So, what makes people drink? There are many very sound—and some unfortunate—reasons: social, medicinal, addictive, pleasurable, etc. But there is something more, and liquor packagers and label producers figured this out long ago. The bottle is part of the gestalt of drinking. It is obvious when you enter a liquor store. Even if like me you do not drink at all, the wide array of shapes, sizes and colors whet the appetite, if not to imbibe, certainly to consume. Below is a late 19th- to early 20th-century French bottle and label producer’s chromolithographic catalog of samples. The possibilities were more and many, just as today’s spirits bottles show classic and modern in the scores. Liquor may have been the devil’s brew, but it certainly makes for heavenly design.
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