Wine, books, beer - and a dash of "gonzo" for good measure

I've always been a fan of the work of artist, illustrator and writer Ralph Steadman. Ever since first seeing his "gonzo" art pieces years ago (related to the "fear and loathing" days of association with Hunter S. Thompson) I have been fascinated with his frenetic, statement-filled work. In part, I think I've appreciated the free-from nature of what comes from his pen due to the fact my own work is made up of rather anal-retentive, hard-lined, structured efforts.

A respected oenophile, Steadman recently announced the release of his new book Untrodden Grapes, the follow-up to his previous volume on the world of wine, The Grapes of Ralph: Wine According to Ralph Steadman. Through his travels to notable vineyards in California, Chile, Spain, France, Italy and South Africa, his unique and vibrant illustrations, and the prose of a curmudgeon, Steadman presents the reader an off-beat look at wine-making and some great wines. The mixture of incredible art, entertaining writing, and travel tales got me hooked. I now need to check out some of the other books he has created.

In addition to his books, illustrating the writing of others (such as a new edition of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451), T-shirts, limited edition prints, posters and other items, Steadman brought his work to the masses as the packaging illustrations for Flying Dog Ales. Be sure to check out their site - especially the page about the "gonzo" connection. I really enjoy going into a grocery store and seeing Steadman's offbeat labels among all the stuffy designs in the beer cooler.

Learn more about Steadman, and see additional examples of his work, at the Creative Refuge site, where you will find Mike Buchheit's interview The Pen is Mightier as a Sword: Talking with Ralph Steadman. At the Creative Refuge site you can also download the Steadman-inspired font "Collateral Damage" by Chris Hunt, courtesy of A visit to poke around Steadman's own site is also worth the cyber adventure.

© 2005 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

1 comment:

thec said...


Many moons ago it was your reading list that now graces the guts of my design library.

With pleasure I find I can dip over here to discover what artists of the quality of Ralph Steadman are up to.

More ... please.