– The Blog –

Today, I'd like to introduce a new series: profiles on the wonderful artists and designers who have worked on our labels and boxes.

For a few reasons, instead of hiring a big firm to design our packaging, we decided to work with a bunch of different artists. For one thing, we wanted each new box and bottle to have its own distinct personality, so that there's always something new and interesting to decorate your dinner table or refrigerator. For another, we love design here at Cultivate and thought it would be more fun (and authentically us) to do it this way rather than just handing it off to another firm. And, we just liked the idea of getting to work with a bunch of artists!


For the Dream Series, the series of our first four bottles-- The Gambler, The Feast, Dream Walking, and Double Blind-- we gave the designers nothing but the name of the wine and the size of the label, and asked them to let their imaginations run free.

Lindsay McCabe, one half of the creative team LMNOP, designed Dream Walking, and here she tells us a little more about her style and influences. Above are some glimpses at some initial directions and early stages of the design process for Dream Walking.

When did you know you wanted to be a designer/artist?

Creating things has always been a huge part of my life. My mother is a folk artist so growing up there was always some sort of project happening. One of my first memories is of laying under my family’s dining room table and for the first time being able to color inside the lines of my coloring book. I remember how satisfying it felt to see the picture become mine; it was something I wanted to do over and over.

How did you get your start in design?

I got my start when I moved to NYC. I was given an internship at a small fashion-advertising agency called Lipman. I was eventually hired as a Jr Art Director. It was certainly stressful and often drove me to tears but I learned so many lessons that I still refer to on a daily basis.

What is your design style or specialty?

My style tends to be pretty tongue-in-cheek and quirky. I like to have fun with design and create things that will make people smile. I like to play with words and images together to create a moment that the viewer can relate to. We aren’t saving lives, we are here to make things look nice and have fun!

What is one of your favorite projects you've worked on? 

I love so many of our projects but I think the one I love most is our blog EAT THIS. It combines all the things that we love and all the things that define us; eating, creating, friends and family. (Images below are two posts from EAT THIS.)

What was your inspiration working on this Cultivate project?

I drew inspiration from the story behind the concept. Wandering through a vineyard letting your imagination take over. Allowing yourself to dream of new places to go. The fine line between sleep and consciousness. (Note from Eliza: Lindsay asked where the name Dream Walking came from, and we explained that it came the story of when Ali and Charles stood on top of a hill of the first vineyard they were to purchase, and Ali said to Charles, "What does it feel like to be standing in the middle of your dream?")

Do you have an early rounds of sketches, ideas, images that you worked with before you settled on the final concept? 

These (above) were a few original designs. They all incorporated nature and dreamy imagery. I had thought bringing in watercolor texture and handwriting could be nice. In the end, the final design hit the right balance.

Did you have a type of buyer or setting (or anything else) you imagined for this wine as you worked on it?

When I design wine labels I tend to design for myself. What I gravitate toward. So I guess I design for creative thinking people of any age group who appreciates design and loves wine!

Where do you go/what do you do when you need to be inspired?

I go anywhere and everywhere for inspiration. Just looking, listening and being open to let things inspire you. The NYC subway, new neighborhoods, old neighborhoods, family, friends, strangers, movies, music, fashion…

Do you have any favorite sites/blogs you visit for inspiration?

I go to http://ffffound.com/ for inspiration all the time. The mix of content is unparalleled.

If you could live in any era, what would it be and why?

Paris during the 1960’s seems like it would be tons of fun.

If you were to have any other profession, what would it be?

I would maybe own a little café or wine bar. A place where I could serve up delicious drinks and snacks and hang with inspiring people.

What other artists/designers or style icons inspire you?

Slim Aarons subject matter and photography is inspiring. I would like to live in any of his images for a day. Bridget Bardot’s from the 50’s & 60’s was pretty amazing and defining. Errol Morris’s documentaries always get my creative juices moving.

What are your current obsessions?

I’m pretty obsessed with all types of collage at the moment. I’m also obsessed with season 2 of Friday Night Lights, Lobster rolls from AndTurf in Montauk, night rides on my red 10-speed and Lambrusco. In no particular order!

Where can we follow you online?

PS-- If you got an instant craving for red velvet cupcakes after seeing that image above, like I did, check out this box mix (also available at Cost Plus)! I emailed Lindsay asking for the recipe, and she was dear enough to admit that it was actually from a box! I was happy to hear that, because despite my sister making the best red velvet cake ever, I tried her recipe once, and failed miserably. The frosting resembled curdled glue and tasted worse. I will happily go the box route.



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