It’s been a while since I’ve had to really integrate. That is, design something more like a poster, where the brand logo should stand on its own but it should also be integrated into a single flat piece of work. Does this make a good label? Look at the Niche wine label below. Look at the logo, how it is simple and securely contained as the name’s concept implies, how it is integrated into the typographic field and the composition suits the nature of the plane. It’s a single, rectangular label that has successfully fit the pieces of communication together and looks smashing doing it.
Here are some more labels I’ve seen lately that are doing it for me. They’re getting to the point of successful because they do not get shut down by the restrictions of the label, they embrace those “limitations” and you can tell they’re pushing the brand a step further by doing so.
I’ll tell you what’s happened here, near the end of Grass Fire. I failed to remember the shape of the bottle. I failed to develop, even at the brainstorming stage, a typographic treatment that suits the form upon which it will be printed. I’ve begun designing a simple script like typographic treatment for the wine’s title, and it is wide, undulating and somewhat difficult to read. It’s basically what I don’t want on a tall, confined and dark glass bottle. I’ve experimented with type that’s been designed already, choosing the face for Grass Fire that way, but I can’t escape wishing I could develop the type myself. I do this often, where I feel like everything on a product needs to have spawned from my own hand. When I borrow type, or images, or shapes or colors, I feel more like an arranger than a designer. And here, I’ve found a label that is working with a similar “layers of earth” concept. They’ve allowed for the idea to shine, reducing the bells and whistles for elegance and tapped into a subtle flux of line so it isn’t so simplistic that it appears cheap. The layers are natural, the artifacts within it are mysterious and precious, the title of the bottle is clear and elevating. This is a fashion that I’m striving for, but I wouldn’t allow the shape of the bottle to be apart of the conversation.
But it seems that’s often what designers are. They don’t really create much, they alter and arrange. I know drawing type isn’t my strongest skill, but while I’m doing this as a side project I can only view Monthly Brand as an opportunity to get better at it. Altering and arranging of type I can do, but to build it from the ground up, to draw it and cast it into vectors, this is a challenge for me. I may have to leave the challenge for another month.
Regardless, the bottle’s label design isn’t snapping into place because I did not account for how and upon what it will be placed. Some of these more elaborate images of labels know the form more, they know how to tailor the branding to the model. Perhaps I got too excited about the concept of the wine and lost track of the process. Perhaps I was tipsy from tasting while developing it. Perhaps there’s still a solution to fuse my hand drawn type and the elaboration of the label onto the ridged form of the bottle. I can only keep working to find out.