Design Systems: Designing in the Wine Industry with Amy Linn

Episode 454 Live on Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

This week I will talk to my friend from Napa, California, Amy Linn about her career in the wine industry. She started in the wine industry right out of school and has been designing for over two decades. We’ll chat about how things have changed and advanced in printing. I can’t wait to ask her about the design systems she has to think about as she goes about designing new labels for new varietals.

Her ability to think about the larger picture the complete brand and the business opportunities the vineyard has. It is so much more than just one label design. Amy is designing a system that will work together. I love hearing how her brain works out all the small details and complexities of a vineyard with more than one product line and then different price points and how the labels change.


I love that Amy is also thinking about the ability of vineyards to white label their products to restaurants and design pieces for the wine tasting experience for the local visitor as well as the sales person and distributors. She is amazing and I can’t wait to introduce you to my friend Amy Linn from Linn Design Studio.

I hope you will join me for Episode 454, LIVE on WEDNESDAY, Nov 29, 2023 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm BST / 9:30am in Hawaii

You can be part of the conversation live with us. Simply join the Creatives Ignite Family by giving me your email and get a reminder email 30 min before the show: You can also add it to your calendar so you don’t miss it. (Those links are in the emails). See you there, then you can type in the chat and ask questions live.

Questions for Amy

  1. Amy, can you tell everybody a little about your background in design, including who you are, where you are, and what you do now? 
  2. What does working in the wine/spirits industry really mean? What types of things are you creating? 
  3. It seems like a huge branding challenge especially with different varietals and different levels of wine even from one maker. Have you always been able to see the big picture and keep it in mind when making decisions about different levels of wine for one winery? Or has this been something you have had to work at?
  4. How do you keep everything straight? Do you have a great memory or any memory hacks you use to make sure you stay on brand and on track with so many projects in the popper?
  5. When working in any food or beverage client there are a lot of rules that are set up by each nation that usually the client might not know. How do you go about researching these rules, again how do you keep them straight?
  6. Can you break down a winery and how the different levels work in regards to branding? This seems like a big challenge to wineries and I have seen some that are very confusing because the bottles and labels look so similar. How have you faced this challenge?
  7. What type of business relationship are you looking for with wineries? Long-term or more short term and why?
  8. What keeps you interested and excited about working in the wine / spirits industry?
  9. What’s next for you?

Connect with Amy

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[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode back again, finally for another episode of Creatives Ignite. And I am here with my really, really good friend, Amy Lynn. And she and I have worked together, we’ve done things, um. She’s been to camp, we were in the future together, or are in the future together in other groups.

[00:00:26] But she does so much for her community. She [00:00:30] does so much in design and how she thinks. So we talk about a lot of things. She uses notion in a amazing way. So I know Paul will like it ’cause he likes to use notion too. And I just think it’s neat how, um, there are so many things that I’ve learned just from Amy talking about her work and she works primarily in the wine industry.

[00:00:53] Ever since you graduated however many years ago, um, you have been in the wine industry, which I also [00:01:00] think is unusual. Sometimes people will get tired of an industry or they’ll, um, they’ll meander in our. In the design world, and they might do a few things or try to do different things, but you’ve really found something.

[00:01:15] And the wine and spirits industry is bigger than maybe we, we think. So Amy, without further ado, give them a better intro into who you are, what you do, and where you live. 

[00:01:29] Amy Linn: Well, I don’t know if [00:01:30] it’ll be better, but thank you for your, for your intro. Um, but yeah, I went to school for communication design and, um, at that time, that was the only way to study graphic design.

[00:01:43] It was considered an emphasis in graphic design. So I got a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Chico. Mm-Hmm. And, and actually before I graduated, I got an internship. Um, I wanted, I was thinking that I might wanna live in Napa. So I [00:02:00] came to Napa following my future husband and, um, and got a job.

[00:02:05] Um, so I. Um, you know, hadn’t had that internship over the summer, designed my first wine label, and that was my introduction to wine packaging. And, and I actually just loved it. And then when I graduated, they hired me on full-time. So I just, um, I’ve been designing wine packaging ever since, or for the wine industry [00:02:30] 

[00:02:30] diane: in general, which I think is kind of unusual to be in.

[00:02:33] I mean, a lot of designers will, I mean, it wasn’t like you always owned your own business, which you do now, but Mm-Hmm. It, and it’s not like that’s the only thing but you that you’ve designed or you do, but that is the predominant thing that you have been doing, and you have gotten definitely expert status for sure.

[00:02:54] Um, but have, has there ever been a time where you were like, I’m tired of designing wine [00:03:00] labels? 

[00:03:01] Amy Linn: I actually have never gotten tired of designing wine labels. I love print design, and there’s just like constant, um, you know, new things that we can, um, that we can learn about and use. And, I mean, there’s just so many different foils or, you know, there’s embossing and, you know, there’s a lot of beautiful things that happen in print and they go on a wine label.

[00:03:24] So, you know, and the way that things have changed through the years, it’s like [00:03:30] now we can, you know, do much more elaborate things with, you know, multiple labels on a bottle or, you know, in dye cuts and, um, things like that. So it’s actually, I find it fun and interesting and, you know, and, and nowadays, you know, labels aren’t just all cream colored with black type, you know, I mean, that’s still a more reserved, uh, traditional look.

[00:03:56] But now, you know, everybody sees the ones that have great pictures and. [00:04:00] Things like that. And it’s just fun. 

[00:04:02] diane: Well, and so much has changed from even, um, if I think about what we could do and what was affordable back Mm-hmm, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, it’s so different than what we are able, there’s so many more ways that you could do these die cuts that.

[00:04:20] You know, maybe for a short run we would never have done them. But now it’s not that big of a deal. And I think that that maybe that’s one reason why it’s not, it [00:04:30] hasn’t gotten boring because with technology, as it’s continued to develop all these things that were really high-end blind emboss, or even like a, um, maybe not emboss, uh, but like, you know, they have it at Vistaprint, you know, what do you call that?

[00:04:46] Gloss? Like a gloss varnish? Yeah. Mm-Hmm. That used to be like, oh, that’s a whole nother color. We can’t do that. That’s gonna cost more. And it’s like, I mean, if Vistaprint not anything gets rinsed, I will use Vistaprint sometimes, but [00:05:00] I don’t think of them as like the top tier of, you know, uh, printing. But if they can do it, oh my goodness.

[00:05:08] You know, and it’s just about knowing about things. And I think that the, um, love for print, which I know. A lot of people here have, um, because they are also, we’ve been, we fell in love with doing print design. So in school, way back when you were in school, did you do packaging or did you do, like, [00:05:30] was there a project for wine 

[00:05:31] Amy Linn: packaging?

[00:05:33] I actually never took a packaging class. Um, never did any three-dimensional anything in school. Um, but I think, uh, for some reason I was able to just see things in, in three, three dimension. You know? ’cause you have to consider the whole package. It’s not, you know, just flat. Right. And, you know, how does it look from all angles and that kind of thing.

[00:05:56] So, um, yeah. You know, I’m sure [00:06:00] that the, the packaging instructor was not very happy that I ended up in packaging, but never took his class. But, um, but I love it. I think do, I think 

[00:06:09] diane: some people do see things differently and I think that that’s. Um, one of the things that makes packaging fun, but it’s also the shape of the bottle.

[00:06:19] Um, Mm-Hmm. These are things that I learned from you. So let’s, let’s just jump in. Um, I wanna know what working in, like if somebody says they worked in the wine and [00:06:30] spirits industry, what does that really mean? If somebody said that to you, what would you ask them, I guess? 

[00:06:40] Amy Linn: Or how would you Well, I, I’ll say this, what I would assume, if they were a designer that works in the, um, in, um, you know, alcohol branding, you know, industry, um, you know, it usually does involve packaging, but just within packaging, it’s not just a label.

[00:06:59] It could be a [00:07:00] bottle design. There’s a capsule cork, um, that the shipper carton could be. Um, you know, fancy things that, um, the wineries send out to their club members, you know, so gift boxes and things like that. Um, I actually designed a, um, a scarf one time and, um, oh, I was thinking about something else that I designed.

