Mixing illustrations with vintage typographical concepts, Derrick Castle carves the beauty of traditional drinks in his Classic Cocktails series.
Castle, a graphic designer and illustrator, has worked for some big names like Nike, Under Armour and Harley Davidson to name a few. Living in Nashville, Castle has been exposed to mixology and modern interpretations of classic cocktails through friends in the bartending industry.
He said he wanted to pay homage to cocktails through a series of block prints. Block printing is one of Castles personal passions. The primitive form of relief printing takes him about 10-12 hours from concept to a finished series. He starts with a concept drawing, transfers, carves, inks and prints.
Castle draws his typographical inspiration from letter head fonts of the 1800s, as evident in the carefully etched headers. The type choice for his Moscow Mule piece really embodies the ginger beer based drink and the copper ink Castle chose is absolutely perfect as the drink is famously served in copper mugs. The Old Fashion is the latest in his series and probably the strongest conceptually with the added details to the negative space behind the drink.
The Ns in the Negroni piece are bold and the rest of the letters follow suit except for maybe the E. The curled orange peel on the rim of that glass is perhaps my favorite detail of all the pieces, though that donkey in the Moscow Mule print is a close second.
Handlettering is challenging enough, it’s exciting to see Castle kick it up with such a traditional art form where a mess up could be unforgiving.
You can find Classic Cocktail prints and some of Castle’s other work in his Etsy shop, Straw Castle.