Now that we had our bottle we needed a label. I wanted something old yet new.
My idea was: I wanted the label to be reminiscent of an old steamship poster (like you see in the oldie movies) that has been on the wall for a time. It was still very readable but a bit weathered.
It brought, to me, the feeling of the daring sea faring days of yore. (As a young man I had thought about going out to sea to ply a trade).
We decided to hire a design firm rather than try to design it ourselves. This wasn’t the product to put an amateurish label on. We found a local design company and told them of our project and what the general feel we were looking for. After 3 weeks they came back with 3 concepts for our evaluation. Two were so-so but the third really struck our fancy (mainly because it had a motorcycle on it and we both ride).
With a little back and forth we got the label design hammered out and it was time to hand it off to the TTB for COLA approval (yes you have to submit your label to the government to make sure it meets their requirements).
COLA is not a soft drink (well it is but not in this case) it stands for Certificates Of Label Approval. If you are going to put a label on your bottles of Spirits (and you know you are) you must submit your label to the TTB for COLA approval (they want to make sure you dot your I’s and cross your T’s appropriately). Your label can be rejected for so many reasons (most, obvious only to the COLA people). I could go on about all the fun things you can or can’t do on your label but I am going to just give you the link instead; http://www.ttb.gov/labeling/colas.shtml is the main page for the TTB’s COLA web page. There are links to everything you ever wanted to know about labels and their approval.
After a few corrections we got our COLA approval and sent our label to the printers.
--Christopher M Neumann