[00:07:26] Um, I can’t think of it right now, but, you know, there’s [00:07:30] just lots of opportunities there. But in addition to just the packaging, there’s, you know, the overall branding as far as like collateral pieces for in the winery, and they have a whole social media realm, uh, which I don’t really, that’s not my specialty, but I could art direct it because it’s about, you know, fitting the brand.

[00:07:50] There’s also signage and, you know, just how, um, you know, the experience, you know, of somebody going to a [00:08:00] winery or to a tasting room, or even if they’re only online, you know, how, what is that experience like for the consumer? Yeah, so it’s all of that. So 

[00:08:12] diane: that gives us an idea of a range. So with one winery, we might think if we were hadn’t worked in this industry, that one winery, it might not be very much work, but one winery could be a ton of [00:08:30] work.

[00:08:30] Could you explain, um, I guess it kind of leads into the next question, but the different varietals, and I don’t know if I spelled it right, I felt like it kept underlining it, you know, in design kept underlining it for me, but. There is branding challenges and one of the things, one of, when we were talking about wine one time and you were like, well, there’s different tiers.

[00:08:52] The types of wine you have, you know, your merlott and your all, I don’t know, chardonnays, and [00:09:00] you have different, those things which are think are just different varietals, different varieties of grapes, right? But then there’s also like the top tier, the very expensive, if we were just talking about merlott, there might be a top tier merlott, there might be a medium tier merlott, and then you have your.

[00:09:20] Nicer, but then you have your everyday or something. I mean, there could be Mm-Hmm. Four to five. I mean, I don’t know how many levels. There could be one [00:09:30] winery and then, um, I know one of the wineries you’re working with now, some, sometimes that they might make other things that might be outside. Maybe they make salsa, who knows what they make with their extra Mm-Hmm.

[00:09:43] Grape things, but maybe they make, um, some other kind of spirit or, which is again, another challenge in, um, if, if it’s something that is maybe, um, maybe it’s not something to consume. Maybe it’s for like, who knows? [00:10:00] People make, you know, maybe they’re doing something with the grape seeds and it’s a sugar scrub or something.

[00:10:04] I have no idea, but Right. It’s, it could be, and it’s about just thinking kind of outside of the box. Um, but what, could you kind of take us through what a really big. Um, ’cause we might not be thinking about a wine, uh, industry or one vineyard having this many kind of different brands inside, or I call ’em baby brands.

[00:10:28] I don’t know what they’re really called, but [00:10:30] out of, uh, out of one parent. Yeah. 

[00:10:33] Amy Linn: Yeah. So, um, it’s true that, um, so I, I think that the way that it starts out there is a winemaker who makes a wine, you know, a particular wine. And then as they get more into it, you know, it’s kind of like they’re dipping their foot in the water, you know, just testing it out and it’s well received.

[00:10:53] And so then they start to make more wines and they usually will, uh, try different varieties or [00:11:00] varietals. So maybe they start with the Chardonnay and then they end up making a Cabernet Sauvignon and then there’s a red wine blend, or you know, there’s all of these different varietal names. Um, and they’re, you know, usually gonna have a similar label and that would be a tier, you know, they’re all up around the same price point.

[00:11:19] Um, it’s all presented as, um, kind of this group for that winery or for that winemaker. 

[00:11:28] diane: So it would be one brand [00:11:30] of, that would be like the original, uh, line of 

[00:11:35] Amy Linn: products, maybe? Kind of, yeah. It’s probably, you know, considered their original line of products within their brand, but say they, you know, eventually have a winery and they want to, you know, and they’re, you know, um, sourcing grapes from special vineyards, you know, like some of ’em have, um, names and are in certain [00:12:00] regions that are very prestigious and that they get grapes from there.

[00:12:03] If they don’t wanna put that into their just regular old blend, they wanna let people know that this is wine from this particular vineyard. And in my view, it deserves a different label that really, uh, shows that it’s that ultra premium because they’re going to also, um, have a higher price tag on that.

[00:12:27] And I actually have some, um, examples [00:12:30] of a project that I’m working on that would 

[00:12:31] diane: be awesome. It’s just for me when we’ve been talking about this, sometimes I’m like, oh my gosh, I didn’t think it was this deep or this wide of, and when you’re starting, if you’re either redesigning or you’re starting with somebody, maybe if you started on their very first original, maybe it comes easier, but I know you’ve had to come in and redesign and, um, mm-hmm.

[00:12:56] Adjust by thinking. And they already had [00:13:00] multiple lines or multiple tiers of products and multiple products at each level. And that’s a lot to keep in your head, to be consistent but also different, um, in what they were doing. And I think that that’s, that is a branding project, that is a design system project, and I think it’s really 

[00:13:20] Amy Linn: interesting.

[00:13:20] Yeah, for sure. Um, yeah, and I, I find that that, um, is just so fun to, um. To solve that problem. [00:13:30] So, can you see my screen? Yes. Okay. So this is an example of the, um, a project that I’m currently working on. And this is, you know, their base level, well actually this is not all their base level, um, tier, but say, you know, these four here are their lower level tiered wines, you know, the bottom tier, and then this is their top tier.

[00:13:59] [00:14:00] But from my view, there’s not that much differentiation, differentiation between each of the labels, right? And so if somebody is at a restaurant and, you know, they see this, well say they see this one on the, um, table, um, they might think that it’s the M five. See if, if you can see that right there. M 

[00:14:26] diane: five, actually you go a little wider.

[00:14:28] Yeah, that helps us. [00:14:30] Okay. 

[00:14:31] Amy Linn: So, oh yeah. Um, so anyway, there’s not a huge difference between these and especially, I mean, looking at ’em side by side, you can see a difference. But if you were to see them at a di at a distance, um, you know, or just see one after having this particular one, which is their top tier, and then you see this one and it’s being, you know, this is, say it retails for $400, this one retails for [00:15:00] 65, and then they see the price tag 65, they’re gonna think, oh wow, I’m getting that $450 one at a $65 price.

[00:15:08] Oh my gosh, this is great. Well, it’s actually not the same wine I. And it can be confusing to the consumer. Absolutely. 

[00:15:16] diane: So this is a great design problem, and it is not at this point when you have something like this, but you’re also thinking about right now, five different tiers. Is that what, or or is it one?

[00:15:28] So 

[00:15:29] Amy Linn: [00:15:30] I would consider these four here to be part of the same tier. And there’s actually one more that’s not, um, I don’t have an image of, but it is, um, sold just to their club members. Mm-Hmm. Um, but it’s also a separate tier, but this is, you know, by far their top tier. And there’s a couple others that I will show you, um, after this one.

[00:15:53] Okay. Awesome. 

[00:15:53] diane: So let’s see. So this was the design challenge. They came up, they had this and said, [00:16:00] we want this to what, what did they come to you 

[00:16:04] Amy Linn: wanting? They actually came to me and wanted me to just design their lowest. Tiered redesigned their lowest tiered label. And I went back to them and said, and I actually presented the three different tiers in my first meeting because I knew that if I redesigned this label and, you know, to a standard that fit the winery and, um, was appropriate for them, ’cause [00:16:30] they’re a very, uh, prestigious, you know, high-end winery, that it, this lowest tier would then end up looking better than the top tier.

[00:16:38] So they really needed to address all three tiers. And so that was my, my suggestion. So you can see in this image, um, you know that this one doesn’t look that much more special than this one. Absolutely. 

[00:16:54] diane: So, so, and then I just wanna go back to this, ’cause this was sure, like a great challenge of, [00:17:00] well we could just design this tier, but if you know that there are gonna be other problems, sometimes it’s time to push back and say, Hey, but really you had to think about this before.

[00:17:13] What would it look like on the M five? What would it look like in the tier above that? Yeah. And how could those be different? And if you weren’t thinking about those, then it might have really adjusted or messed up what you would’ve designed for them later. True. So it was really [00:17:30] important that you go ahead and think about those now at this stage.

