Columbine Designs in downtown Sonora is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month.
Partners Dave Bonnot, his wife, Dianne Shannon, Ken Jay and his late wife, Patti Tyner-Jay, opened the business July 1, 1985. Graphic artist and illustrator Judith Stoltenberg joined the team as an independent contractor in the first year and is now a partner. Vicky Biernacki was part of the team for 16 years.
Bonnot, Jay and Stoltenberg for many years were among a group at Sonora’s Design Center on Highway 49. That group included sign painters Guy Haratani and Steve Patton, writer Martha Freeman and photographer Jeff Nixon. As the last of that group, Columbine moved from Highway 49 four years ago into a studio above the Banyan Tree at 60 S. Stewart St.
Over time, the design and printing industry has changed, a Columbine statement said.
When the company first started, Columbine specialized in typesetting and designing for print, using equipment that included a full graphics dark room and a large phototypesetter. By 1990, that equipment was obsolete.
“It is amazing how our equipment has evolved,” Bonnot said. “We went from shooting graphic film and doing paste-ups with phototypesetting paper and overlays for color, to doing everything in the computer and shipping an electronic file over the Internet. Now we have a network of computers with three workstations, and laser and inkjet printers for proofing. No more film and chemicals.”
Columbine provides design, marketing, branding, logo development, copywriting and printing-broker services for a wide variety of products and publications, including books, business cards, brochures, fliers, programs, calendars, CD covers, newsletters and magazines. Columbine also offers commercial photography in studio or on site. As one of its largest recent projects, Columbine designs and produces Friends and Neighbors Magazine.