Sunset Idea House in Berkeley

September 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

Idea Houses are like decorator show houses for engineers.

Besides beautiful finishes, they showcase state of the art technology for today’s home. This years’s idea house does this in spades.

Nestled in the hills of Berkeley above the historic Claremont Hotel, this year’s house was designed by architect Robert Nebolom with interiors by Geremia design.

We have been lucky enough to provide artwork for The Healdsburg Sunset House in 2012, which was a very cool Bluhome.  As well as for the Coastal Living House on Coronado Island in 2014.  So we were delighted to hear that this year, the house is in our own backyard.



Downstairs bedroom with really cool Heath Tile. The room has a Moroccan vibe. That’s Sarah and I taking a photo in the mirror.

This makes sense as Sunset Magazine has moved their HQ from Menlo Park to Oakland’s now thriving Jack London Square. In former editor Peggy Northrup’s editorial explaining their move, she tells readers that Sunset is ‘following the reader’ from the burbs to the city.  Sunset’s offices moved from the city of San Francisco to Menlo Park in 1951, as an entire generation was fleeing cities and moving to the suburbs. In a sea change, new urbanism is here and many are choosing to return to urban hubs where culture is abundant. It is a phenomenal testament to our (then Mayor of Oakland, now 2x CA Governor) Jerry Brown that downtown Oakland has turned the corner from night-time ghost town to thriving arts and food destination.

Read more in 7 x 7 Magazine.


The entry floor of the house with killer Bay view behind. David Lance Goines’ Berkeley Horticultural nursery poster behind us. VEPCA designed frames with Geremia.

Our posters can be seen on the top floor of the house, flanking the elevator. The frames are our latest off white and were framed by The Studio Shop.

Get tickets to the 2016 Sunset Idea House here.  The Sunset House is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 5pm thru September 25, 2016.




Established 1997, Vintage European Posters is a Berkeley Based dealer of
Original Advertising Posters.
We offer linen backing, custom framing and a collection of over 2,500 original posters from Europe and the The United States.
Visit Our Showroom at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-5
as well as select weekends and by appointment.

To reach us, please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage

Team VEPCA Updates for 2016

September 3, 2016 § Leave a comment


Doug, Special Guest, E, Sarah and Charly at Gallery Barn Diva Dinner, Healdsburg August 2016

Working with vintage posters is a real treat.

There is exposure to history, to travel, to library sciences and language, and to an amazing group of clients and friends. Interns have cooked dinner for David Lance Goines, had drinks at the Standard DTLA, re-catalogued entire categories of our collection, decoded Instagram and Pinterest and driven up and down the 5 countless times. Most interns have stayed 12-18 months, and senior staff have stayed from 3-7 years.

We all stay in touch and some come back to help with projects on occasion.


E and Charly, Healdsburg Town Square. Early show set up at 7 am = Sunglasses all day

Welcome Sarah Tanenbaum Adams
Sarah grew up in Oakland and attended NYU where she studied Studio Art and Psychology.  After that, she studied jewelry making at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Art in San Francisco and went on to work with fine custom jewelers as well as making and selling her own designs.

Sarah also worked at A Great Good Place for Books in Montclair as their bookkeeper and card buyer so she has a keen grasp of everything retail. Sarah’s mother, artist Carol Tanenbaum has a ’framing habit’ (to quote Sarah), and so Sarah has a finely trained eye for custom frame design.

Favorite Poster: “Planten un Blomen” by Kargerg


Christopher Gonzalez, who joined VEPCA as operations director upon his graduation from UC Berkeley in 2013, was recruited away to the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive in January of this year. He now supervises 56 staff members. BAM/PFA is doing a great job with organizing operations for numerous programs and events in celebration of the museum’s inaugural year at a new facility.

Chris studied accounting while at VEP and his numbers always added up. He packed for shows, negotiated with teamsters to get prime loading dock positions at convention centers and logged thousands of miles in the Econoline van for VEPCA, traveling to Portland, Seattle, Palm Springs and everywhere in between. Chris also enjoyed helping people choose their first poster. Making art accessible to everyone was a CG specialty and we miss him!

The 2 things that Chris misses most about VEPCA are sharing stories and engaging with poster collectors at shows and cataloging and researching recently acquired posters.

Favorite Posters: everything by Alexander Calder and Liqueur St. Barbe


Kate Klingbeil, master printmaker and multimedia artist, will move to New York on October 1st and is headedstraight to the


E and Kate, Colophon Club November 2015

moon. Kate gave a series of talks with VEPCA about the process of stone lithography, she hung our rotating poster shows at Convert on 4th Street and did all of VEPCA’S photography and photo editing.

After she discovered that toxic litho inks were making her sick, Kate moved on to embrace digital animation, ceramics, acrylics and more. See her work on line, on Instagram, and at the Athen B gallery in downtown Oakland. Bon Voyage Kate, we will miss you.

Favorite Posters: Wissembourgs but especially the FROG.