[00:17:34] Amy Linn: Yeah. Um, and I think that, you know, whenever I’m tackling a design project, I look to the future, you know, and I ask them, you know, you know, what’s your desired future state? You know, so to speak. So, I mean, if they really hope to. You know, be selling their product, you know, at this top tiered rate and, um, or top [00:18:00] price and compete with the, you know, the most expensive ones in the world, then okay, we need to plan for that.

[00:18:08] You know, so maybe it doesn’t start off that way, but there’s a plan in mind for, you know, how to get there visually, you know? Um, and then I, I wanted to show you, um, all of their, their wines. So they also, um, have this one, um, this is Verian and this is, um, where, [00:18:30] so these are all considered Crep brothers.

[00:18:32] And this, this, the actual name of the wine is Ian by Crep Brothers. And this one is Synchrony by Cret Brothers. And then here’s the M five. And these are all, you know, this is top tier, next one down, next one down, and then the lowest tier. Mm-Hmm. Anyway, you know, they needed to, um, work on their own and stand apart.

[00:18:53] There’s not several varietals within the Ian category. There’s not several varietals within Synchrony. [00:19:00] There’s, this is the only one, and this is the only one as well as the M five. There’s just one. So the challenge 

[00:19:07] diane: was how can, in bottle wise were you, I mean, how, how did you get good at knowing what bottles to do 

[00:19:16] Amy Linn: or?

[00:19:18] So the bottle shape is pretty much industry standard. Okay. Um, and so this particular one, this is a chardonnay, which is in a dark bottle, which is a little [00:19:30] more unusual, but the shape is very much a chardonnay shape. And I actually don’t remember off the top of my head what all of these bottle names are, but they all have, um, a particular name.

[00:19:42] So, you know, we didn’t change the bottle shape. For their redesign. But you can see these are the, um, the newly designed labels. Um, I kept this, um, little graphic here. You can see it up here. This is their logo. Um, you know, it was a [00:20:00] signifier, you know, something that people would recognize. And then part of their story is that, um, they actually, um, founded, um, some very, a very prestigious vineyard here in Napa.

[00:20:15] And in order to do that, they had to, um, blast away, uh, tons and tons of stone and laa rock and so on. And it’s hard to tell in these images, but there’s a stone pattern that’s a blind emboss that goes around [00:20:30] each one of these. So it really, um, drives home that stone idea and, you know, it’s part, a big part of their story.

[00:20:38] diane: That’s cool. So then in the, um, middle one, the white. 

[00:20:44] Amy Linn: Sauvignon Blanc. Yeah, Sauvignon Blanc. Is that, 

[00:20:46] diane: did you go with a, a frosted glass? 

[00:20:50] Amy Linn: No, it’s just the, the image that the company is. Okay, no worries. I just was, it’s still, it’s a clear glass. This is a closer [00:21:00] representation, but I think the color is a little off on it.

[00:21:04] But this is, um, it, it actually is clear and it has this, you know, beautiful, um, kind of diamond pattern in the bottom. And then the top is really interesting too. Yeah. It’s a very, very pretty bottle. That’s cool. And then, um, and then I wanted to show you the before and after for the Ian. This is, um, again, the blind.

[00:21:26] Can you blow it up a little bit? Yeah. 

[00:21:29] diane: Oh yeah. Yeah, [00:21:30] that’s 

[00:21:30] Amy Linn: better. So here’s the, um, the stone pattern, again, it’s blind, a boxed, it’s hard to see in this image. Um, and Ian is actually the time in the vineyard when the grapes go from green to red or to dark. Dark purple. And so that’s why it has this green to, to purple in the, um, in the label.

[00:21:51] But, um, you know, the idea was to, you know, show that it’s crept brothers and Crept brothers is still in there, [00:22:00] but variation becomes more important 

[00:22:03] diane: and it’s significantly different. Looks different, 

[00:22:06] Amy Linn: yeah. Still part of the same winery, but has its own, own look. And then here’s the synchrony. This also has a stone pattern in the background.

[00:22:19] And, um, you know, we just, this is a die cut coming off the top and this has, um, embossing in it and so on. And then, um, you know, so it’s [00:22:30] making it again look a little bit different than the rest of the line, 

[00:22:36] diane: which helps it to stand out and helps people to know which. Bottle goes to, which, which was really a problem in the whole brand earlier.

[00:22:46] Amy Linn: Exactly. And then now here’s their, their top tier. So this is, um, actually etched directly onto the bottle, the M five. And then this is a metal, uh, coin that we had produced in the uk, um, that is [00:23:00] glued to the bottle. So, you know, so those, it looks much more expensive. You know, it looks like it should be commanding a higher price tag 

[00:23:09] diane: and it looks different, but it still has that crus brothers.

[00:23:12] And, um, yeah, I’ve seen those little metals and as you were trying to get them to make them, and they had to be curved slightly so that they would go on and there was all these things that her love of print design really helped. But overall there is a significant difference in the whole [00:23:30] family. Uh, and all the tears where it’s easier to see.

[00:23:34] Um. Which one is which? The Synchrony stands out as its own because it is different, which I think as we are thinking about design systems, if there was something else in the M five line, you know, it would be etch. That would be one of the things. And it would, you know, maybe it Mm-hmm. It’s gonna be a letter and a number, but it’s gonna be at that [00:24:00] same sort of tier and then, but you’re, um, creating a packaging that will go together.

[00:24:07] I know that the corrupt brothers, they also have a line that has some with images, right? A another, yeah. 

[00:24:14] Amy Linn: They do have a whole character line. And, um, maybe when I stop the screen sharing, I can find those mm-Hmm. To show. Um, and, and then actually, here’s the whole line now. And you can see where the medallion, you know, is repeated [00:24:30] throughout.

[00:24:30] And then most of them have the stone pattern. Um. And the other thing I wanted to show you about the coin is that it has more detail and the, the brothers that are part of it actually, um, become more prominent. So, and there’s a lot of, um, sculptured. It’s not just a flat emboss, it’s sculptured embossed. So it’s actually really special.

[00:24:55] And I had, I wish I had a better image of it. Um, [00:25:00] and then here’s their, their motto, you know, born from stone and, and elegance. Nice. So that’s awesome. Um, okay. Yeah. I’m happy to look for those character labels if you wanna see those. Sure. It’s a whole nother grouping of wines that they sell and, um, I’m actually working on one for them within that line.

[00:25:23] That will be an export to Korea, South Korea. But again, 

[00:25:27] diane: thinking some of them already existed. These, the [00:25:30] characters you had to, if they’re creating a new, um. You know how many, I always think about, um, do you remember old commercials that were for insurance? Like they were, I don’t remember any of them because they were so boring.

[00:25:46] It was like, you know, you’re in good hands with Allstate or whatever. But now it’s like there’s flow and there’s the Gecko and there’s the, um, mayhem guy. Those are my favorite. And there’s tons. And I always think about you [00:26:00] don’t need something that if it would, wouldn’t have been good if whoever was doing the characters did winter, spring, summer, fall, because then you’re limited to four and it doesn’t have the life.

[00:26:10] It can’t have, you have to completely change everything if you decide to go. So there are. Sometimes there are limits to if you did something that was the 12 months, well that, that’s a limit. But if you do something like these character designs, what are things that, okay, if I’m looking at the whole, if I [00:26:30] was designing something and some of it already exists, this can be a frustration.

[00:26:36] It also can be a, a really good challenge. So instead of des um, wiping everything out, you kept the character designs that already were in existence. How do you decide, like what are things that you are pulling out as that design system for even like the M five, I don’t know if there, like you, there’s a M seven also.

[00:26:59] Is that kind of the [00:27:00] same tier as the M five? But it had label, it wasn’t etched in, 

[00:27:05] Amy Linn: correct? It is, it is just a label. Um. To work with the M five and it’s just to give them an option down the road. So I don’t know, you know, what their plans are exactly for this, but, um, it isn’t, I know it’s on their website and for sale right now.

