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Aquador graphic Ardente graphic bread alone graphic Chez Panisse 82 graphic Chez Panisse champagne
Aquador Ardente Bread Alone Chez Panisse 82 Chez Panisse
computer design graphic Chez Panisse 83 graphic Chez Panisse 87 White graphic Fin de Siecle graphic Olios extra graphic
Computer Organization Chez Panisse 83 Chez Panisse
87 White
Fin de Siecle Olio Extra Virgine
Harbour wine graphic Ravenswood graphic
lord nelson
Lord Nelson graphic
Merry Edwards graphic Neyers graphic
Harbor Wine Ravenswood Lord Nelson Merry Edwards Neyers
Poppy graphic
Poppy Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc
Verdea graphic Veeder graphic victory gin graphic bedrock wine  
Verdea Veeder Victory Gin Bedrock Wine Co.  
Geshtinanna Geshtinanna (Purple) Ojai Pink Moment Rosé Ojai Viognier Ojai Happy Valley Red
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Kenwood 1 graphic Kenwood 2 graphic Kenwood 3 graphic







The client liked the design, and the public liked it, but the United States Government didn't like it. Not the whole government - just the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Despite their name, they do not exist to promote these things, but rather to protect us from all three, preferably by eliminating them altogether. This design was originally done for Kenwood Winery as a wine label, but the ATF ruled that (and I quote) "the drawing of the young lady must be deleted. More specifically, the Bureau regards the picture as 'obscene or indecent.'"

OK. No naked dames. They said it would be acceptable if we put a black bikini on her. I didn't like that idea. Since we finally got them to admit that it was the skin, the naked skin, that offended them, I redrew the design and eliminated the skin. We then resubmitted Kenwood's label with a recumbent skeleton on a vineyard hillside. After a bit of hemming and hawing, the ATF rejected that design, too. Some song and dance about fetal alcohol syndrome. Hard to deal with an agency that can just make up rules as they go along.

Chez Panisse, fortunately, is not much subject to ATF scrutiny, so we adapted the design to its "seven year itch" party. The young lady probably got poison oak and a sunburn, so it's not so far-fetched as you might think. The ATF has gotten a lot tougher in recent years. I guess I should be grateful that they didn't kill me.

In February 1996, Kenwood re-submitted the design and it was approved without demur. Thus, the first in Kenwood's "artist's series" labels became the design for the 20th anniversary of the series, the 1994 wine, issued in 1998. When asked about the volte-face, a representative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms replied, in essence, that times had changed.

Where they have not changed, apparently, is in Ohio, the Board of Liquor Control of which, in October 1998, ". . . determined that the 1994 Cabernet Sauvignon label does not advertise the product in a dignified makeup and that the label is considered offensive to the good taste of the public. Accordingly, this letter is to advise that the foregoing label is disapproved." So there.

Last updated Friday, March 21, 2014   Copyright 1999-2014 St. Hieronymus Press