Candie Sanderson came into VEP like a hurricane in 2011 demanding a job lest she lose


Candie and John’s Wedding July 2016

her visa and be sent back to Bordeaux.  Candie wrote our blog ‘These are the People in Our Neighborhood’ introducing VEPCA’s neighbors Peter Koch printer AKA the Surrealist Cowboy, and June Taylor of June Taylor Jams.

Candie, raised in Bordeaux and educated at the Sorbonne and UC Berkeley was a formidable writer. She translated the entire L’Estampe Moderne a series of prints and poems from 1897-1899 edited by legendary print house Imprimerie Champenois while working at VEP. Candie attended the masters program for creative writing in Montana, and upon graduation moved to Boston to teach French in Cambridge.

This summer, Candie was married to her grad-school sweetheart John Bennett in her home town of Bergerac in Bordeaux.  Candie’s phrase  “Let’s do this”, uttered before every show load-in, framed delivery or physical challenge will forever be a VEPCA favorite.

Favorite Poster: “Le Rouge Baisier” by Rene Gruau


Emily Jackson, social media guru and UC Berkeley History graduate, taught us Pinterest, and could Facebook with one hand


Charly, Emily and E at Em’s graduation from CAL

and tweet with the other. After a few interesting jobs as operations director at Steve and Kates’ Camp, and cooking teacher, Emily is now settled in as a grant writer for International Rescue Committee.

As a US sanctioned resettlement agency, The International Rescue Committee provides essential services to help refugees resume independent, stable, and productive lives after years of trauma and upheaval.

In 2015 Emily traveled around Central Europe, fell in love with Berlin, and is now looking forward to saving up for her next traveling adventure: a road trip around the US with her sister!

Favorite Poster: “Knowledge Wins” by Dan Smith


Karlie Drutzcataloguing queen and master social networker Karlie has gone on from being an ultimate Frisbee champion to


Karlie, E and Candie at the Standard Garden Bar, DTLA 2103

being a competitive runner and triathlete! While at VEPCA, Karlie brought her razor sharp organizational skills to VEPCA while studying history at CAL. She recatalogued our entire military collection, co-wrote our proposal for the Huntington Museum which turned into “Your Country Calls: Posters of the First World War” the show we guest curated at the Huntington Museum and library in 2014.

Today, she is the Charity Community Manager at everydayhero/Blackbaud creating content and webinars to help nonprofits use the crowd-fundraising platform.  (photo, favorite poster)

Favorite Poster: El Atomo Para La Paz


Charly Leys worked full time with VEP from 2007-2013, weathering the entire, horrible recession in our small business. She assisted with moving the VEPCA operations from MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland into our swanky new digs in Berkeley. Meanwhile, traveling to Wyoming and Montana regularly and training her black belt in Aikido.

While working with the posters, Charly developed a strong interest in the design and construction of frames. She used her incredible mechanical skills and Aikido focus (Jedi powers) to apprentice as a framer in Hawaii with Glenn Young, master framer and owner of Artscapes.

Upon return to the mainland, Charly has partnered with Artscapes to open Artscapes Leys framing in the North Bay, with a design room open by appointment in Santa Rosa. She does the construction in her nearby, reclaimed “barnshop.” You can contact Charly at

Charly likes orange shoes, surfing, goats, and her dog Kajal who has a frequent flyer number on Hawaiian Air.

Favorite Poster: Cabricabri

Franck Solerborn in Cannes, in the south of France, was the director of Maui’s Vintage European Posters


Franck and his favorite poster, Levi’s by Ida Van Bladel

Gallery in Lahaina for a decade, while also farming on Maui and making candy in his spare time. After the birth of his third child, Franck decided that it was time to return to the mainland so his kids could see a pumpkin patch, snow, road trips, good schools and the real world.

Franck is now settled in Sacramento, CA where he works as a broker for Owen-Dunn Insurance Services and specializes in Group Captive Insurance. Please contact Franck-“I love my job”-Soler at or 916-677-7382.

Franck continues to guest at shows with VEPCA when we need to speak French in the booth. If you meet him, watch out, he will make you feel one foot taller, 10 years younger and you will leave with posters you don’t remember buying.



Established 1997, Vintage European Posters is a Berkeley Based dealer of
Original Advertising Posters.
We offer linen backing, custom framing and a collection of over 2,500 original posters from Europe and the The United States.
Visit Our Showroom at 2201 Fourth Street in Berkeley
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-5
as well as select weekends and by appointment.

To reach us, please call 510 843 2201 or email vintage

These are the people in our neighborhood: Peter Koch, printer

September 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Our neighbor Peter Koch, printer, publisher, book designer and cowboy surrealist, opens his door to visitors by appointment only. We were lucky enough to get an appointment to interview him. He graciously gave us the grand tour of his shop, and told us stories about books, printing, pioneers, the West, and everything in between.

Sign in Peter Koch's shop

You have been warned!

