Wine design…

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

Terra Gauda poster winner 2017

There’s no denying the influence a wine label and overall pack has on my desire to buy a wine. On a mammoth trek of wine stores (Coop, M&S, Sainsbury, Majestic, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, Lidl) in South London the other week only one store had any bottles open to try which meant the price point and pack were the main contenders fighting for my cash. The wine isle can be an intimidating place, but visiting so many competitors in a short space of time meant overall ambience, shelf appeal and size of range was directly comparable.

There was, inevitably, a surprise winner and surprise looser in the impact stakes. Morrisons stood out with an eclectic range of attractive labels and thoughtful range of prices and appellations. Plenty to get the wine drinker and wine connoisseur interested. Sainsbury, my staple food store, was the overall looser with an uninspired and un-impactful collection of predictable wines from a shrinking base of producers. The famous Lidl range was small, and appealing in its size, clearly designed not to overwhelm and with a seriously smart looking Albarino from Spain that deserves a shout out in it own right for stand out shelf appeal and punchy price (£6.50).

Wine design itself is such an art that it is arguably as important if not more so that the wine inside the bottle, even the WSET (wine & spirit education trust) is hosting a masterclass ‘so you want to design wine labels’ highlighting that label design is a career within the tapestry of the wine industry in its own right.

abellio albarino Lidl

                             Lidl’s striking Albarino, £6.50.

Wine market research specialists Wine Intelligence have a whole report about it and announced their latest findings showed that over one third of UK regular wine drinkers say the appeal of the label is an important factor when selecting wine: an understatement in my view but for a handsome sum you can buy the report and find out exactly which styles of labels really appeal to the UK consumer. When I’m designing new wine labels and putting together briefs for agencies the lead factor is always that the design must stay true to the wines’ origin and price point, for it to undeniably represent the country, style and cost so as not to sell a mutton dressed as lamb.

And then there are wineries that go above and beyond in the design stakes. Those that create award wining architectural buildings as their winery homes (think Marques de Riscal), where so much time, thought and money has gone into the design it’s like a state of the art birthing centre. And those that (if you can ignore the PR angle) actively engage with the wider design world to create new perspectives on wine and the way it can be visually interpreted like Terras Gauda who last month announced the winners of the International Biennial Poster Design Terras Gauda-Francisco Mantecón Competition. The competition has become one of the most prestigious graphic design competitions in the world and I love the concept for everything it represents and the importance it places on wine design having attracted 1,568 entries from 62 countries and more than 17,000 posters since its inception in 2001. The winning design featured here will be the poster for the winery for the next two years and was conceived by United By a graphic design studio from Portugal, founded by Miguel Palmeiro.

What would be lovely to see is a move into creative design for wine packaging itself that sees the bulky 75cl glass bottle laid to rest and a plethora of vessels of varying size and format take its place. It would make the wine isle undeniably more interesting and the category as a whole a much more relevant and hopefully more eco friendly place too. But for now while I’m looking for artwork to decorate my kitchen the Terras Gauda poster design competition is a good place to start.


Share this Page:

Saved in: Secret Diary of a Wine Girl

Comments are closed.