As an avid guitar player something that I’ve done for 45 years. It has always been there in my life. Something that I do for others at church or for my own amusement. I became personally aware of Gretsch guitars about four years ago and it really changed things up for me as a guitar player. One of those Gretsch things included a web form called the Gretsch Pages. The place where like-minded guitar players get together and talk about all kinds of things mostly guitars and amplifiers. From time to time they have what is called a round up where they physically actually get together and play guitar, and commiserate. The Northern California branch of the Gretsch pages has been organizing these roundups for a number of years at the same place, a lodge at the top of Donner Pass in California. One of the members asked me to do an illustration for a T-shirt design for this year’s event. I thought with the visual imagery of Donner Pass and a beautiful Gretsch guitar I could not go wrong. Adding some event attendees on the bridge I thought was a fun poke at what we do every day on the Gretsch pages, disseminate information about Gretsch guitars and such.
When I was a kid the cough drop of choice was Smith Brothers wild cherry. Since then we have soothed our throats with many different brands, but I still remember the simple clean white box with the two guys on it.
This market segment has been flooded with candy image packaging that does not seem medicinal. The new packaging has an established (grownup) feel to it. Leveraging its history in this category was an important part of this project. My job was to update the brothers both in style and quality. No (final) art existed for the trademark, so I researched available images and got to work.
When I was a young concept artist at Source inc. in Chicago, we revered Joe Duffy’s work on Classico pasta sauce. In the world of maximum shelf impact pop, this design stood out for it’s beautiful illustrative design and muted color pallet. It certainly was a paragon of emotive package design.
Fast forward to 2003. I had the opportunity to work on one of my favorite brands. Lipson, Alport & Glass ask me to design imagery for 1 of 2 concepts being developed.
My concept was evolutionary in that it borrowed heavily on the past label art.
Here is the final label design. The Shelf pop zeitgeist finally caught up to the Classico brand, but L.A.G.A. wanted to keep the charming woodcut look. But in the final analysis the client wanted to move even farther away from where they were. O well, it still was a fun project.
Here is some of the development work that led to the final comp label.