Buried Treasures - Package Design Concepts
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Buried Treasure

Good Ideas often are overlooked in the design process. Clients, after all, are entitled to a look and feel that resonates with them. Here are some of my favorite concepts that stayed in the drawer.

Contraste Extrême:

Capturing attention is the first and foremost task of every wine label package.  I envisioned this imaginary zebra design while I riding my bike. I liked the idea of seeing this brand on a retailer’s shelf.  I gave a fancy French name to bump-up the price point.


Years ago, Charbay’s co-founder, Susan Karakasevic called me. She had seen my work and wanted to explore moving their infused vodka package designs in a different direction. Together with friend and illustrator Tom Hennessy, we presented these refined concepts. Unfortunately, the designs never went forward. They still look good to me.

Fence Line Vineyards:

Ten years ago we lost Tom Shelton. Tom was the CEO of Joseph Phelps Vineyards and perhaps one of the most likeable, fun human beings in the Napa Valley. I had the extreme pleasure of working with him on many projects at the Napa Valley Vintners and at Phelps. Our last collaboration was the toughest – this package design for Tom’s family vineyard just north of St. Helena. Tom passed away just before we finished it.

George Sparkling Rosé:

I have never designed a sparkling wine package. I got tired of waiting and came up with “g.” It started with my love of the font, Democratica. It’s very old world and extremely elegant, in my opinion. Everything else came together very quietly.

Mao Red:

Carl Doumani, the owner of Quixote Winery, asked me to pick an Andy Warhol archive image that would work on a wine label. This is where we landed.

Monterey Jazz Festival Poster:

Friend and collaborator Tom Hennessy and I entered this concept for the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2015 poster competition.  I converted Tom’s watercolor illustration into a vector art (Adobe Illustrator) rendering.  It gave the image a harder edge and more graphic presence.  We didn’t win but we sure had fun trying.


This was an ultra premium red blend project for Ledson Vineyards in Kenwood, Sonoma Valley. This silk-screen package (with gold and silver foil) made it into production.  There was a trademark dispute with the Paradiso name and it never made it to market.  I still like the clean elegance of type treatment which, in my opinion, reflected the wine’s ultra premium price point.

Samos Dessert Moscato:

Four early design presentations for Samos dessert moscato wines that reflected the Greek island’s ancient culture. There was something about those intertwined serpents that really intrigued me.

San Francisco Giants:

Like everyone else in the Bay Area I got caught-up in the Giants spectacular 2010 season. I had an idea that took the form of a presentation that made all the way to the team owners. Then it got rejected. I still like it but I’m biased.

Lone Steer:

This was an early design presentation for Lost Draw Cellars in Texas. I loved the simplicity and elegance of the silk-screen solution.

Cascade Fresh:

Organic yogurt product line from Seattle, WA. They were looking for something entirely new that expressed freshness and vitality.

Old Flame:

This was a self-promotion concept. It was used on an email marketing campaign and appears on my website.

Top Flight:

Another self-promotion piece that appeared on a collateral pamphlet and an email marketing campaign.

Leonard Wine Company:

A St. Louis based wine enterprise was looking for a premium package design for their Napa Valley Marsanne (Rhone) white wine. This early design proposal was rejected but still remains distinctive in my view.

Project Highlights
  • Early presentation designs
  • Self-promotion pieces for marketing events
  • All concepts were fully simulated and developed
Branding Graphic Design, Branding Identity Design, Package, Print Graphic Design, Wine Label Design, Wine Label Package Design