Inspired to Drink – Little Label, Big Ideas

September 10, 2009 at 3:22 am (Art, Design) (, , , , , , , )


Let’s face it; we all have the occasional project that we just can’t get started. No matter how hard we try to find the aesthetic metaphor that would encapsulate the hopes and dreams of our clients, we stumble out of the gate when we should be racing toward the finish. It’s a creative form of writer’s block (not to say writing isn’t creative, just a different form of creativity). So how do you overcome this wall of artistic destitute?

Like many designers, I enjoy a good a drink. Beyond the exciting array of flavors, bouquet of scents, and the occasional inebriated search of self-wonder, remember to look at the outside of the bottle. I absolutely love the artwork bestowed upon the labels and bottles of alcohol containers. This market contains some of the best, and possibly worst, examples of illustration, packaging, and textures. When I get stuck on a project, nothing gets my creative juices flowing like a quick trip to liquor store. In fact, I don’t even have to buy, or drink, anything during my search. Wine bottles are my preferred source of inspiration. Depending on region, vintner, bottling method, vintage, etc there is a plethora of styles, materials, and designs available to motivate you.

In addition to perusing the halls of liquor stores, I have started collecting labels of my own. The Wine Enthusiast is one of a few companies who have a product called “Label Savers.” This product allows you to peel almost any label off almost any bottles. I collect the labels, and when I need quick inspiration for color, texture, or style the labels are at my disposal.

So next time you get stuck and just need some inspiration head out to your local liquor store (as if you need an excuse), and check out what’s on the shelves. Good luck and happy drinking searching.

Please comment: What do you use as a source of creative inspiration?



  1. Patrick said,

    Interesting idea. And is that a photo of your actual wine label collection?

    • WhereIsBartleby said,

      Yes, it is! That photo was taken back in February, so some even better labels have been added since – I didn’t have the time to set up the labels for a more up-to-date shoot.

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