Packaging, identity & graphic design for premium food, drink and retail goods.

please don’t print those beautiful labels on linen

Here’s another one from the outbox. This was part of a discussion with a distiller who makes such wonderfully authentic products, I almost fell out of my chiar when the suggestion of using linen for his labels came into the conversation. Linen continues to rear it’s ugly head year after year. And I continue to try and beat it back to the dark depths where it belongs. Finally, I had an excuse to state my objections to this paper in a way that’s as rational and objective as I can... Read The Rest →

Details. Details. Details.

Woodinville Whiskey Co. has new hang tags for their amazing barrel-aged maple syrup. I gotta be honest, it’s a pain in the ass caring this much about little details – especially when most people (including some clients) might not always notice. Check out the nice, fibrous texture of that real, thick, kraft paper. It would have been easier to source these on white paper. It’s always easier to get white paper – for everything. Colors and images are brighter on white paper – and that’s what most people want –... Read The Rest →

Inside My Outbox – Pushback From Printers & The Importance of Paper Selection

Here’s another actual email from my outbox. I just sent this to a distiller with whom I’m working on some cool new labels for his cool new spirits. Names have been changed – per usual – to protect the guilty. I have worked with a lot of label printers, going back over 13 years or so. Some of them are competent, some of them are not. Some of them are helpful, some of them are not. But they ALL push back when I specify any interesting papers or processes. It’s... Read The Rest →

New Original Bottle Design for Spirits: The Woodsman

I’m excited to share a new, original 750ml bottle design, now available as a stock item from Crafters Glass. This is my brand new, original design, not yet in use by anyone in the world. Available only through Crafters. The design inspiration came from what I don’t see currently offered by other glass manufacturers. When I browse the available designs being offered by most glass companies, I don’t see much that would really resonate with the American market. There are some, but in this expanding market, the designs that resonate... Read The Rest →

Case Study: Caffe Lusso Brand Development

View more Caffe Lusso Portfolio Images here. Philip Meech of Caffe Lusso coffee roasters is a true artist. And a scientist. I first met Phil about nine years ago when I worked at a small design agency in Redmond, WA. We were developing a private label coffee brand at the time and Caffe Lusso was to provide the roasted goods. As a means of infusing our creative team with the background knowledge necessary to facilitate an informed brand development, Phil came to our office and gave us an informal –... Read The Rest →

Caffé Lusso Brand Launch

I’m super stoked to release a new brand and packaging into the wild! Redmond’s Caffe Lusso Coffee Roasters has truly been on my mind since I met them about 10 years ago and was so impressed with their expertise, friendly nature and wonderful product. Last year I reached out to see if they were still making the best coffee on earth (they are) and it just happened to be time for a re-brand. The timing was perfect and we were all happy to reconnect. For now, you’re looking at a... Read The Rest →

Skip Rock Distillers, Snohomish, WA

I’ve had my eye on Snohomish’s Skip Rock Distillers for some months now. After continuing to get to know owner/distiller Ryan Hembree (and the goods he makes), I’m a full-on fan. And a little local pride doesn’t hurt – I was born and raised just 11 miles from the distillery itself. This morning I had the pleasure of talking shop with Ryan, as we sampled some of his new products in development – and a few proven staples. I didn’t take me long to fall in love with his Nocino,... Read The Rest →

Inside my Outbox: What’s Your Process?

Here’s another one of those emails that I find myself sending fairly often: A response to the question “What’s your process like?” So I’m thinking this is worth sharing with a wider audience. It’s just a quick “sketch” of how things might work. Of course, each new project brings refreshing and interesting new challenges, requirements and opportunities. So we might deviate from the plan. But this is pretty typical. Here’s the letter, copied and pasted directly out of my outbox from an e-mail to a real person, in this case,... Read The Rest →

A Custom Glass Bottle for Woodinville Whiskey Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup

After a ridiculously successful first quarter, Woodinville Whiskey’s Amazing Barrel-aged maple syrup has received a nice little upgrade in the form of a custom-designed glass bottle. The new details add a bit of tactile interest and a touch of old-timey appeal to the whole package – inspired by turn-of-the-century medicinal bitters and tonic bottles. View another custom glass design by David Cole Creative here or another one here. Check out the original portfolio entry (with more pics/info) for Woodinville’s Maple Syrup here. Go to the official Woodinville Whiskey Barrel-Aged Maple... Read The Rest →

Premium Label Printing Details: High Build Varnish

I find myself doing a lot of email writing. Answering questions about the design or brand process. Breaking down the costs and benefits of various print of production techniques. Or sharing some experience in the procurement of custom glass molds, corks, printing, etc. I find myself repeating a lot of the same information, so I thought I’d start publishing some of these outgoing emails for the benefit of the world at large, Like St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians… this will be the gospel according to Dave. Names may have... Read The Rest →

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