Cobbler Mountain Cider Packaging
Cobbler Mountain approached me with the task of creating packaging that would showcase the property their cidery resides on and the fresh ingredients that go into their products.
I illustrated individual characters for each brand as well as the ingredients that went into the products in a vintage woodcut style on clayboard. Each character from the insects to the black bear is something you would see while visiting Cobbler Mountain.
With Original Honey, the concept emerged was the direction that inspired the entire line's art. We decided we would depict the elements that are found on the property and the ingredients that are in the products.
A classic honey bee and clover, (which is consistent with the type of honey used) were drawn in a vintage line art style using clayboard. The different elements were placed in a whimsical configuration surrounding the center logo apple. As the project continued, the elements would get more explosive as they enveloped the labels.
Kickin' Cinnamon was the second label to be illustrated. The first elements that had to be figured out were the fruit and hero creature. The fruit was easy with the apple and the addition of cinnamon sticks, though the hero creature took some thought. I needed something with red and I wanted to keep things in the insect world. The ladybug was a natural choice and they can be seen all over the property in the warmer months and they have the right personality to fit with the other labels.
I kept the vintage line art style with the classic red apple, cinnamon sticks, and lady bug. The juxtaposition of the green leaves against the red packaging made for nice pops of color among a virtually monochromatic color scheme.
Mountain Top Hop was the third in the series and right away I knew I wanted to use an inchworm as the hero creature. As this project progressed, I began to associate specific animals with each product. This made things easy when it came to knowing where to go next. I wanted a vibrant green to be offset by the bright red apple in the center as the hops exploded around the packaging.
The inchworm and hops continued to use the vintage line art style of illustration. One of the reasons I use the clayboard to achieve this style of illustration is the ability to both add and subtract from the image as I go.
Ginger Peach saw the arrival of the first of three birds. I chose the robin because it is not only native to Virginia, but it has a warm orange tone to its chest that complimented the vibrant yellow-orange and pinks of the peaches.
During the coloration process, I utilized some of the drawn lines as color. This allowed the different elements to have variations in color and tone, while keeping them from being very flat and heavy.
Wild Blackberry Hop was likely the most anticipated label of the series. Cobbler Mountain is home to several black bears that enjoy the easily available fruit as a special treat. They have become somewhat of a mascot even embraced by the Louden's. As you enter the tasting room, cast iron bear prints lead you to the front door.
The black bear was drawn to be fantasizing over the sweat blackberries available to him on the property. On the label I drew his paw slightly holding on to a band of color where text is as if to be hiding behind a tree as he sneaks up to retrieve his berries.
Smackin' Orange is likely to be the sunniest of all of the products. Early on when discussing the labels I mentioned the idea of pairing a monarch butterfly with the orange fruit. The idea stuck and the butterfly plays against the bright citrus making for a super bright summertime beverage.
When designing this label, I wanted to ensure a very vibrant final product with clearly visible elements. To do this I desaturated the monochromatic background elements and pushed saturation on everything in the foreground. The addition of a black stroke to the foreground fruits and the dark portions of the butterfly allowed them all to contrast against the background.
Traditional Jeffersonian needed to be emblematic of the state of Virginia. Virginia's official state bird is the cardinal. The cardinal became the obvious choice and worked well against the other red and pink tones of the apples.
Traditional Jeffersonian uses three varieties of apples. I wanted each to have their own personality as they do in nature. Each apple is slightly different in shape, coloration and size. I used some of the drawn lines again as color to help identify the variety of apple.
Harvest Pumpkin required some consideration to determine which woodland creature would make sense to be featured. After researching animals that actually eat pumpkin, it was obvious the chipmunk would bring tons of character to this popular flavor.
Both chipmunks featured were given poses that either felt like they were just caught eating their pumpkin snack, or were in the middle of being mischievous. I also drew a pumpkin leaf separate so it could be easily repositioned with the different pumpkins. Keeping all of the different elements separate allowed for resizing and customization.
Jammin' Cranberry Ginger was the third to receive an avian creature. The irony was that three different birds were illustrated for this label, yet only the humble finch made it to the final product. The other two simply did not fit with the overall direction of the label.
Jammin' Cranberry Ginger also had a challenge in that it was the third red hued label. How do you make multiple red labels look different, not clash with one another, and seem like part of a larger whole? The simple answer, many hours with Pantone books and color samples.
Maple Stout was the final label, however the idea of the deer with a leaf stuck to his antler came about very early on. The colors were sampled directly from maple candies and kept in an autumnal range.
Much like the Jammin' Cranberry Ginger label, multiple maple leaves were drawn. By the end of the project there were at least half a dozen variations with thick or thin veining and detail lines. Ultimately a leaf with thick outlines and medium detailing worked best.