Peter Koch was born in Missoula, Montana; he is the fourth generation of a family of cowboys and bibliophiles — his great grandfather was one of the few literate pioneers. Peter Koch told us about the mountains there, the peacefulness of the summits, the cold, snowy winters he looked forward to, and  the maverick artists and craftsmen from which he hails. In Missoula Koch founded Black Stone Press and Montana Gothic: A Journal of Poetry, Literature and Graphics and opened a letterpress printing office. A self-styled “cowboy surrealist,” Peter Koch learned  typographic design and published the art and writings of his friends, in small editions — a modus operandi he still follows today — then moved with his press to San Francisco and became Adrian Wilson’s apprentice, working at his renowned press in North Beach.

Peter Koch's Hidelberg Press

Peter Koch's Hidelberg Press

After closing Black Stone Press, Koch changed his press name to Peter Koch Printers and moved to the Fourth Street corridor in January 1990, right after the Oakland earthquake. Koch says he likes the location: it is close to his home, there is good food for his clients — Peter Koch recommends O Chamé as a “very high quality” restaurant and Café Rouge for the drinks and the oysters — good coffee for him, and, he can walk to the ocean! We too have been delighted by the combination of nature and culture in our new neighborhood.

As a publisher, printer and book designer, Peter Koch works mostly for a public of bibliophiles: libraries, museums, universities — rarely private parties. His projects are sophisticated and difficult. Peter Koch press has published and printed books of philosophy, poetry and  Ancient Greek literature, as well as some works on the lighter side of the literary. His books and artworks have been exhibited in prestigious places such as the New York Public Library, the San Francisco Public Library and the Widener Library at Harvard University.

Poem by Debra Magpie Earling, from the Lost Journals of Sucajewea

Poem by Debra Magpie Earling, from the Lost Journals of Sucajewea

Book cover, hand-made paper

Book cover, hand-made paper, drying on Peter Koch's wall

He showed us one of his latest projects: The Lost journals of Sacajewea by Debra Magpie Earling, Native American writer, Professor at the University of Montana in Missoula, and Peter Koch’s personal friend. The book is what you may call hand-made, and a true work of art: poems on fine paper, in sophisticated types, black and white pictures of buffaloes and Native Americans, on a paper so thin and fine the images almost seem like ghosts. On the wall, odd-looking brown sheets are drying: leather? No, hand-made paper specially designed and created for the project, as a binder for the poems. Peter Koch pulled out a finished example of the book: the poems are inserted in the leather-looking folio, bound together with bullet cases. Peter Koch explained the story: contemporary Berkeley poster artist David Lance Goines has a gun — they occasionally shoot together — Peter Koch’s wife shot a target with it, the bullet cases are now on the book, and the perforated target hangs on Peter Koch’s door.


The target, hanging on Peter Koch's door

Book cover with bullet binding

Book cover with bullet binding

When we asked him how long it might take to make such a book, Peter Koch answered never less than a year and up to ten. Debra Magpie Earling’s took five years and only sixty five copies were made. What Koch likes about his job is meeting incredible people like Debra Magpie Earling, and working with them on a project, taking the time — making a work of art, together.

Peter Koch is also a collector. Like VEP, he goes foraging to find treasures. Throughout the years, he has acquired different presses such as a 1899 Chandler and Price jobbing press, which he used to print on the back of VEP’s greeting cards. Peter Koch has drawers full of typefaces: old letters, images drawn from newspaper cuts, Italian engravings. He is especially fond of anything that has to do with cowboy kitsch. Peter Koch even created his own typeface involving Greek letters: he admits himself that typeface creation is an “arcane art,” only a few printers still do it. Peter Koch cares about preserving this history, art and heritage — he explained to us that letters and graphic design are older than the Greeks.

Typefaces from newspaper

Typefaces drawn from newspapers

Chandler and Price jobbing press, 1899

Chandler and Price jobbing press, 1899

For that reason and because, according to him, “the history of the book is a work of art,” Peter Koch created the CODEX foundation whose objective is “to preserve and promote the hand-made book in the broadest possible context as a work of art and to bring to public recognition the artists, the craftsmanship, and the rich history of the civilization of the book.” The CODEX foundation organizes a book fair and a symposium every two years on the Berkeley campus. There, exhibitors and speakers from all over the world meet, talk, educate the public and exhibit their work.

To learn more about Peter Koch, visit his website.

Peter Koch Printers sign

Here at Vintage European Posters, we are open two days per week, and by appointment. We ‘pop-up’ one weekend per month. To receive invites to our special event, please visit our website, call us at 510 843-2201 or if you are in the neighborhood, by all means knock on our door. We are always happy to open our shop and share our collection of over 1,500 original posters from Europe and the US with all ephemera nuts, interior designers and those curious enough to seek us and our poster museum out.


Interview with Peter Koch by Elizabeth Norris and Candie Sanderson

“The Art of the Book in California: Five Contemporary Presses,” curated by Koch, Trujillo, Roth / essays by Bringhurst and Koch, Stanford University Libraries, 2011.

CODEX foundation website

This post authored by VEP Intern
Candie Sanderson
Student at la Sorbonne Nouvelle
Edited by VEP Owner
Elizabeth Norris

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the These are the people in our neighborhood category at Vintage European Posters.