You want to find a badass card for your badass dad, husband, brother, pal…and WE want to make that card. That means getting copy from a whole studio of crazy talented writers, and finding the right artist to do it all justice. “We had been admiring Zach’s crafted lettering style for a while and were super excited to work with him,” Hallmark Art Director Liz L. tells us. “His style is a bit vintage and a bit rock and roll. He designs t-shirts and his sensibility of t-shirt emblem art comes through in his lettering design. We think they turned out pretty awesome.” We talked to Zack about his Studio Ink Father’s Day card collection and the kids who inspire him.
I guess I kinda have my own style. I don’t know how to describe it. The way I approached the Studio Ink Father’s Day collection is the way I approach anything: It starts with quick little sketches on 3x5s and I pick a color palette.
Then, I take the sketches to my iPad Pro, and do most of the work there. Finally, everything gets a little refinement on the computer. That’s it.
I don’t think my process is as involved as some other creatives…I kick out stuff really fast. My bottom line is, just make it look cool. That’s all I wanna do. Just make stuff look cool.
I was excited to do this Studio Ink Father’s Day collection because—working here for so many years [Ed. note: 13]—I’ve done a lot of Father’s Day cards. My dad rides a Harley and works road construction, so when I can design a card that says, “This is for a badass dad,” this is something I can give my dad. It’s something I hope my kids would give to me.
My wife and I just want the best for our kids. They’re the reason that I do everything that I do. Whether it’s here at Hallmark, or taking on hours and hours of extra freelance work, I just wanna make sure that the two of them can live a better life than I did. Don’t get me wrong, I had a fine life—my parents made sure there was food on the table and presents under the tree, and are the reason I have the work ethic that I do—but you always wanna make a better life for your kids. I’m just always hustling. I do that for my kids.
I love to make stuff. I love designing. I like taking an idea and making it look cooler than the client or art director thought it was gonna look. I can’t stop. I do it because it makes me feel good. I do it because it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something for the day. Like I said, I do it for financial reasons, too, for my family—I feel like people never mention that. They don’t wanna bring it up. Yeah, there’s the canned creative answer: “I create because it’s in my soul,” or whatever.
But you do it to get paid, too. That’s why I spent five years in college. That’s why I’ve spent so much time trying to get better at what I do—so I can spend the rest of my life doing it, making things, feeling accomplished, and taking care of my family.
I came home yesterday and Hank, my son, made an “artwork.” That’s what he called it: “an artwork.” It was a piece of cardboard, with an envelope glued to it. He painted some watercolors on it, drew stick figures of him and I, and glued on some pennies and a key. It was amazing. I love everything my kids make for me. I still have a little drawing of a pug that my daughter made the first time she came to work with me. That stuff means the world to me.
It’s the little things all along the road of being a dad. Of course they have big achievements here and there. My daughter, Lily, was on the honor roll. She brought her grades up so much over the course of this year. That’s a huge deal. My son potty trained in a week. That’s a big deal.
But it’s the little things. That’s what being a dad is about. That’s what makes it worthwhile.
What one word best describes your favorite Dad? We’ve got a card to fit. Want to get creative for Father’s Day? We’ve got ideas for that, too. You can find Studio Ink Father’s Day cards collection at Hallmark Gold Crown stores and on Hallmark.com.
Photography and styling: Erin M.