San Juan Cigar Company

Great cigars take into consideration all of your senses:

  • the sound of the soft, crisp crackle on every drag
  • the way the wrapper feels and the give of the cigars between your fingers
  • the smell of the stick and the smell of the smoke
  • the taste as you drag in and allow it to linger for a moment before you exhale
  • the look of the cigar band, revealing to the smoker the cigar’s true excellence

San Juan Cigars are hand rolled in Washington State…the first of it’s kind in our area. They have become a force to be reckoned with locally and, if things continue on, nationally as well.

Recently they approached us to create a cigar band for a collaboration they were working on with Skip Rock Distillers in Snohomish, WA. They infused their already flavorful cigars with rum, rye whiskey and coffee liqueur respectively to create the perfect pairings. Skip Rock Distillers make very fine spirits, so we were excited to respond to the task.

We created a custom dieline that allowed us to really showcase both companies equally. We added a burst to the center to draw the eye into the distillate that is present in each stick. The band has elegant embellishments of gold foil to help draw out different characteristics and we finished with a tab to handwrite which stick and batch you are purchasing.

All in all, we’re excited about how these turned out. They have a vintage design with a modern color pallette. It’s classic and approachable without being overtly masculine. See more design or contact us here!

photo cred: VonJentzen Productions

Reality Check:

Reality Check:  Once you have released your product into the marketplace you have lost the ability to personally convince the world it needs to spend it’s money on you.

Your branding and your packaging are crucial in convincing the world that you sell is what they need. I can’t tell you how many distillery and brewery owners we’ve talked with who have told us how they couldn’t get into stores, with a distributor or decent placement. Much (maybe even most) of the time it had to do with their package design. The stores are in it to make money. So are the distributors. If they don’t think your product will sell with some semblance of ease, they are apt to not carry it. Even if they do carry it, you will be severely limited in placement.

One of the biggest factors we hear is that people don’t want to (or can’t) spend that amount of money. Some are flat out offended by it. But we always have to ask this question:  Are we more concerned about initial cost or incessant value?

I love my tax guy. He tells me the truth. There are times I don’t like the truth. He does, however, find ways to make what we can do offset the pain of what we can’t do. He knows what the laws are, understands loopholes and will bend over backwards to ensure we leave knowing we are being taken care of in a fair way. I actually like visiting my accountant…at least mostly. I have never balked at the cost. Why? Because what he does is valuable to me. It might be more than the guy down the street. It might be more than everyone in the world (I kind of hope not, but that’s digressing). But what he does is extremely valuable to me. I know that in the end I’m being well taken care of even if I don’t understand most of the tax codes.

A good designer will add value to your product. They will know the market, understand your culture and do everything they can to visually convince the world they need to spend money on you.

Let’s talk more about it. You can contact us here!



Temple Distilling’s Bookmark Limoncello

AJ and Jamie Temple of Temple Distilling make incredible, award winning gin. They are passionate about raising the bar as a new distillery and their Bookmark Limoncello shows it. They also realized you cannot have great distillated spirits without great packaging, so they enlisted in the help of Fresh Bread Design to create packaging that reflects the product.

This limoncello uses Temple Distilling’s Chapter One Navy Strength gin as their base so rather than starting from a completely neutral starting point there is a delicate balance of botanicals. The juniper and lemon zest playfully mingle with just the right amount of cane sugar. We wanted to reflect the Old World tradition of limoncello as well as the elegance and detail of this particular distillate. We did this by using a mix of custom and boutique typography, hand-created filigrees and very subtle gold foil and embossing. The color scheme had to work with the color of the liqueur so we chose muted greens and yellows so they ultimately enhance one another.

Much of our influence came from antique tobacco tins. Many of them not only have great design, but also showcase incredible patinas. Our goal was to match that aesthetic for this product in order to showcase the time and respect for heritage Temple Distilling puts in every bottle.

If you are ready to go to the next level with your spirits packaging contact us.

photo cred: VonJentzen Productions

Whitewall Brewing’s Anniversary Ale Barleywine

Whitewall Brewing in Marysville, WA decided to make an incredible barleywine for their 2nd anniversary. It is elegant and can stand toe to toe with top shelf spirits and high end cigars. They needed a package that showed the refinement of this beer.

We drew detailed hand lettered initials as well as meticulously created filigrees to bring together a label that really drove home how impressive the product really is.

We drove it all home with high gloss spot varnishes on burgendy highlights, as well as spot varnished black on black barley stalks on both the front and the back, all on an estate paper to enhance the tactile experience.  In the end, people will see this fine barleywine exactly how it tastes.

