of Juniper and another of Sage which was reminiscent of their outdoor wedding. The borders divided their vows in three sections. A lovely burled frame finished the look for their home. They had sweet words, but didn’t want the world to see! I wanted you to see the layout and the borders. The elements were in the setting where the wedding was held.

And then there was this little piece. Silver and black on handmade paper.

A sweet little gift from groom to his bride….

So many options for calligraphy related to weddings. You are only limited by your imagination! Calligraphy expresses your favorite words to your ‘most cherished’ and creates an heirloom of your love for the next generation.

Best of Show, Oregon State Fair

What a nice surprise! Last Friday night I was awarded Best of Show at the Oregon State Fair 2017, Calligraphy Division. The cash award made it an even sweeter win.

To submit an entry to the Oregon State Fair, the calligraphy has to be created within the last 2 years. That is always a challenge for me, since so much of my work goes directly to my clients. My assistant, Heather Barton (who is also a calligrapher and prize winner), remembered that I had the ‘Achiever’ original remaining…..scroll down….

Reproductions are available!

‘Achiever’ was a piece that I completed for Mason, Ohio, client Dawn Shiver this past winter. She and her husband own Shiver Security Systems, Inc. in Mason and were looking for some special awards for their top salesmen. Dawn commissioned me to rework the wording and create the artwork, which was later scanned, retouched, color altered and finally high end reproductions were printed one at a time from my Epson R3000 printer on Entrada digital paper. The original was created on D’Arches black 140# paper, with tinted Dr. Martin’s bleed proof white to help the capitals pop. Brown gouache was added to my gold Winsor New metallic gouache to give the script more of a bronzed look. Fabulous Frames in Cincinnati, enhanced the awards with beautiful frames. DesignSource in Oregon, framed the winning original.

Achiever, Best of Show, Oregon State Fair 2017

Achiever – Best of Show, Oregon State Fair 2017, Calligraphy Division