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

Behind the Scenes: Blood Oath Bourbon Press kit Design Process

I sometimes enjoy sharing this sort of behind-the-scenes imagery as it can help give a view into the process of creating something multi-dimensional like the Blood Oath Kentucky Straight Bourbon PR kit. • View photos of the completed kit here. • View photos of the bottle packaging here. I wanted to create a classic, traditional press kit for this very grown-up (and expensive) bourbon. In this case a tee-shirt just wouldn’t cut it. So it was decided to present a bottle, etched tasting glass and small informational booklet, all together in a... Read The Rest →

Rough Sketch VS Illustration

A sketch of the Woodinville Whiskey Co. Distillery: I don’t want to get too caught up in semantics, but this is a point worth elucidating, as it frequently causes much confusion while discussing art. People use the word “sketch” rather loosely – and I’d say incorrectly. Let’s see what Dictionary.com has to say about what a sketch is: noun 1. a simply or hastily executed drawing or painting, especially a preliminary one, giving the essential features without the details. 2. a rough design, plan, or draft, as of a book.... Read The Rest →

Barrel Tasting with Woodinville Whiskey Co.

I had the distinct honor and pleasure to join the owners/distillers of Woodinville Whiskey Company on their bi-annual trip over the Cascades, to their rickhouses in Grant County, Washington – located on on the same land as the fields where their grains are grown. Here, their whiskey has been mellowing in 53-gallon oak barrels since their fist batch ever produced, in 2010. Samples were drawn from many barrels and tasted to determine the product’s readiness. I’m happy to report that the contents of the barrels was deemed worthy to be... Read The Rest →

Best Booze Books of 2014

I don’t make it my business to review books, but the last 12 months or so have yielded some really good ones. These are the three best that happened to cross my desk. Well-written, well-researched, very informative, interesting, easy-to-read and well designed, inside and out. This applies to all three listed below. If you’re into books or booze (preferably both), you owe it to yourself to check out these titles: The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart – Every alcoholic drink on earth starts with a plant. Get to know them.... Read The Rest →

Digital Render VS Photograph – Woodinville White Dog Whiskey

Here’s a little look behind the scenes to show you how a digital comp (3D render) is the best possible way to show design concepts for review and approval. (If you’d rather skip the process and just take a look at more final photos of this packaging project, see the portfolio entry instead.) After “flat” comps were reviewed and the options were narrowed down to a few likely finalists, 3D digital comps were made for further review. This allows my clients to really see what they are getting into. It’s... Read The Rest →

Bomberger’s Distillery

Here’s a little sneak peak at an upcoming release for Bomberger’s Distillery, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This name dates back to some of the oldest distilling in the New World and a site that was functioning as early as 1753. I’m honored to work with the wonderful people who are resurrecting this brand and carrying forward a legacy from a too-long dormancy. The distiller at the helm is one Mr. Dick Stoll, recognized for his work at Michter’s and Hirsch. I very much look forward to meeting Mr. Stoll and his... Read The Rest →

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, when the suggestion of using linen label stock came up, I had reservations. Since the question had been asked, I was forced to try and articulate why I find linen objectionable. It was a good exercise and I think I finally got to the heart of the issue in a somewhat rational and objective manner: This isn’t just a matter of personal taste. Every suggestion I make is with... 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 →

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