Beer can be sexy and elegant…or it can be fun. It all depends on who your target market is and where you want your price point. We’d love to talk with you about your craft beer packaging needs! Just head Fresh Bread Design and click on “contact”.

photo credit: VonJentzen Productions


Six Reasons You Need New Label Design in 2016

1. You Designed the Labels Yourself.

Ouch. Maybe I should have started with something a little softer but I figured we should probably get the hard one out of the way. There are always exceptions, for instance if you are an artist or a designer, but they are few and far between. As business owners, we have more than enough on our plates. Design tends to be a last minute thought. It becomes the period to your sentence rather than a chapter in your story. Hiring a designer allows you the space to focus on your recipes or the federal paperwork.

We’ve also seen design become emotional baggage rather than a practical sales tool. Since the design is a part of our businesses identity many small business owners see the packaging they created as an extension of themselves rather than a way to draw in customers. That means we begin to lose objectivity and with it the ability to reach a mass audience.

You have a considerable amount of responsibility. Let someone who has your success and a more complete sense of what the market needs create your label design.

2. You Chose Cost Over Value.

We all do it. We look at the financial landscape. We see that we’ve overspent on our location. We realize we can’t launch as soon as we hoped. We feel like we are sweating money. The last thing we want to do is spend money on design. So we shop around for the best price even if it means not getting exactly what we need.

But that was in the past. Look at the bottles on the shelves next to you.

Does it look like you are the best value for the price?

Will people overlook your hard work because it lacks appeal?

The cost of your package design isn’t just the artwork. There is research, hours of sketching, refining, market testing and print consultations…all the things that are vital to creating a package that will convince a new customer to buy it.

There is no value in missed sales.

3. The Packaging Is Familiar.

I fully understand the importance of strong branding. I believe in it so much that I have a business built around that principle. However, there are times where small adjustments can make a big difference. After time, people begin to become numb to what they see on a regular basis. Making a small change in typography, layout, color or even paper styles can readjust your potential customer’s eye.

If you’ve had some bad press, now would be the time to completely overhaul your entire brand identity. Reinventing your design convinces the world you are a different entity. I feel like this should go without saying but unfortunately that’s not always the case.

4. Your Packaging Isn’t Targeted.

Nearly every time I ask a new client who their ideal target market is they answer “everyone.”  That sort of optimism is commendable but entirely unrealistic. There are hundreds of different styles of beer for a reason. Different people have different palates and those people are looking for something pretty specific. My job is to find out how to sell your product to the people who are eagerly waiting for it…and just don’t know it yet. Creating a label to appeal everyone is the design version of trying to please all of the people all of the time.

5. Your Packaging is TOO Targeted.

On the opposite spectrum, markets change. What may have been a “man’s drink” or a “woman’s drink” in the past are not even part of the conversation any longer. Light beer was for women while whiskey was for men.

Not the case anymore.

It’s easy to just go with the flow and maintain that times haven’t changed but they have. And you may be losing market shares because you have packaging that is uninteresting to your specific region or people groups. It may even be offensive to them. It’s probably time to allow some breathing room, drop some assumptions and increase your profits.

6. Nothing is Perfect.

There are always ways to make your labels better, pure and simple. It might involve small refinements or scrapping them and starting over but everything has the potential to be better than before.


In the end, our goal is to help distilleries sell spirits, breweries sell beer, cidermakers sell cider, wineries sell wine and coffee roasters sell coffee. Your package design is the only thing that will be selling your product once it hits the shelves. I think you’ll agree that it’s probably just as important as what is inside.

Let’s talk about how Fresh Bread Design can help you! You can contact us here.

Classic Look for a Classic Spirit

There are some people you meet for the first time you know will do something amazing.

When I met AJ and Jamie Temple, they were still in the beginning stages of getting their license to produce distillates from the TTB. I had never tasted anything they’d made and from what I could tell, they had never made any spirits. They were young and fresh faced, excited to make good gin. And everyone wants to make good spirits. But these guys were different.

I walked away from the meeting knowing we’d be working together. There was no contract signed yet, no money on the table…but everything about this seemed right.

Well, in the end the contract was signed. It turns out my instincts were right. These guys have a knack for making great gin. It’s classy. It’s dry. It’s not boring at all. So Temple Distilling‘s Chapter One Gin and Chapter One Navy Strength Gin both deserved a label that spoke all of those things. We wanted it to be classic without being stuffy.  It has custom lettering. It has embossing hidden in places you can’t see but changes the tactile feel. It has spot varnish in all the right places. Even the paper style is one that harkens back to earlier days. The dieline is complex and the two gins have some subtle design differences that help differentiate more than just color coding.

