March 2010 Archives

The Art of Wine Labels

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In the last update, I wrote about wine corks. Keeping along the same theme, I decided to showcase well-designed and creative wine labels as a design inspiration.

Wine labels reflect the perceived quality of the wine. When I look at the bottles of wine on the shelves, I draw conclusions on the quality of the wine based on the labels, and I've bought a bottle of wine depending on the packaging.

A quick search on the Internet on this topic has led me to discover that several others draw inspiration from wine labels as well.  I will post a few of my favourites with links to the other articles.


Celebration of Wine Corks

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While opening an Italian bottle of wine that I purchased in Rome last summer, I noticed an intricate design on the cork. I've opened dozens of bottles of wine in the past, but I've never noticed the design of the cork before. Most of the wine that I buy in the supermarket typically uses plastic corks or screw-top lids. (Yes, I know what I've tended to buy is mass-produced.) The designed cork made the bottle of wine even more special because some thought had gone into the printing on the cork.


I now take note of the corks and keep the nicer ones. Some of the corks I have found contain writing on the name or location of the vineyard and others contain tiny drawings of the vineyard.


While browsing the Internet, I noticed that others are fascinated by wine corks too. I've seen pages where people have created everything from birdhouses to chairs to wreaths to chopping boards out of used wine corks.


I like the texture of cork as a design element. The first time I came across cork for uses other than corking bottles (or bulletin boards) was when I went on holiday to Portugal a few years ago. Portugal has a lot of cork trees, and tourist shops sell products made of cork.  On that trip to Portugal, I purchased a cork bowl, notebook, coin purse, and postcard. (Yes, I did post the postcard and it arrived at its destination.)


Cork could be used as a design element for marketing products and textures on a website or a brochure; cork is one of those items that has a function but seems to go unnoticed.

CMS Review: Magnolia

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I have been looking at Magnolia CMS ( for the past few days. Magnolia CMS is built to be flexible. Users can create their own content, structure and templates. The basics of this CMS are easy to pick up and learn, but it becomes a little more fiddly when you create your own content and templates. This tool has a lot to offer, but it can take a while to set up a custom website with editable content, and there's a few tricks to get around some of the 'bugs'. (There's also some problems with caching that I discovered.)

Magnolia CMS is built using Java and Java Server Pages. If you are developing a website using Java, then you may want to look into Magnolia as your CMS, bearing in mind that there is a learning curve and there may be some stumbles along the way.

Making a good CMS to meet the needs of most clients is never an easy task. Hopefully the developers of Magnolia CMS continue to improve this software and make it a little easier to set up custom sites and content.


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