THE ART OF MAKING UNIQUE WINE LABELS
When it comes to wine labels, one of the greatest advantages is for the design to be unique and instantly recognisable – enticing both new clients but also establishing brand loyalty.
With wine labels there are dozens of ways to be unique:
* LABEL FORMS / SHAPES / SIZES / NUMBER OF LABELS / POSITIONING / TEXTURE – 2D & 3D through graphics & embellishments
* CHAMPION IMAGE – Logo or Artwork
* COLOUR – bright or subtle
* COMPOSITION – Simple or busy
* REFLECTIVE Vs MATTE surfaces
* PAPER STOCK
* BOTTLE FORMS
* COLLECTIONS Vs INDIVIDUAL
* PRINTING TECHNIQUES
* LABEL COPY – Something unique/Catchy
Following are a few labels which are unique in some way and which I believe can offer some potential lessons for creating unique wine label designs.
The first 6 are simple elegant designs, while the following labels grab the viewers attention with bright colours and artwork.
TRENTHAM: This is not necessarily my favourite label but I found it to offer a few useful lessons. The first is that it is important (in most situations) to have the wine brand highest in the overall hierarchy. In this label the Logo is given great prominence through the use of a clever composition whereby cutting through the label with the artwork above and a clean simple label below the logo is instantly given the focus. This cutting creates somewhat of a dynamic sense. Despite being modest in colour this label stands out and establishes a middle/high-end look.
CLOUDY BAY: Again this is a very simple label. The only written content is the brand name, the variety and the vintage. This leaves the composition very clean and spacious. Both the artwork and paperstock have a rough texture and this is enough to elevate the label as a work of art and give off the impression of quality wine. The artwork through subtle shading creates a simple and elegant landscape with nice depth. The logo is given great prominence set some distance above the artwork.
PEPPERJACK: Again another label that is quite simple and seperates the logo from the artwork/information. Often by seperating the logo from the label it can effectively elevate both. The most striking aspect of this design is obviously the profile and angle of the wine label. It is quite a modest label giving great emphasis to the wine bottle, it’s striking black and attractive form. Again this design achieves a higher end look.
REMARKABLES: Another design with a modest label that gives great emphasis to the beautiful bottle. Similar to the Trentham & Cloudy Bay designs this label is in 3 parts with the logo, artwork and content in clearly defined spaces. The brilliant photograph is brought to life with a deboss and spot finish as though you are looking out a window, which really helps to transport the viewer. The capsules could have been left plain, but overall it is an elegant label.
BAY OF FIRES: This design instantly stands out with the unique verticle label that finishes over the ribbon horizontal wrap around. The spash of Red grabs attention whislt the black, gold and white are traditionally elegant choices.
RED HILL ESTATE: A very simple design. The Dark Red logo really stands out against the black bottle assisted by the die-cut which makes it break the otherwise square label.
DEVIL’S CORNER: This is one of my favourite labels at the moment. This label obviously has rich colours and uses embellishments to great effect but it maintains a great level of class with the two seperate wrap around labels, with the lower cream band tieing in perfectly with the capsules. The illustration is slightly more cartoon then my style but the colours are rich and inviting making it look very desirable.
YALUMBA Y-SERIES: For quite some time these have been some of the most striking labels on the shelves. This label screams quality, from the hand illustrated images, paint splashes, embellisments, coloured capsules, logo band and textured paperstock the design is very complete. Each label has a champion image as the main focus with one striking colour. This is given full prominence on the largely white background, but the texture and detailing makes you think that this artwork could be in a gallery. The collection are clearly related but by having a unique image for each it maintains interest across their range. Another valuable lesson is that for their logo on their red wines they have a black backing, whilst on the whites they keep the background white. I believe it’s important to treat the labels on a white label slightly differently to a red and these subtle changes mean the composition and hierarchy are maintained.
RUMOURS: This is one of the most striking labels out at the moment. There’s no questioning the simplicity, but the white background only helps to build the significance of the beautifully executed birds. Unmistakably Australian and with the birds sitting cosily and with a name like Rumours it sets a fun tone – you can just image the birds chatting away about the latest goss. Despite being vibrant it maintains an elegant feel, assisted by the stylish wrap around label with a small vertical profile, the silver capsule and slightly top heavy bottle form.
BREATHING SPACE: Using the more conventional wine label dimensions, this label is enomously successful in its detailing. The green leaf patterning has a subtle shimmering foil that gives it an extremely elegant look. One of the great strengths of this label and I think it is almost unanimous across all quality designs is that the back label stands on its own two feet – it is not a last minute (we need to tick a few boxes) additions. Quality design has these completeness and it goes a long way to convincing people that the wine must have the same attention to detail.
DALZ OTTO: Great use of texture. The forms of the label also create quite a unique outcome.
DERWENT ESTATE: Whilst most contemporary labels seem to be favouring a textured paperstock, this label uses a very smooth, shiny label base, likely to be some sort of plastic film. The result is a very smooth, shimmering label with very rich colours. The boat artwork has a spot vanish which almost gives it a mirror quality – perfect for the reflecting water.