This is one of our favorite gins and one of the favorite labels we’ve done so far. We hope you have the opportunity to enjoy both very soon. If you like what you see, feel free to head to our website at and send us an e-mail!

Chapter One Traditional Close Up WMSide by Side 2 WMCork Labels WMBack Label WMNavy traditional blur WMHymn 1 WM

It’s Time For Change.

We are looking at a beautiful landscape. The future looks bright for the craft beverage industry. Everywhere we look there are fresh new faces bringing new and innovative products to the market while the other Washington is working on lowering taxes for our boutique breweries, distilleries and wineries at a federal level. It seems anyone who has been in the game for longer than 5 years is revising recipes, sourcing even more local ingredients, hiring new head brewers/master distillers/winemakers and purchasing bigger and better equipment.

It just makes sense.

These industries change and new companies are raising the bar. People who were at the top of their game 15 years ago can’t compete in the same way they used to. It’s like pitting the 1985 Bears against the 2014 Seahawks. Sure, they were top team then but times and expectations have changed.

So why do you still look the same?

If you’ve changed the product to keep up with the times, why is the packaging the equivalent of an Ed Hardy shirt (and if you are asking “what’s wrong with Ed Hardy?” stop reading and contact us now)? If you haven’t looked at your package design or even your core brand identity with a critical eye in the past 2 years, it’s time to do that. Brand loyalty is quickly becoming a thing of the past. We need to woo the consumer. Refreshing your branding or packaging will bring you back into focus to former customers and will draw the eye of new customers.

Why bother enhancing what’s inside the bottle when people only see what’s outside the bottle?

Our job is to look at your brand with a critical eye. We’re honest (seriously…there is some great design out there that we do NOT want to mess with) and are so excited to breathe new life into brands that deserve it.


You are important.

What you create is something people want.

It’s what the consumers cry out for.

But no one will ever know it.

Distributors, stores, bars and restaurants are all looking to make a profit. If your packaging is not selling your product or does not have the potential to sell your product they will most likely not carry it.

Your business might be craft beer or distilling spirits. Maybe you are a wine maker or a coffee roaster. That’s what you want to make a profit on. You are looking at your bottom line. Well…they are looking at theirs. Their business is to sell your product for you. If you have not made the right steps to facilitate that process, you have made their job harder. With hundreds (or even millions) of products to sell, they can only take on what goes off the shelves. They don’t have time to babysit your sales.

We know design costs look like another hit to your bottom line. But ask these questions of yourself:

Would you be willing to spend your hard earned money on something that isn’t appealing to your target market?

Do you trust consumers to make informed choices when they are in a hurry or have a crying child in the cart?

How much time would you spend trying to sell something that you have no attachment to?

These are the questions your distributor is asking. This is why a bar in Seattle might not carry your product. This is why the local bottle shop hasn’t been calling.

Your packaging is a direct reflection of your product and how you feel about it. That affects their bottom line as much as it does yours. When you allow us to take your design to the next level you both make a profit ..

and that’s as sexy as your new label design.

Contact us for more info here.

If you want to see some of the design we’ve already done, check out our portfolio here.

Come Back.

It’s hard not to be a 12th Man when you live in the Seattle area. Heck it’s hard not to be a 12th Man when you live anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Especially the past two years. There was something about this team. There was a magic in the way they pulled off plays that should never have been made.

And then it fell apart in the last 20 seconds of Super Bowl 49.

We were silent. There was so much traffic on the drive home from the party we were at. Long lines of slow cars moved forward like a funeral procession. All the wind was taken out of us (insert Deflategate joke here).

Then the talking heads starting talking:

“Will this be the end of the Seahawks?”

“Can the Seahawks ever rebound from this loss?”

“The Seahawks run is over!”

Are you kidding me? We’ve made it to the Super Bowl twice in two years. This loss came down to ONE PLAY in the last 20 seconds. We yell “BAD CALL” but if the ball hadn’t been picked…if we had caught the ball and scored a touchdown we would have yelled “WHAT A PLAY!”

Life is sort of like that right? We take a bad decision that costs us and we view our entire lives through that lens. We see the entire season as that one bad call instead of noticing the wins we had that brought us to that place. That one bad call doesn’t define who we are…but what we learn from that one bad call does.

Will the Seahawks be better than ever next year?  We hope so.

But this just confirmed what we’ve always believed.  Know when to be bold and know when to be simple.