Designer Profile: Alvin Diec

October 25, 2023


Continuing our series on the artists and designers behind the Cultivate labels, today we are talking to Alvin Diec, designer of Cultivate’s Double Blind label.

When did you know you wanted to be a designer/artist?
Throughout most of middle and high school, I hung around my dad’s real estate office after school and always had this insistent urge to redesign documents, contracts, and flyers. In college, my major was Computer Science. I was a terrible programmer, and therefore always assigned the task of designing website layouts, UI graphics, and presentation decks. Eventually I would learn that graphic design was a real thing.

How did you get your start in design?
Upon finishing my undergraduate degree, I quickly moved to Atlanta for grad school at the Portfolio Center. Two years later, I got a job designing ads for restaurants.

What is your design style or specialty?
I gravitate toward older things and I guess what I would consider timeless, but not really of any particular era or culture. I tend to design in a way that blends these influences. The result is usually an approximation of many things that could be considered vintage, perhaps seen in a new way. I usually like to keep things simple.

What is one of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
I did the graphics for a restaurant that opened this summer in Decatur, Georgia. It’s a locally-driven, Italian-inspired concept. I’ve eaten there a lot. We did some fun things like matchboxes and patches for the cooks.

What was your inspiration working on this Cultivate project?
The name (Double Blind) was inspiring in a literal way, but the overall feel of the label I think speaks to Cultivate’s intention of creating a product that is honest, artful, and intriguing.

Do you have an early rounds of sketches, ideas, images that you worked with before you settled on the final concept?
Early on I knew I wanted to do something kind of spare. The type treatments were pretty basic, sometimes hand-rendered to give it a casual tone. I liked this texture that was incorporated from a really old vision diagram I found, but in the end I think we both gravitated towards the simple, bold typographic solution. (Above are other initial directions.)

Did you have a type of buyer or setting (or anything else) you imagined for this wine as you worked on it?
I imagined it fitting well into what I think the general mindset is these days in regards to food culture, that is, people are looking for quality goods without the pretense of yesterday. It shouldn’t look like the traditional labels that are predominant on the shelf.

Where do you go/what do you do when you need to be inspired?
I tend to be inspired by other creative industries that I feel do a lot of the same type of work as designers — food and drink, music, clothing. The people who place value in aesthetics, quality, and craft.

Do you have any favorite sites/blogs you visit for inspiration?
I regularly read the Dining section in the New York Times. Really love the “Edible Selby” series in their T Magazine.

If you could live in any era, what would it be and why?
Maybe the 80s. I’m obsessed with cars from around that time. It’s getting harder to find older cars that are in good condition.

If you were to have any other profession, what would it be?
I’d learn to make ramen and open up a small bar.

What other artists/designers or style icons inspire you?
I’ve always thought Paul Newman was the coolest guy. While in school I redesigned his organic food labeling. Also, designer Louise Fili.

What are your current obsessions?
I’m buying a lot of grenache these days. On a constant search for the perfect Saab 9-3 Viggen.

Where can we follow you online?
I hang around Tumblr pretty regularly (http://fairtradegothic.tumblr.com). And my website is www.alvindiec.com.

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One Comment

  1. hi, nice post, i would like to share it but this link does not work : https://www.cultivatewines.com/behindthebrand/designer-profile-alvin-diec am i doing it wrong ? thanks

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