Ice Mountain Labels

I hate when people start out their blog posts by saying something like, “I’ve been soooooo busy this week, you guys!” So, let’s just say my dance card has been a little more full then I anticipated. BUT  it gives me a chance for my favorite kind of blog post- the (sort of) behind the scenes creative process post!

For three-dimensional design we’ve been working on reimaging the 16.9 or 20 oz. Ice Mountain bottle. Once we are finished we are going to print it out, attach it to the bottle and photograph it. Plus, we are coming up with a completely new label of our own design that doesn’t have to adhere to the existing label dimensions. Cool, right?

Sometimes (okay, most of the time) it takes me a little while to come up with a theme or idea after we are given our assignment. Maybe because we are working with existing elements this one came to me quickly. “Ice Mountain” immediately made me think of one of those westerns from the 60’s. Something staring Robert Mitchum, John Wayne or Gregory Peck with sweeping landscape shots and music that swells as our hero rides to the edge of the cliff to survey the wide open space before him.

My parents have long been into all things western and my dad is a Civil War buff, so I grew up fully immersed in that kind of imagery. BUT that also posed a problem. As much as I thought of the sweeping valley views, I also thought of the old-timey health tonics that were supposed to restore “vim and vigor”.  They always had great, elaborate illustrations, swirly fonts (as my classmates know, I love swirly fonts) and tons of text. So, I decided to come up with a two versions and once I got close to finished, I’d see which one I liked better and go with that one for my final.

Yesterday in class, I printed out both labels in black and white and taped them to a bottle just to see if I favored one over the other. Now this is going to sound completely dopey, but this was the coolest thing. I wanted to go all Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein and scream, “IT’S ALIVE!!” The idea that something I created could potentially end up on store shelf someday was so exciting. But here’s the thing- I liked them both. I talked to my classmates and there was no clear winner.  I asked my teacher and he said, “Present them both!”

Version one is above and it’s about 85% finished. The jpeg is fairly low quality which makes the text tough to read, but you can see the main illustration. Here’s version 2, which with the exception of a minor sizing problem, is pretty much complete:

You might be thinking, “Hey, what’s the problem? More ideas are better!”  Yeah, that’s true. But I am lazy and this project is due Tuesday. Presenting these two on the bottle means I have to come up with a third, completely original design that doesn’t adhere to the current size restrictions.

Keeping with the old west theme, I thought about old letter press machines, wanted posters, illustrated Civil War newspapers and that sort of thing. Of course, I do not have an old-timey letterpress, so between Photoshop and Illustrator I had to work something out. Thank God for the bevel and emboss tool in Photoshop! This is about 50% finished. Instead of doing a wrap-around label like the other two, this one is going to have a separate front and back label. This one may be my favorite of the three.

Again, the jpeg quality isn’t that great, but you get the overall idea. I may burn the corners and edges a little bit to give it a more weathered, vintage look.  I also was toying with the idea of kind of scalloping the edges, but that might be a bit much. I welcome any kind of feedback, because like I said, these are due Tuesday and this last one is going into class sight unseen by anyone other then me and my readers (all two of you). I anticipate a bloodbath during critique, but I sort of go into every critique with that thought.

Once the photos are ready next week, I will post them so you can see the finished product. Until then, have a great week!


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