I wasn’t sure if I wanted to just come right out and say that some of the labels I’ve seen are bad. But they are. They have no thought or pride in them. Some of them look like the owner’s 4 year old daughter drew the illustration on the front and they believe that’s going to make me want to try their Pinot Grigio. If you don’t put any thought or heart into the design of your label, how can I believe that you love your own wine?
Anyway, for this post I’m going to digest a host of labels that I feel are attractive and unique. Everything else? You know what it looks like. It looks boring. It has no personality. But there are fantastic designs out there to be seen, and probably worth tasting. Though it’s a weekday as I write this and I cannot in good faith begin tasting any wines, some of these labels certainly make me want to. They make me want to be a part of the culture, the brand, the family that makes such a distinguished product. Go do a little wine tasting, wherever you can. When you walk in the door to most of these places you can feel the pride of the brand, you can see the luxury or humor or sophistication they’re all about. Each one is different and it’s a wonderful feeling to sit in the company of people who have taken the qualities of their brand and literally distilled it down into a libation that warms your lips and lungs.
These labels inspire. I’m intrigued and I’m thirsty. Recognize however that some of these labels are fictitious projects, just like Monthly Brand. They’re student work or sketches of what great concepts can be. It doesn’t matter though, because this blog is about exploring design, and exercise work is essentially all I do here. If regular reader counts don’t fuel the blog, then inspiration will. A few I want to highlight have particular draw for me as they find the fine line between classy and contemporary. If wine wants to evolve, branding is the key; most wine labels you see are soaked only in dated conventions of old style typefaces and foil stamped borders. The Sohne Vineyards labels by Ned Wright are the kinds of design that glow, and should be commended. These simple labels are crisp and understandable, noticeable from across the room but natural in feeling and elegant enough for a restaurant.
The Churchill Wines label by Intebrand is also a comforting and clean design. Further, it’s particularly appropriate for Grass Fire with its illustrative depictions of the land. This is a tried and true convention (depicting the land) but with the aerial view and sharp contrast it breathes life into the construct. I can fully understand why a wine maker would want their land to be featured on the label; it provides everything for the company, and where they have their crop is the soul of the taste that makes their wine. But paintings and engravings in single color styles simply looks antique. Churchill has a different swing to the method however and it works. The cropping and the difference in textures to the drawings make for a sharp and classy brand without a trace of antiquity.
And here are even more: a bulk of collected inspirational wine labels from all over the internet and in the field. Apologies as always for low quality photo, this is a scrapbook after all.