Studio Z-7 Publishing came on the scene in 1997 and is a growing independent publisher of books and other media. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Studio Z-7 Publishing prides itself on creativity, not bowing to the edicts of Corporate Headquarters or know-it-all consultants. We’re an independent publisher, and as such, we call the shots as we see them.
Studio Z-7 Publishing
813 Marshall Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
HISTORY OF STUDIO Z-7
The origins of the company name go back to about 1988 when Publisher Jeff R. Lonto had been contemplating a career as a free-lance graphic artist. He initially thought of calling his firm The Studio, after Andy Warhol’s “The Factory” but deciding that it sounded too generic, he added Z-7, from the old Pennzoil commercials that touted “Additive Z-7.” By 1989 a logo was created and the name became Studio Z-7 Productions. The graphic arts career however, did not materialize.
By the early 1990s, Lonto decided writing was his thing and spent much of the decade writing a book about a Minneapolis radio station and articles for the Minnesota-based Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. He submitted his book manuscript, “Fiasco At 1280,” to several establishment regional publishers who expressed interest but nevertheless didn’t want to take any chances on it. Undaunted, he decided to start his own publishing company. He still liked the name of the production company he once dreamed of and on Wednesday, May 21, 1997 Studio Z-7 Publishing was officially registered as a business in the State of Minnesota.
Immediately he began the complicated process of getting “Fiasco” printed up and on the market and at the same time began a second book about a local brewery called “Legend of the Brewery.” “Fiasco” was published in March 1998 and “Legend” was published in November of that same year. But it was only the beginning. Promotional copies of both books were sent out to members of the media for review and publicity, events were held at bookstores and Studio Z-7 even began a campaign of paid advertising in a California-based publication called The Book Reader to expand interest beyond the Midwest region. Lonto appeared on KARE-11 television, KMSP Fox 9, the 50,000-watt blowtorch WCCO Radio, Minnesota Public Radio’s Midday and ironically WWTC-AM, the subject of “Fiasco At 1280,” to discuss the subjects of his books.
His Web article “The Trading Stamp Story,” originally written for an unrelated website, lead to a bit of national attention when Lonto was quoted in the New York Times (“Clicks, Not Licks, as Green Stamps Go Digital,” March 9, 2000) as well as New York’s Newsday. The article was also cited in a Brookings Institution thesis about the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and anti-monopolization cases. He has also written for the national magazine Beer Cans & Brewery Collectibles, as well as Suds, Wine & Sprits and North Star News. Over the years Jeff Lonto has built a reputation as a writer, historian and storyteller.
Studio Z-7 Publishing in the meantime has teamed up with some new business partners including Twin Cities eMedia, Lightning Source digital publishing and Ingram Books to help build it into a respected independent publisher.
In 2010 Studio Z-7 Publishing expanded its scope beyond self-publishing and regional interest books with the publication of a children’s book, “My Brother…He’s an Angel” by new author Savannah L. Leyde as well as a new book by Jeff R. Lonto, “Chronicles from the Analog Age,” written for a wider audience than his previous titles.
THE “BOHEMIAN GIRL” LOGO
The Alfons Mucha-esque “Bohemian girl” figure and fancy border that often appears with the Studio Z-7 publishing logo was taken from a 1913 advertisement for Minneapolis photographers S. E. Johnson and Company, found in that year’s edition of the Dual City Blue Book, a city directory that ceased publication in the early 1920s. Being intrigued by the design, Publisher Lonto decided to adopt it as a unique and identifiable logo. It also seemed appropriate for a publishing firm as it looks like something from an old book, yet looks contemporary as well.
The typeset StudioZ-7 Publishing logo was created by Lonto and Dennis Rose of the firm Japs-Olson Company. The “Z-7” element was based on the original Studio Z-7 Productions logo from 1989. In 2005 the logo was modified by Larry Hutchinson of Twin Cities eMedia, bringing a nearly 100-year-old image into the 21st Century.
©2005 STUDIO Z•7 PUBLISHING