[00:27:24] Um, there, it was basically, you know, kind of a trial to see how that would [00:27:30] work. But I think you have 

[00:27:30] diane: to decide, okay, well here’s at this top tier or this middle tier, this bottom tier, whatever number tier it is, what is gonna be the things that make this system a system, right? Yeah. Same thing with the characters.

[00:27:43] You have characters that already exist. You’re looking at all of them. This could be the other Amy designs, you know, characters for a hamburger place. Well what a, now they need a new character. Well, are you gonna wipe out all of them and redo all of them? Or is there something that connects all the characters [00:28:00] together?

[00:28:00] And it’s the same thing here. We have to look at it, see what the system is, and then how could you. Make a new thing in that system. Is that, is that, does that come easy to you? Is that how you worked when, when they said, Hey, we want you to work on the character line? 

[00:28:17] Amy Linn: So I would say, you know, at this point, it, it comes fairly easily, um, to me.

[00:28:23] But I think that when you’re, you know, for a new designer starting out, you’d want to, you know, try [00:28:30] to find something that is, um, special, that is repeatable, that is not, um, you know, that can be something that is memorable and even if it’s used in different ways and, um, you know, different techniques like, you know, for example, you know, the metal piece versus, you know, embossed and some, some are not embossed and maybe they’re not even foil, but, you know, just that repetition of that, you know, that logo.

[00:28:58] Um. And I do [00:29:00] wanna find the, the character labels, ’cause they are really, really neat. And there were, 

[00:29:04] diane: and they, there was How many before you started getting involved to work on that, that line? There’s 

[00:29:11] Amy Linn: actually probably, um, eight or nine character labels. So this is, 

[00:29:18] diane: this is hard. 

[00:29:18] Amy Linn: This is a lot. Here’s, here’s one I’ll just show you.

[00:29:22] Perfect. So that’s one of the characters. Oh, it’s really hard with the, um, so I’m doing one [00:29:30] to, um, to fit within this line. Um, that, so this one’s called the Water Witch. They also have the doctor, they have black Bart who was a, a character, you know, in the Napa Valley. They all have a story that goes with them and one of the brothers is named Bart and one of the, uh, brothers is a doctor.

[00:29:51] So, you know, it’s like, there’s lots of interesting things. Um, that’s cool. Ways that they all tie in and um, you know, so they [00:30:00] probably have, I don’t know, eight or 10 different characters and it just depends, you know, not all of ’em are necessarily bottled every year. Right. Um, it depends on, you know, the winemaker and you know, what grapes they have and which ones they think, um, you know, as they’re doing their blending and so on will fit, you know, which label.

[00:30:23] So anyway, it gives them options, you know. 

[00:30:26] diane: So when you were looking at it and they had eight or so in that Mm-Hmm. [00:30:30] Line, what were you? Or what if anybody, it doesn’t have to be just for the Crep brothers, but if anybody had something like that, what was something that you did to try to figure out the design system that already existed?

[00:30:43] Or maybe it was looser and you now have to like rein it in. What would you do? Because I think this is something that we have to deal with. Even if we’re not doing wine, we’re still working in systems. Mm-Hmm. Um, especially as we’re working with companies that are growing [00:31:00] because they end up having more products or more, um, areas that they need baby brands for or packaging for, but we need it to be clear to the consumer.

[00:31:11] Mm-Hmm. So what were some of the things you were able to hone in and look for to pick out a system work? What would you tell people to do to 

[00:31:19] Amy Linn: find that? Well, um, this particular one, there’s always the central character. And then there’s, um, a series of, um, small illustrations or icons that, um, in [00:31:30] reinforce the character’s story.

[00:31:33] Um, and then I would also stick within the same, you know, general color palette. Um, you know, it wouldn’t make sense to do something neon, you know, to go with all of these, for example. You know, so you just kind of, you know, and then, you know, when I’m, when I am designing, you know, I put things up and, and stand back and look, does it look like it fits within this system?

[00:31:56] You know? So, um, you know, placement on [00:32:00] the, on the label, you know, is generally the same, you know, and I think to most people looking at it, they might not notice a, a slight shift. So you can slightly shift, as you know, as the, um, designer working on it. You’ll notice it and maybe other, you know, somebody who’s like really studying might notice it.

[00:32:19] Generally to the consumers, they’ll recognize it as being part of that, you know, that winery and that system and oh, okay. There’s another, you know, character la [00:32:30] label from Kirk Brothers and I wanna try that one. So, um, you know, another um, system project that I did was actually a sign system for the city of Napa and it was to, um, you know, I needed to figure out a way to show each of the historic districts so that they would stand on their own but still be part of a system.

[00:32:55] And I, I didn’t grab any picture, any 

[00:32:57] diane: images. That was one of the ones you had sent me [00:33:00] for the promos, right? So, so if, if you’re thinking I go to my website, if you’re thinking about that, ’cause that is a, another good. So color-wise, I think you may have different colors, but they’re all kind of within I.

[00:33:12] It’s not like they’re all blues, but they all are, like, if you’re thinking about a color wheel, they’re all as far out on the color wheel as you would think, right? Like, they’re not, like, some are neon and some are really pastel. They’re, they’re in a system, I think within their even 

[00:33:29] Amy Linn: [00:33:30] color-wise. It actually depends on the project, you know?

[00:33:33] And frankly, it could make sense for something to be neon and something else to be, you know, super muted. It just depends on the project. And this particular one that I’m sharing now, this is the, the science system for the historic district. Um, 

[00:33:49] diane: did you do all those 

[00:33:50] Amy Linn: illustrations? Um, so this one, um, so this one in the background and this one in the background was, um, a [00:34:00] different illustrator.

[00:34:01] Someone who, um, you contracted an illustrator. Yes. Yeah. You know, I did everything in here and then, you know, created the, but like the map, 

[00:34:09] diane: you were drawing the map and things. Yeah, yeah, 

[00:34:13] Amy Linn: yeah. Um, I hire illustrators and calligraphers and photographers, you know, as needed. Um, you know, I love to, you know, people who are better at things than me, you know, and it’s like, I don’t know everything about everything.

[00:34:27] So, you know, I work with professionals [00:34:30] basically. Yeah. And if there’s budget, you know, we definitely would hire somebody to do, um, do something better than I could do it. And, and actually this is all very historic too, that, um, to that district, this is based on an image, um, a photograph, um, that’s in this background.

[00:34:48] And so this is actually, um, so for this particular system, this color changes per district, this icon changes per district, and then the background illustration changes per [00:35:00] district. And then I chose the colors based on when the districts were developed. So the, you know, the colors don’t necessarily work with each other, but they work within the era.

[00:35:10] So like this one is, uh, from the 1930s and more of a pinkish hue than these ones. Um, I think they work is a system developed in 1900. Yeah. I mean, but you know, you can see that it works as a system because, you know, the shape is the same. The, um, general idea of it is the same. And then [00:35:30] there’s, you know, the main icon that will change, uh, for each of the districts.

[00:35:35] Um, and then here’s a closeup one. So this medallion also is the logo, um, done in bronze. And this stays the same. So the, you know, this and this remain the same except for this color change. This color stays the same. Um, and then this image changes. 

[00:35:57] diane: Is it a, is that. [00:36:00] Sign metal and then it’s printed, or is it like a flag?

[00:36:04] Amy Linn: It is metal, and then they, um, apply a, um, a coating to it. These are three dimensional letters up here. And then this is the, the bronze, um, medallion that’s added to it. So yeah, 

[00:36:18] diane: they’re, they’re metal. It’s definitely more than just wine labels. Yeah. Yeah. So is that in the ground 

[00:36:25] Amy Linn: and, yeah, this is, um, bronze, a bronze marker in the ground.

[00:36:29] And then we [00:36:30] had to pour concrete, so I created a little, um, stamp. It’s hard. It was still wet, so it’s hard to see what the stamp is there, but Oh, cool. Uh, here’s the, um, you know what the graphic is that gets stamped on all of ’em. And this was just a pilot project, you know, so we only did the one, um, one district.

