Category: Gail’s design notes & reviews

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Oakland Art Gallery with Raffle Offering

Since I previously wrote about Oakland’s First Fridays, I’d like to call attention to an art gallery in Oakland that is off the beaten path, yet still close by. Arte Verissima Gallery is top-notch. You won’t find any art here that makes you wonder what’s the matter with you. That’s not to say that the […]

My Graphic Design Heroes

Over the years, I’ve collected inspiring works by other graphic designers. It turns out that two designers are represented more often than any others in my files. My folders are full of their amazing work. By “files” and “folders,” I mean real folders and real files. I own a plethora of filing cabinets, including a […]

Review of 99 Bottles of Wine

As promised, here is my review of the book, 99 Bottles of Wine, supplementing my pre-purchase review a few months ago. You may already know that the author, David Schuemann, is owner of CF Napa and the designer of the labels shown in the book. While many of the featured labels are also on the […]