Posts Tagged ‘food’

Behind the Infusion

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Remember how we all used to watch the Behind the Music documentaries? There’s something fascinating about learning what happened behind the polished result. Well consider this a blog version, where we go behind the scenes of a liqueur.

My good friend Kelly, decided she wanted to make limoncello and give it away as gifts for Christmas. Fortunately for her, she decided this about three months before Christmas because that’s how long it took to infuse lemon zest into alcohol. After a lot of work and even more time, Kelly filtered and bottled half of the batch and was ready for the holidays.

With so many steps and so much planning going into these homemade gifts, I couldn’t resist making a chart of the process.

Each bottle had 312 hours in it. That’s almost an hour per ounce. And in case your BS radar is going off, yes only half the batch was filtered and bottled, so assuming it takes another eight hours to filter the rest, and another hour to bottle, that would bring down the average per bottle to 157 hours. That’s still a lot of time!

In addition to helping Kelly make her limoncello by scrubbing the lemons and filtering the rum through my Brita, I gave it a name and designed the labels. The name Four Goldens Limoncello came from the fact that Kelly has four golden retrievers—Gatsby, whose favorite toy is a green bone; Mike, the laid back chow mix; Maddie, the happiest girl in the world; and then there’s Lawrence, he sort of defies explanation.

I made four little lemon-head dog cartoons, each one representing one of the goldens. Gatsby has his trademark green bone.

Below are three label ideas at an early stage. I showed these to Kelly and she picked the one she liked the most. She saw right away that her dogs were on the label. It made her happy, which made me happy.

I developed the design into a full label, making it look as professional as I could, even including details such as how many milliliters and ounces the bottle held. Kelly wanted to have a little joke on the label, so I wrote some unnecessary instructions, “It’s liquor. Drink it.”

Now for a little behind-the-scenes of the behind-the-scenes. As you see, I have a very fancy photo studio, and a highly-trained assistant…I know it looks like a piece of poster board and kitty cat.

He’s so helpful.

Cuppa corporate delight

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Here at the credit union we just launched an internal site for employees. It’s called the Hub. Hopefully it will be the first place employees will go to find office forms, see photos from company events, learn about company news and find lots more things—sorta be at the center of things…get it?

To promote the launch of this site, we used a guerrilla marketing technique to create buzz. For three days leading up to the launch we posted tons of flyers in the shared areas of our office suites. There was a different design for each day. At night we took down the old one and put up the new one, so each morning employees were greeted with a different humorous, and somewhat vague, message about the Hub. Without going into details, it sure did create buzz! People wanted to know what the Hub was.

I think my favorite is one with an employee’s photograph that had been censored; black bar over the eyes type of censorship, though it was still clear who the person was, with a graphic of a koala hanging on the side of the photo. The copy teased that you could find out who secretly wants a koala as a pet by reading the employee spotlight on the Hub. Just fun stuff there.

On the morning the site launched, employees came into work and found a black mug with M&Ms waiting for them on their desks, and an email in their inbox letting them know the Hub was alive!

To give the mugs some flair and go outside the curling ribbon norm, I came up with a paper insert that looked like the Hub’s logo was in some cappuccino foam, and a “spoon” gave it some vertical dimension. There were several messages on the spoons, “There’s a latte going on,” “Stir things up at the Hub,” and “Your new daily fix.”

Each insert was cut out by hand and kept in place by a tube of paper nestled among the M&Ms in the mug. As I worked on the prototypes, I kept fooling myself and reaching for a sip of coffee that was really just paper. Friend and coworker, Ed took some pretty nice shots of it, which he allowed me to use. (Thank you, Ed!)

Everyone seems pretty pleased with their mugs of candy. I’m calling this launch a success.