[00:36:51] Um, and this is an example of, you know, how they might, um, award a historic building Yeah. With this as, you know, a, a medallion. And they [00:37:00] didn’t say that they wanted, that, they didn’t say that they wanted the, the things in the sidewalk. I just presented all of that idea, you know, they just wanted a sign, but it didn’t really make sense to have one sign.

[00:37:11] It really needed to be a system. Yeah. And so I presented it that way and, um, actually had to present it to the, to city council and which, you know, me, I don’t like speaking in public, so that was huge, but, um, but rewarding still. Yeah. And then here’s an [00:37:30] example of one, you know, hopefully it will be installed in the future, but, um, you know, and then here’s all the districts by their color.

[00:37:38] diane: Yeah, yeah, 

[00:37:40] Amy Linn: yeah, yeah. That’s cool. Anyway, that was a really fun project. 

[00:37:45] diane: So in. That would not be, um, what I would, if you said you did packaging wine and spirits, I wouldn’t have thought that. But you are in Napa Valley where you, there are [00:38:00] other opportunities and sometimes we have to just get involved. And I know that’s something that you are very involved in in your, um, just local area and knowing people and getting to know people.

[00:38:13] Um, they may not think that this is something they need, but that could be where your expertise says, Hey, have you all thought about doing this? Could I present some options? How, how much of stuff like that is what you’ve had to do in just [00:38:30] being a solopreneur and trying to see where. People could elevate the city or elevate other things by, because I don’t think, some people know, they don’t think anything about it, but then you do it and you’re like, whoa.

[00:38:44] They now they’re like, wow, we could definitely be a lot, um, better. But how often do you think we need to be as designers just kind of pushing ourselves to do some of that? 

[00:38:59] Amy Linn: [00:39:00] Well, I think that it’s actually rewarding, you know, as a designer to do, to do that sort of thing. So I think if, if you see something that could be improved and you wanna take it on as a, um, you know, either pro bono, which I’ve done for, you know, for schools or for a music festival that I work on and things like that, um, you know, they need the help.

[00:39:25] And I see, you know, it’s something that I can do. [00:39:30] To help, to help out, but also something I want to do that it’s a good fit. Um, you know, if I was just starting out and I had, you know, an idea for like the sign program, um, I mean, I, I was hired for that. So it’s not, that wasn’t done pro bono, but, um, if there was something like that, um, I think, you know, you could create a whole system and then present it, you know, to somebody or just even put it in your portfolio as a, um, [00:40:00] like a passion project.

[00:40:01] Um, I forget the what wording you would use, but, you know, let ’em know that it didn’t actually get built. But if this is something that, you know, you could do, 

[00:40:12] diane: um, yeah. But even like your work with Porch Fest, like you Mm-Hmm. Worked with Porch Vest. Uh, you can explain to them what Porch Fest is. You’ve worked with them for many years and you could’ve just done the bare minimum, like you could’ve, but you went, you use this as a, uh.

[00:40:29] A [00:40:30] tool stretching thing because it also helps you in thinking of, you’re really good at thinking in systems and thinking how things go. So in that, um, explain what Porch Fest is so that I don’t butcher it. 

[00:40:44] Amy Linn: So, porch Fest is a, um, small community music festival. So the idea is that, um, local musicians play on local porches and we do it here in our historic, um, [00:41:00] neighborhoods.

[00:41:00] And I think, you know, and it’s actually a international, um, thing now, you know, Porchfest started in Ithaca, New York and then in Napa, um, we started like 11 or 12 years ago. So we were the first one west of the Mississippi. But, um, that’s cool. You know, it’s grown into this really big music festival, but it’s for free to, for people to attend.

[00:41:23] We don’t advertise because we’re not trying to get. Outside people to [00:41:30] come. And we’re a, um, a big tourist destination as it is being in Napa Valley wine country. Um, and so we don’t wanna say, you know, Hey, everybody from everywhere else come to our town for this. This is really like for the locals, you know, put on by locals and it’s all volunteers.

[00:41:49] Nobody gets paid for it. Um, 

[00:41:51] diane: but sometimes if somebody was just starting out or they, um, were just wanting to get involved in something, but they wanted to try [00:42:00] out, I think that this has been a place for you to experiment and for you to try different things. And I think you got involved and said, Hey, I’m gonna try this.

[00:42:09] That’s where the reins are kind of off, because they’re just happy for you to be doing anything. But I think if we’re trying out new things, I think, uh, doing something locally or for a nonprofit or for something like go try it out. For 

[00:42:26] Amy Linn: somebody. Yeah. And actually, so [00:42:30] that was the case with, um, social media.

[00:42:32] I’d never done social media or, um, newsletter blasts. So I’ve been doing that for, for porchfest. Um, you know, I How many years? Um, I’ve done five years now. It’s a lot of years. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. But I completely revamped, you know, all of their graphics, you know, built a new website, you know, brought a store online and, um, you know, we sell t-shirts.

[00:42:57] So, I mean, designing a t-shirt’s, [00:43:00] nothing new, but, you know, trying to put it out there, you know, to, um, to appeal to a huge range of people. ’cause we get, you know, from babies to people in their eighties coming to this event. So how can we sell the most t-shirts, you know, that type of thing. That’s how we, um, pay to put on porch vests is through t-shirt sales or donations, but.

[00:43:23] Um, so yeah, there’s been an opportunity to try lots of different things and just, you know, [00:43:30] taking the initiative and, you know, well, I think that, you know, they could really use this. Let me give it a try. You know, it’s like the first one might not be so great, but then, you know, you try it again and you get better.

[00:43:42] And then pretty soon you’re like, okay, well this is something I could actually offer as a service because I have enough experience. And 

[00:43:49] diane: you realize that, or you either say, Hey, I don’t wanna offer this as a service, right? Yeah. It could be like, oh, I definitely don’t wanna do that. I’ve tried it and you’ve given it, you know, it’s not maybe [00:44:00] just once you’ve tried it, but you’ve tried it multiple times and like, I can do it.

[00:44:04] It’s just not my, it’s not where my, um, my best work is, or my zone of genius. So I have to ask you this ’cause of all these brand things, or even porchfest thinking about all these things, all the things for the Krupp Brothers or all the different wineries that you work with and the labels that you’re designing.

[00:44:23] Do you just have a great memory. Um, how do you keep everything straight and what, uh, do you [00:44:30] have any hacks 

[00:44:30] Amy Linn: for us? Okay, well, I have a terrible memory. Um, but my biggest, um, biggest help is I am a notion, um, I don’t know, devotee, I guess I could say. And actually I did, um, pull together, you know, a few images of how I work in notion, um, and I can show you the, the cru, um, please crop stuff [00:45:00] in notion.

[00:45:01] So what I do is I’ll start with a, um. A client and create a, um, just a page that’s just for them. And within that page I’ll have, you know, I keep all of my, um, uh, meeting notes, you know, correspondence, um, creative brief, any documents. I actually, um, have developed a timekeeping system, you know, that [00:45:30] also attaches to a job I create, you know, I have a database of job numbers and project numbers and things like that.

[00:45:37] So, but it’s all in notion. 

[00:45:39] diane: Are you taking notes during a client call on your computer or are you taking notes on paper and then transcribing it 

[00:45:46] Amy Linn: later? I do it on paper and then put it into, um, my database. And it’s actually a way, you know, I’ve always worked better that way. You know, it’s kind of a way to reinforce what I just heard [00:46:00] and then I can add more information when I’m actually typing it in.

[00:46:03] I try not to let too much time go between. When I write it down and then when I put it in, into my system. Um, but I can always, you know, like, you know, do screenshots or, you know, add in a, a webpage or things like that, that help to, um, convey what I need to within my system. But, you know, just, this is, for example, the production information for, um, for [00:46:30] Corrupt Brothers.

[00:46:30] And in fact, you can see a couple of the, a few of the character labels here. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So here’s the bride, the doctor, water Witch, the Wheelman, here’s the doctor again, the professor. And there’s actually a whole lot more. I just, I haven’t updated it all. Mm-Hmm. But the same, um, database you can look at in a different way.

