Category: Gail’s design notes & reviews

Wine I Purchased for the Label and Why

As a graphic designer of wine and spirits, when I buy a bottle just because I like the label, I get to deduct the expense as a business-related reference material. How sweet is that? With the new tax legislation, a rumor has been circulating that the usual deductions for small business owners are eliminated, but […]

Martinez Wine & Chocolate Walk 2016

As a wine label designer, I like to attend Bay Area wine events whenever I can. But I quickly realized my experience at Martinez’s 2016 Wine & Chocolate Walk was going to be more about the neighborhood than the wine. It started as soon as my husband and I parked on Main Street in front of a quaint clapboard house […]

Valentines Day Events: Wine is in the Air

Valentine’s Day pairs well with wine. Many wineries celebrate the day or the entire weekend with something special. I’ve picked five events, all of which are listed below. Choose one or let it whet your appetite for more research. Rosenblum Cellars Chocolate Dipping Oakland. On Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th, from 2 to […]

Unexpected Art & Design in Buenos Aires

My daughter is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this year and refused to come home for Christmas, so we took a few trains, planes and taxis to get to her. Upon arrival, our Airbnb host greeted the four of us with kisses on the cheek, which somewhat eased the pain of the 24-hour trip, as did the […]

San Francisco Vintners Reserve at the Metreon

The Metreon was a winning venue for the soldout gathering of Cult Wineries and Reserve Wineries, by SF Vintners Market, One Brick, and The Mercury News. The size of the hall is big enough to give you an adequate rush, but not so big that you can’t get a handle on it. San Francisco was glistening […]

Branding for Houston Family Vineyards

Paul Houston is a new client. He is not from Napa, nor Sonoma, the Sierra Foothills, or any number of places known for wine production. Paul is from Hayward, California, where he is doing something new. He is harvesting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from his own vineyards, just a few miles from his home. Hired […]

Craft Spirits Carnival 2015

I attended the Craft Spirits Carnival again this year, held at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center. It was hot around the Bay, which means it was absolutely beautiful in SF. But I get plenty of the city; let me tell you why I go to this carnival. In this world of buy-everything-on-amazon, it’s a real […]

East Bay Tasting Itinerary With Absinthe

When my friend Suja came to the Bay Area on business, she asked if I would prepare “one of my blog adventures” for us to do on her free day. Well of course. Sticking close to her hotel, here is what we did and I heartily recommend it for an awesome afternoon in the East […]

Uptown Oakland for Craft Spirits

In pursuit of the memorable craft spirits that I sampled at the annual Craft Spirits Carnival in San Francisco, I booked a reservation last Saturday night at Duende in Uptown Oakland for a double date. Duende is interesting all-around, inside and out, but its claim to fame is their tapas. The four of us were […]

A Good Designer Offers You a Choice

Have you heard the commotion over Hillary’s campaign logo? As a professional graphic designer, I’m happy about the fuss because it validates the importance of what I do. My business is not one of life and death importance, but then again…maybe it is! A good logo, label, or website design, for example, could save the […]

Logo Design: What Clients Need to Know

After thirty years of designing logos, I’ve come to realize that my tips of the trade may be helpful to fellow designers and, more importantly, they may benefit clients. It’s not every day that a client needs a logo, so it is understandable that he or she may be unfamiliar with the process and industry […]

Lodi, Rainbows, and Wine

It was a perfect morning for finding a rainbow. Scattered rain with sun rays working their way through cumulus clouds. Sure enough, during our hour drive to Lodi’s Wine & Chocolate Weekend, we saw a full rainbow right in front of us. We would have driven right through it if that were technically possible. It was […]

Sweet Sonoma: Wine Tasting Math

My father grew up in Sonoma, but then moved East where he raised his own family. As a girl in Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia, I imagined my dad as a California boy, picking plums from trees and running in fields of wildflowers. When the California wine industry took off, my romanticism of the area intensified, […]