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

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 →

A shot of Packaging Advice for Distillers

Next week is the ADI’s annual distiller’s conference in Seattle and I’m honored to be able to attend and share some packaging advice with the other attendees. Since these events often leave listeners wanting an easy way to encapsulate the main points of the talk, I went ahead and make a tiny little booklet for exactly that purpose. It’s just 8 pages, with a few photos and a few humble pieces of advice for distillers as they engage with designers and printers. Come see us at the conference and get... Read The Rest →

Tequila for Whiskey Drinkers: The Oaxaca Old Fashioned

Let me tell you two reasons why you’re not living up to your full potential: 1. You don’t have Jamie Boudreau’s Pacific Northwest’s Gentleman’s Companion (get it on Amazon or at the bar). 2. You don’t drink enough tequila. After spotting the Oaxaca Old Fashioned in the above mentioned book, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. So I ordered one some weeks later. Then I ordered another. What a fantastic drink. This is the sort of thing you’re missing if you don’t have this book. After letting... Read The Rest →

Business & Pleasure: Snohomish on the Rocks Distillers Festival

Snohomish on the Rocks Distiller’s Festival was a good time. The festivities took place in a large barn-like event space – perfect for this sort of thing, with a casual-but-nice ambiance, sunshine and food trucks outside. It’s always a pleasure to meet the real people behind these products. Most of them were very friendly, informative and happy to share their knowledge. I’m not a food/drink writer, so I’ll spare you too much of my personal opinions regarding the variety of spirits I had the pleasure of sampling – except to... Read The Rest →

Sneak Preview: Ukrainian Eau de Vie Package Design

I’m excited to see these labels starting to take shape. Designing labels in a language that I can’t read, for a client in city (Kiev) in the middle of an uprising has – surprisingly – proven less challenging than one might expect. The product in question is a line of five traditional fruit brandies, made in Ukraine, with all Ukrainian fruit. They were kind enough to ship me some samples and the flavor is very much aligned with the best eau de vies I’ve ever had – plus a little... Read The Rest →

Canadian Caboo Paper Products Launches in US Market

I’m excited to announce that today, Caboo Paper is revealing their line of sugar cane & bamboo paper products to the US market at the Anaheim Natural Products expo. I’ve been working with them for months to convert their existing Canadian packaging and brand to something that will represent them well in the US market. Their original brand was well executed and had much to leverage. So far, the transition has been smooth, requiring only minor refinements. In some carefully-considered cases we made the most of this opportunity to rethink... Read The Rest →

For Packaging, Tequila is Killing it.

My go-to spirit of choice is probably always going to be straight Bourbon or Rye – with Gin making a strong bid for second place. But I’ve been growing more and more fond of Tequila as both my budget and drinking habits have matured since we last spent much time together – in college, that is. College. Where tequila goes to die. What a sad demise for a product with such a rich history and so much national pride attached. Thankfully, things are turning around for Tequila, and I’m glad... Read The Rest →

Original Bottle Design – The Outlaw – Now Available

After a few days of much needed leisure and sunshine in the desert, I was excited to return to work to find a package from Italy on my doorstep. These are the first-ever glass samples of the Outlaw (750 and 375ml) – an original bottle design for the American Spirits market by David Cole Creative, produced by high-end glass maker Vetroelite. While an actual order hasn’t yet been placed, it’s looking like the opportunity to be the first distiller in the world to use this bottle might already be gone.... Read The Rest →

Pacific Northwest’s Gentleman’s Companion, Second Edition

Although it’s been available at the bar for weeks – and now on Amazon as well – I just received my sample copy of the Jamie Boudreau’s Pacific Northwest’s Gentleman’s Companion. If you’re not already familiar with the book, it features over 100 delicious cocktail recipes, some history and tips for the budding bartender. Also notable is the “Hardcore Porn” section which lists just a sampling of the rare, vintage and specialty spirits available at the bar. Bring your wallet if you want to try any of those. The second... Read The Rest →

Testing Materials to Ensure Painless Fulfillment – Poly Bags

A big part of being a packaging expert is anticipating (and controlling) what happens to my creations after they leave my desk. Fulfillment is a huge part of my client’s lives. When I’m done with my work, I send the files off to the printer and collect my paycheck – but my clients have to live with my work as a part of their daily operations for months or years to follow. Staying involved for quality assurance (at the printer) is important. Even more important is knowing how to avoid... Read The Rest →

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