[00:46:50] So this is, you know, these are the images, but the same database. You can see how many, this is just for production, but I put, you know, [00:47:00] um, where it is within the, um. Scheduling, you know, timeline. So if it’s, um, you know, every wine label has to get approved by the government. So, you know, once it’s been approved, I check off the box.

[00:47:15] Once it’s been approved by a client, I check off the box here. Here’s the name, the vintage date, the alcohol, which bottle we used, um, you know, how many were printed, the size, and then the varietal. All of [00:47:30] that kind of information. When did 

[00:47:31] diane: you start? ’cause Megan just said, I wanna start using Notion more.

[00:47:35] Me too. Me too Megan. So when did you start using it and how, this is probably a whole nother episode and I’m pretty sure we’ve talked about, I think I’ve talked to Paul and you both about how y’all use Notion and it’s so different. But like, how has this kind of revolutionized the way that you’re able to work by using this tool?

[00:47:57] Amy Linn: Well, for me it’s huge because I used to have, [00:48:00] you know. I mean, I still technically have Evernote. I just never use it, you know, and I had, you know, all my emails and I would save PDFs, and so they’re, you know, um, I can now upload PDFs to Notions, so I can still save the PDF. So it’s on my hard drive, but it’s also within my Notion database, um, or in, in my notion in the program or what have you.

[00:48:24] Um, it, it’s just, for me, it’s huge because everything is in one spot [00:48:30] and, um, I don’t feel so scattered. 

[00:48:32] diane: And you can have it on your phone. It’s on in multiple tablets. Once you update it, you don’t have to update it in multiple places. It’s everywhere. So Jeremy Kennedy had a question. He says, is it ever a challenge to work with competing wineries and do any of them pay extra for exclusivity?

[00:48:52] Which I think could be an issue. 

[00:48:55] Amy Linn: I would say no, it’s not hard to, you know, it’s not a thing to [00:49:00] have to, you know, work with competing wineries. There are so many wineries, but they all have their own brand. And I think, you know, a lot of it is just building trust. Mm-Hmm. You know, so I have, you know, um, built a lot of trust with my clients and they, um, you know, for me, I just compartmentalize.

[00:49:18] It’s like, okay, this is what’s best for this client. And then I’m in a completely different head space and I even play different music if I’m working with a different, um, you know, on a different project. Um, and, [00:49:30] you know, every decision I make is for that particular winery. Um, so I don’t, you know, and there’s only so many designers that specialize in wine packaging.

[00:49:41] I mean, there’s a lot, but there’s, it’s still a finite amount at this point. I. So, um, you know, I think, I think the biggest thing there is trust. What, um, what was 

[00:49:51] diane: the other question? It, it was about exclusivity. What, so what if someone did say, Hey, we know that you also do [00:50:00] so and so. Mm-Hmm. But we, uh, we don’t want to compete with somebody else that’s in maybe the same region they want Mm-Hmm.

[00:50:09] You could work with somebody in San Francisco, but not somebody else in Napa or something. So for exclusivity rights, I mean, I think that this is something that, um, people might have to deal with if it was, if you were doing stuff for bands and they didn’t want you to do it for anybody else, they just wanted, especially if your work was [00:50:30] very, um, I it illustrative and it was had a specific style and they wanted that style for them only.

[00:50:39] What would you say? I know that it’s not something you’ve had to do, uh, but what. What would you say to somebody or if they asked you to do something like that? 

[00:50:48] Amy Linn: Well, I think it wouldn’t be practical for my business because it’s, it’s really my specialty. I would be, I mean, what else would I Right do? Um, but I think that, [00:51:00] you know, I, I think it’s a really big ask and if you are willing to, um, consider that as a, um, designer or illustrator, then, you know, you need to be paid appropriately.

[00:51:13] It’s more 

[00:51:14] diane: like working in-house in a way, right? Yeah. Mm-Hmm. Um, I know that I had totally not the same, but it was in California. I had two clients that were, uh, retirement residences and they were like, one was in Cupertino and one was in a [00:51:30] neighboring, which is all kind of like near San Francisco, but they were within 10 minutes away from each other.

[00:51:36] And, um. They didn’t ask for exclusivity. They, I don’t know if they even noticed that I was doing it for someone else, but it would look totally different. It wasn’t the same. Yeah. It, it, it’s not gonna be the same. It’s a different, um, because they’re a different company. We’re gonna tell their story. I. I’m, I’m a good enough designer.

[00:51:57] You’re a good enough designer that we’re not, [00:52:00] we don’t just have this one hit that we’re gonna design and it’s gonna look the same. Yeah. And I think that is exactly what you said. It’s trust, but it’s over time how you can show what you’ve been able to do and how you’ve been able to work them differently and how things look differently.

[00:52:15] Everything you design doesn’t look the same. Right. And I think that that gives, that helps you to build the trust. But do you have that in your portfolio or is everything in your portfolio looking the same? Then people I can understand where a client might say, [00:52:30] Hey, looks like everything you do looks like A, I need something that looks like B, I really like you, I want you to work with me, but are you gonna be able to do something in style, another style.

[00:52:40] Mm-Hmm. Um, and I think that that’s where you, I think we have to be able to prove that we can work. Um, I. The, we have to have the depth. You have the depth for sure. But then we also have to have different styles that we can lean into for different things. Just even with the Krebs brothers and [00:53:00] the, the character designs to the M five, to the lowest here.

[00:53:05] I mean, those are very different. 

[00:53:08] Amy Linn: Yeah. And I think, you know, like if I was an illustrator, if I wanted to do the same look and really be known for that, then that’s what I would show. But if I really wanted to, you know, and I think it limits you on how much you can be hired and, and you, it can be dated at a certain time too.

[00:53:27] So, you know, if I were an [00:53:30] illustrator, I would want to do lots of different types of design or, you know, illustrations. I mean, do them really well. But show that you can do a wide variety. And if I was an illustrator once again, I would. Maybe show my illustrations in different ways. So maybe it’s on a T-shirt, but then maybe it’s on a package, you know?

[00:53:50] I mean, you are gonna get paid more generally for someone who’s gonna hire you to illustrate a package versus a T-shirt, you know? But you can show it in, [00:54:00] in different ways on a mural, you know, and things like that. And, um, you know, I mean, it could be the same illustration in lots of different ways, but then use a different type of illustration in a different way.

[00:54:13] So, so 

[00:54:13] diane: Jeremy’s got another question. You’re doing great, Jeremy, on the questions. Mm-Hmm. So he says question number two, and he said, great answers or question number one. Mm-Hmm. So since the M five and the M, so the M five slash M seven etching has no product details, how do you get approval [00:54:30] from the government since the bottle doesn’t say what’s inside Now?

[00:54:33] I know Jeremy, I couldn’t see the back of the bottle, so I, I know that I, 

[00:54:37] Amy Linn: how, how do you, I think that’s, it’s a great question and I will show you. Actually I have it here. Great question. Good job, 

[00:54:45] diane: Jeremy. I’m glad that’s so, Jeremy said in the chat, he said, ha ha. Thanks. I feel like I’m there too. That’s exactly why I do these live.

[00:54:54] So if anybody’s watching on YouTube, yeah. I want you to feel like you’re here. Um, I know everybody [00:55:00] over there in the chat. I have met either we’ve, Brian Bundy is, I think you’re the, but I’ve sent stuff to your house so I know I could get to you if I needed to. I mean, I’m not a stalker or anything buddy, but, uh, but the thing is, is that’s it.

[00:55:12] This is for us and that’s why I do creatives ignite like this because the community aspect is really important and I wanted somewhere where I could learn and I could ask questions. So please. I love it. Jeremy, keep the questions coming and anybody else. Alright, 

[00:55:29] Amy Linn: Amy, [00:55:30] it, it’s a very good question. So it used to be, well, let me just say that, um, this is what we considered to be the front of the bottle.

[00:55:39] And it used to be that you had to, um, you know, so legally all of this information has to be within a certain distance of each other. Not, not this, this is like the government warning, but, um, the varietal, so the name of the winery and then the varietal and the Appalachian, which is where [00:56:00] the grapes were grown.

