Inspiration Wednesday: Concepting Process and Food Adventure

For most of my design projects, I put together mood boards that evoke the why, the what, and the inspiration for my concepts that influence my designs. Typically, my mood boards are a collage of photos assembled in Photoshop. For one of my newest projects, to design a label and hang tag for an existing product (or make up a new one), we have to put together a different kind of inspiration board, this time a concept board that has physical pieces, objects, ephemera tacked onto a foam board. We have to include color swatches (for a 3-color job), typography, descriptive words, and more. It’s a nice way to build a personality or write a story for a brand that will direct your design.

wine bottle labels

Part of my research included checking out the labels and packaging at a local few stores I’ve either never been to, or don’t go to very often.

quince & apple jar label

One of the first places I visited was Fromagination, a local artisan cheese shop in our downtown neighborhood, right across the street from our state capitol building. They have an amazing selection of specialty cheese and other unique small-batch foods.

cheese at Fromagination

Our famous farmers market goes past this shop, but I’ve never been inside. It was a great place to go for unique labels and simple, urban, gourmet packaging ideas. It was also a great place to sample a wide variety of cheeses.

The next place I went to was Whole Foods.

Parmesan cheese at Whole Foods

I appreciate buying organic and vegetarian, but I can only afford to go there for specialty items once in awhile. This time around, it was fun to see them chop up their huge Parmesan cheese wheels. I couldn’t resist bringing home a variety olives.

olive bar at Whole Foods

It was another great place to go for unique, non-mainstream packaging inspiration.

Lemon Curd jar label

Finally, I went to another local place called Brennan’s Market, a great place to go for cheese, produce, micro wine and micro beer.

Brennans Jam Labels

I was mainly looking for labels with looked urban, modern, simple and type-dominant. It was a great food adventure, and I found a great selection to help guide me in my own designs. Thanks for stopping by!



  • So fun looking at the labels. I adore the ones at the top. And on the quince and apple, I like the font that looks like the printing has been done by hand. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

    • Thanks Cindy! I was specifically looking for simple, clean looking labels with nice type, rather than bold colors and illustrations, something different for me. I will have to share my inspiration board, and my final label designs when I’m done with the project.

  • I love those wine bottle labels – I would be drawn to those because of the colours and design. What a fun project to work on.

  • Nice labels, the jars, lids, and colors all look great together.

  • I’m drooling over the olives:) Love them! The wine labels are my favorites…so colorful.

  • Hello Terri,

    Wow that was a tough job, but someone has to do it!!! I love shopping for home produce like this, the cheese looks so yummy. Hope you got lots of ideas. I remember reading a book about advertising years ago and the colours people notice in advertising are red black and white, I think Coke was onto something with theirs.

    Have a great day.

  • What a great way to get ideas! Very inspirational shops, and the labels you chose too! It’s fun to go to those shops, even for browsing. The atmosphere is always so enticing, and the foods look wonderful! Love the cheese and olive bars!

  • Oh that was just torture – to see all those yummy cheeses without being able to go with you! I would not have been able to walk out of there without being much poorer!

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