When I found out that Jon Contino would be teaching an online class on hand-drawn label design I was sold. I've been a fan of his work for some time, so $20 for access to his insight and feedback seemed like a no-brainer. The class was hosted by the fine folks over at Skillshare.com, and there are tons of kick-ass projects in the student gallery here.
At the time the class came up, I happened to be in the middle of brewing a batch of beer at my home. I live on a road called Pioneer, in a small town that used to be known for logging and milling lumber, before it burned to the ground in the late 1800s. "Pioneer Brewery" became the starting point for the labels and served as a direction for the imagery and style.
While researching the Pioneer lifestyle, I found that one of the biggest dangers they faced was that of the snake bite. There were many remedies, but two stood out to me and seemed to lend themselves well to this particular project:
1. Get the victim belligerently drunk.
2. Grind up the horns of a Red Deer Stag into a fine powder, mix it with water, and apply the paste to the wound.
Awesome. The Pioneers were a crazy bunch, and there efforts were not without merit. I decided to represent the problem and solution of a snake bite with an illustration of the two creatures battling it out. The aesthetic of old elixer bottles captures the spirit of the Pioneer's earthly remedies.