[00:56:01] They all have to be within a certain, um, distance of each other without anything in between. And there’s a lot of reflection 

[00:56:08] diane: on there. Yeah, that’s okay. Yeah. We see it. Yeah. 

[00:56:09] Amy Linn: So anyway, it’s all on the back now, so, you know, at a store, not that this will ever be in a store, but if it were in a store, um, rather than have the, the back, which is still pretty, um, facing outwards, it would be this.

[00:56:26] And so somebody would pick it up and then see all the information. [00:56:30] So 

[00:56:30] diane: is, is the back also etched or is that screen. 

[00:56:35] Amy Linn: Uh, actually, you know what I said etch, but this is screen printed. I 

[00:56:39] diane: remember when we were talking about when this was being built, I think I was like, yeah. Oh, anyway, so, but e even the back is screen printed also, or is it a label?

[00:56:47] Yes, it 

[00:56:48] Amy Linn: is screen printed. Yeah. 

[00:56:50] diane: So one thing, and this is tiny, but this is why I know I don’t do packaging, because sometimes in all bottles are like this. They have different [00:57:00] wits and then they come in and if you don’t design it to be wider or you know, it looks, it doesn’t go down correctly. Right. How did you learn that if you didn’t take the packaging class in college?

[00:57:13] Um, was that in your internship? Has that just been, is it trial and error? You take a bottle and you try to put your, your thing on it and it doesn’t work, and then you figure it out. Like, I. How have you learned that? 

[00:57:27] Amy Linn: Well, I would say that, you know, I, [00:57:30] from when I originally started working as an intern, you know, I probably at that point was working on bottles that were tapered, is what it’s called.

[00:57:39] So, and this is a, a tapered bottle where it’s wider Mm-Hmm. At the shoulder of the bottle than at the base of the bottle. And so if there’s a paper label and you just print out a, you know, square paper label and you put it on there, it looks crooked. So trial and error, you would just, you know, eliminate millimeter by millimeter until it [00:58:00] looks vertical and there’s actually a seam on the bottle, um, on both sides.

[00:58:04] It goes up and down. So I, I do it, I actually measure from the paper to the seam, you know, top and bottom, to make sure it’s the same when it gets to production time, you know, you have to get that precise it, you know, it just has to be perfect when it goes to print. ’cause you can’t, you know, different than.

[00:58:24] Things that are online where they can be changed, you know, tweaked a little bit here or there. Print, you have [00:58:30] that one chance. So anyway, it has to be perfect when it goes to the printer. 

[00:58:34] diane: And I know one thing that I’ve seen you do, and I know we’re outta time, but you have gone while they were labeling, while they were, and you’ve taken pictures and you have some of those, I’ve seen some of those on social media for you or maybe you might put those on, um, your website.

[00:58:52] How do you decide and how do you get, I know there’s trust obviously with different your, your people, but how do [00:59:00] you say, Hey, can I come and take some pictures during the labeling? Do you put it on their website also? Are you, you know, how do you get the in to do some of that stuff? Because that is really cool and it makes it a lot neater.

[00:59:16] Amy Linn: Mm-Hmm. Um, actually I should post more. You know, I do have some of that. Video and so on. And I need to, you know, thanks for the reminder. But, um, they are really cool. Amy, I’ll, I will, [00:59:30] um, connect with the printer and I’m very involved with the print and production, um, portion of whatever it is that I’m doing, whether it’s the metal fabrication or, um, you know, and I talked to printers before it, it actually, um, is ready to be sent to make sure that everything that I’m, that I want it to look like is doable.

[00:59:50] So sometimes things have to be adjusted or, you know, or they’ll say, well, they’ll have suggestions for me, different papers that, you know, can hold a better emboss and things like that. [01:00:00] So I work closely with them. And then when it comes time for actual production, you know, some printers don’t want to have anybody there, but you know, as a new designer, you know, on a new project, I think they’re much more open to, um, having somebody, you know, with a brand new label come and make sure the colors are right and things like that.

[01:00:20] So, um, it’s just about, you know, creating a relationship with the manufacturer, whether it’s the, you know, screen print etching or, [01:00:30] um, printer. Um, yeah. And asking and the 

[01:00:32] diane: embossing too, right? Mm-Hmm. Like you had with those rocks there were, um, sometimes they will push, but a good printer is gonna be like, okay, let’s try it.

[01:00:42] I don’t know. Mm-Hmm. If this will do it, let’s try it. And it’s about finding like, when were they, what would be a good question? If you were hunting for a new printer, um, and you didn’t really, maybe you didn’t know exactly what you were gonna be doing, what kind of questions would you ask to see because you are pushing them to be a better [01:01:00] quality.

[01:01:00] Mm-Hmm. Do different things that they haven’t done. How do you, how do you vet out printers for something like that? 

[01:01:07] Amy Linn: Actually, a lot of it comes from just them sending samples. You know, I always ask for samples and, and they’re usually very happy to send samples. ’cause of course they want new customers. Um, but I, you know, and I’ll tell them, you know, I’ve, I have con contacted lower end printers, and I think this is, um, it’s hard for me to go to [01:01:30] like direct mail design.

[01:01:32] Right. The 

[01:01:32] diane: Vista Print. Yeah. This show brought to you by Vista Print. I’m just 

[01:01:36] Amy Linn: kidding. Yeah. You know, and where I’ve done such high end printing, you know, so my standards are maybe unreasonable or, you know, right, 

[01:01:46] diane: right, right. In that we have higher standards. 

[01:01:49] Amy Linn: Yeah. I, you know, um, but anyway, you know, I get print samples and then, you know, we’ll talk on the phone and, you know, you can tell just even like through email and things like that, how [01:02:00] responsive are they, you know?

[01:02:02] To even you reaching out the first time and things like that. I mean, 

[01:02:05] diane: even that medallion, you had to go to the UK to have it done. So you were having to search, you had to find someone who was willing to try because it was gonna be small, it needed to be curved. Mm-Hmm. And it also had embossing in it. Um, so like some of that is gonna be, they send you test samples and then you have to be, which me and you both are really people pleasers, [01:02:30] but you can really like, hold your own on this.

[01:02:32] You’re like, it’s not good enough. Mm-Hmm. And so how did you develop, this will be maybe my last question, but how did you develop that? Um, did being a mom and advocating for your kids standing up, like what were some of the things that helped you to grow that? Um, I don’t know. Like, you’re not gonna, I’m, I don’t wanna, um.

[01:02:57] Amy Linn: Sometimes we think I are too nice. 

[01:02:58] diane: I think understand your question. Okay. You [01:03:00] answered then. I 

[01:03:00] Amy Linn: think, I think the biggest, you know, key there is just know, you know, to pick your battles. Mm-Hmm. Sometimes, you know, it’s not a critical thing. Um, and other times it’s just absolutely critical. And I think like, uh, with a new project, it needs to be right the first time so that when they go to duplicate it, you know, you’re not involved at that point because they should have, have it all dialed in.

[01:03:27] Right. So, [01:03:30] um, you know, and just clear communication. This, you know, and I try to send pictures. I try to, you know, I draw things out or, um, you know, photographs or, you know, whatever it is that might help to convey what I’m trying to achieve. You know, this is what I’m, um, trying to get to and how can you know, can you help me achieve this?

[01:03:53] Um, I love that. And then if it’s not quite right. Just say, well, it’s, you know, it’s not quite right. Can we try x? [01:04:00] And I, I try actually not to tell them specifically what to do, but more what my, the goal is because they might know how to get there better than I could tell them to get there. Right. Because that’s not your specialty.

[01:04:13] It’s not like add more red because you know, just, you know, that it needs to be closer to this color and then they might know that, oh, it’s actually adding more blue and whatever, you know? Right, right. 

[01:04:25] diane: So that’s great. That’s great. Um, so what’s next for you? And [01:04:30] then I’m gonna share your links. 

[01:04:32] Amy Linn: Um, so what’s next for me is, um, there’s actually a brandy label that’s in the works and will be, um, it’s been approved, it’s gonna be going to print soon.

