" L’Heure du Cocktail was seen as very avant-garde when it was published in 1927,” explains Gaylor Oliver, founder of young Parisian publisher Corps Reviver. “No French cocktail books looked like it at the time: the content was organised by hours, illustrations were created by a member of Salon de L’Araignée (a very interesting and a bit lost-in-time avant-garde group of illustrators founded by Gus Bofa), the recipes were created by poets and film-makers… It was really a new approach to the cocktail book.”
When Corps Reviver asked design studio Spin to design a new release of the book, the approach had to be different. “It would have made no sense to make the reprint look like the usual cocktail book with photographs and the like,” says Gaylor. Spin has instead created a beautifully pared-back book of black ink drawings and simple text recipes on coloured paper stock.
“The paper is a hint at the passing of time, the sun setting,” explains Spin founder Tony Brook. “The book suggests the right cocktail to drink at the right time over an evening, and early hours of the morning.”
Tony created the images himself using ink and a brush. “They were inspired by some imagery in the original book. My version is a much more abstract, painterly response, meant to allude to the affects of the cocktails over time.”
The cover also fuses the concepts of time and drinking: “It suggests a clock face, made by painting the bottom of a glass,” says Tony. “The typography, designed by Claudia Klat and Gaby Luong, is very structured and refined, providing a nice, sharp, contemporary contrast to the organic nature of the painting.”
Spin has also designed the identity for the publisher Corps Reviver, based on its name, which is a play on corpse reviver – a variety of cocktail that’s meant to “perk you up after a heavy night on the sauce”. Hence the “punchy” design that uses the ‘V’s of its name as arrows, which Tony says he turned upside down to “suggest recovery and optimism”.
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