When I quit drinking several years ago, I started making my own shrubs—traditional vinegar-and-sugar-based flavoring syrups. Next thing you know, I'm at farmers markets. Next thing you know, I'm on Amazon. I ended up folding the endeavor, but it was fun, and the design work (by Todd Hauswirth, with illustrations from Eric Hanson) was exceptional. I did all the writing, obviously, including the Amazon listings, optimized to maximize hits and sales. I also got to play the part of an alter ego, Phil the Shrubber, who was fond of fedoras and often nonsensical stream-of-consciousness sales spiels.
As my wife likes to point out, leave it to a guy to put his face, his last name AND his first name on his damn label.
My designer, Todd Hauswirth, told me that he was trying this laurel-leaf portrait logo thing that just called out for a stupid Latin phrase. I had a hard character limit, so it actually took awhile, but I finally google-translated my way to "Stultus In Bonum," which started out in English as, roughly, "The right kind of stupid," and when back-translated from Latin came out as "Fool For Good." Ding ding ding ding!!!!
Creating these Instagram posts was easily my favorite thing about Calvit's Shrubs. I did hundreds of them, promoting farmers market appearances, drink recipes, promotions, and just general snarkery. Here's a selection.