[01:04:42] I just need to do the final, final art for that. And then, like I mentioned, the um, label that’s be exported to South Korea, so those are both in the works. So is that like a white label? Uh, are 

[01:04:55] diane: there white 

[01:04:55] Amy Linn: label? No, it’s still, it’s still Prep Brothers. Okay. Mm-Hmm. And, um, but it’s, [01:05:00] they just wanted, um, a specific character.

[01:05:03] So, and I don’t know that it’s gonna be one of the same wines that’s already bottled or a different wine blend. You know, I, I don’t know that information other than to know, um, you know, the information that they’ve given me to put on the label, you know, alcohol percentage and stuff like that. Yeah. 

[01:05:20] diane: And I think alcohol for Brandy and, um, the facts for like, uh, Coca-Cola or whatever are different in [01:05:30] and to wine are different in every country, so you Mm-Hmm.

[01:05:33] Have to be up on where those are. On each government site, I guess, right? Yeah. If it’s going to, which is a whole nother thing. Again, thank goodness for notion, you can keep all that stuff where you got that stuff there. 

[01:05:48] Amy Linn: Well, and things are constantly changing too. So I just go directly to the um, US government website for, you know, legal requirements on, you know, type sizes and things like that.[01:06:00] 

[01:06:00] Um, and for exports, um, if I can’t find the information, I’ll find an expert who will have that information. They’re actually compliance experts within the, um, alcohol industry. That’s like their whole job. It’s just compliance, you know? ’cause it is a, a big job not just for labeling, but for other things as well.

[01:06:22] diane: Right. That’s awesome. Alright, well you guys can find her at Lynn LINN design [01:06:30] studio. and on Instagram, Lynn, LINN, design studio. Design Studio. And then just for the rest of the, um, the month, which is, I know only a day, but if you were late and you didn’t get to do Imagine Number, you could do Imagine Number in a day.

[01:06:51] It’s, uh, it’s fun. And I’m gonna be compiling a whole bunch of, um, uh, images and asking [01:07:00] people, uh, to come on early in the new year of just for the Imagine Number. And if you want to do Imagine Number with me, you can just go to creatives number slash or dash a dash 2 0 2 3. If you just do Imagine Number, it’ll come up as well.

[01:07:18] And then we’re still trying to, uh, raise money for, uh, Julie Reed, who is in her second round of cancer, and we just wanna beat it. And so if you wanna help, [01:07:30] uh, doc and Julie raise some money. And they have four little girls. And, um, so if you’re saving the tatas again, um, you can go to FI don’t know why it’s an F, but save Hyen the Hyen, TA hyphen TA sen again.

[01:07:49] And um, we’ve, uh, they’ve done great at raising some money. This, uh, we started helping them out doing that each, uh, each week. And I just love [01:08:00] Doc, so, and I love Julie, so I’m just happy to share that. And if you have extra funds this Christmas and you wanna share it, that would be awesome. Um, thank you Amy, so much for being here.

[01:08:13] You’re welcome. You did awesome. And it was so I always learn new things. Jeremy. Way to go asking all the questions, buddy. Um, I think it is, it’s, um. It’s fun to learn and it’s fun to think about things in new ways. I love the way your [01:08:30] brain thinks about the whole uh, system, but I also love that you use Notion and we’ll have you back on, um, to do something with Notion.

[01:08:39] And Paul’s gonna have to do something as well, so, and probably will as well. ’cause y’all three, y’all all three use it in different ways and it, I think it would help me, um, maybe we’ll do a workshop, something, I don’t know. We’re gonna do something y’all. We’ll just have to say. Yes. So, um, thank you. Thank you Amy.

[01:08:57] And just thanks for sharing and just so everybody else [01:09:00] knows, we have one more show. Um, it’ll be next week for the year, and then I am just gonna work on some other videos during the month of December. Um, and then we’ll start back in January. So one more show. Sorry. It’s been kind of, um. Uh, I don’t know, flighty a little bit, but, uh, my computer died and it got hit by lightning, and so I get a new computer.

[01:09:26] Oh, and here’s the, I was gonna share this. Um, I [01:09:30] don’t know Amy, I didn’t know this and I should have been asking my computer guy all these years. So I go to the Apple guy in, in, in Mobile. We don’t have an Apple store, so I just went to the guy, it’s called the computer store. The computer store. And I can’t remember if the guy’s name Richard or David.

[01:09:46] I used to call him Richard, and somebody else called him David. So now I don’t call him anything, so I’m like, I know it’s one of them, but I can’t remember. Maybe he’s changed his name, I don’t know. But it’s one of those two. But I don’t say anything and he never says, Hey, it’s Richard from the computer store.

[01:09:59] He’s like, [01:10:00] Hey Diane. He just starts talking to me. So anyway, um, but so the lightning, uh, blew out this thing, uh, one of my ports and uh, I was just gonna get the port fixed and it is time to get a new computer and some, I just have a laptop. Some people have laptops. So I was like, okay, well how, uh, ’cause I give my old computer to my husband and so I need this computer still to work.

[01:10:25] And he said, oh, well it’ll be about a thousand dollars, but you’ll get an extra [01:10:30] terabyte. And I was like, well, how long is this computer gonna last? He’s like, uh, four or five years. And I was like, so it’s like me getting a new computer for only a thousand dollars instead of $4,500, which I bought last time.

[01:10:41] And I said, could I have been doing this all along? And he’s like, yes, you could have just been upgrading your box, you know, like take the stuff out and put new stuff in. Anyway, so he said, I said, well, how old can you go? And he’s like, well, uh, but you have a 2000. I said, I had a 2014 um, [01:11:00] machine that’s the one John uses at home.

[01:11:02] And he said, okay, well we can upgrade that for $95. It’ll last John for another five years. Now granted, John only really uses the internet, but anyway, I think that that is, I didn’t know, and maybe I’m just an idiot and I just didn’t know. But I mean, that’s a lot of money. $3,500 at least I’m saving by, just go to your computer or call my guy Richard, or, or David.

[01:11:28] I don’t know what his name, whatever his [01:11:30] name is. But I can give you the name of the thing, but that would be worth it to me, um, just to be taking the guts and pulling him out. So hopefully this week, I’m, I feel like I’m on borrowed time, uh, every time I’m using my computer, but hopefully I’ll get it, uh, a new insides soon.

[01:11:49] Hopefully this week. I already paid for it. Maybe, uh, Richard David’s, uh, out with my thousand dollars, but I don’t think so. He’s, he’s pretty reliable guy. Anyway, the end. [01:12:00] Did you know, can I say one more thing please? We are still 

[01:12:03] Amy Linn: recording. Okay. Um, just if, uh, I’m always hiring illustrators and, um, calligraphers photographers and, um, and actually I’m interested in hiring somebody to do some motion, um, but also, you know, junior and more senior level designers.

[01:12:20] So, um, ’cause sometimes I just can’t do it all. So please contact me if you’re interested. And, um, what would be the 

[01:12:27] diane: best way they could contact you? [01:12:30] 

[01:12:30] Amy Linn: Um, they can just actually email me directly. 

[01:12:34] diane: And then these, do these people need to be in Napa or are you willing to work with them remotely? 

[01:12:41] Amy Linn: I can work with someone remotely for sure.

[01:12:44] Um, a junior designer is better if they’re here in Napa, but, um, it just kind of depends on what it is. So if you’re, there’s a lot of potential there, then I’m willing to work with you. Yeah. 

[01:12:58] diane: That’s awesome. Well Amy, yeah, [01:13:00] thank you. Thank you. See, there’s always good stuff at the end. You gotta stay to the end.

[01:13:03] Thanks for everybody coming and I hope you guys had a good Thanksgiving AM Maya, I hope you had a good Thursday last last week ’cause you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving ’cause she’s in Norway. I don’t think they have Thanksgiving. Maybe every day’s Thanksgiving. I don’t know. I think everybody else is in America.

[01:13:18] So, um, but I will see you guys next week and I hope you have a great week. And Amy, I.[01:13:30] 

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