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!!!!
I sent my friend Eric Hanson three selfies as references for the logo illustration. When he sent back three different sketches, I knew a moving logo was in my future. I ran it by legal (meaning, myself) and legal said, Go for it! It's been perched atop the website ever since.
Creating these Instagram posts was probably 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.