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Friday, January 13, 2006

Beyond The Pour

You know the old saying, "don't judge a book by the cover?" The truth is, it's impossible not to. Never mind books, how about wine bottles? Designers communicate volumes through the tiniest of spaces. The subject of those very spaces is explored at the San Francisco Museum of Craft & Design exhibition, Beyond the Pour: Pairing Art & the Wine Label, showing how wine labels are created from concept to completion. The work of local Bay Area designers is brilliantly showcased in innovative displays, demonstrating the creativity and process that goes into their designs.

Some wine label images are probably more well-known than the works of famous artists--in the exhibit check out Frog's Leap, Chalk Hill, and Ca'del Solo to get a peek at the process of creating truly iconic labels. Another approach is to use fine art in labels. Imagery Estate Winery commissions fine artists to create a work of art that is then reproduced on a wine label. Some of the artists include Robert Arneson, Nancy Graves and David Gilhooly. The only consistent element is an interpretation of a Parthenon, which is always included. Can you find it in the Dominic DiMare image above?

While I used to work at a design firm and know a bit about the design process, I really enjoyed seeing how different designers approach the task, revealing their sense of balance, nod to symbolism and overall strategy. On the production side, the myriad of printing techniques used in wine labels is mind-boggling. I can't help but take even more notice of labels after seeing this show. Anyone who loves wine or design is sure to enjoy it as much as I did. Beyond the Pour is only on until January 29th so check it out soon!

The San Francisco Museum of Craft & Design
550 Sutter St @ Powell
San Francisco

Tuesday thru Saturday 10 - 5
Thursday 10 - 7
Sunday 12 - 5

Suggested donation $3 per adult