The design of a wine label can make or break the success of a new wine introduced to the market. Even beyond the quality of the wine itself, the design of a wine label plays a primary role in the purchasing decisions of customers.
It is on this fact that many graphic designers have focused their attention to making creative, compelling wine labels that connect a bottle of wine with its buyer. To celebrate the work of these designers, Wine n’ About has selected of the most impressive wine label designs in recent history. To read it right, we suggest you enjoy this list over a freshly popped glass of wine.
Inspired Wine Bottles
Just as every wine may effect each palette differently, the Rorschach inkblot test’s meaning is different to each viewer. With this wine label design, Inkwell Wine asks, “What do you see?” The crew at /M/A/S/H/ was hired to rejuvenate Inkwell’s label design and brand identity, and this bottle was precisely what the wine maker needed. If you can find a bottle of Inkwell’s 2007 Shiraz, it wears this label proudly. Even after you drink it, we recommend holding on to this bottle for it’s simple, compelling wine label design.
Meeta Panesar Wine
Meeta Panesar’s wine bottle designs were created as an homage to the Op Art movement and the work of artist Joseph Albers. Panesar carried that Op Art tradition into these conceptual wine labels, some flush with color and geometry, others with tightly wrapped black-and-white lines. While Meeta Panesar’s wine labels remain a packaging art concept, we’d love to see his work commissioned and produced.
Gut Oggau Portrait Wines
The Oggau Estate is an Austrian winery that has given its wine more than just a flavor, but a personality… nine of them, to be exact. The Gut Oggau Portrait Wines were designed by to give each Oggau wine label it’s own unique signature. Jung von Matt explains: “Just like every man, every wine has its own individual character ranging from young to mature, from playful to complex. We assigned a face, a story and a name to these different attributes. Eventually, this led to a typical family clan with grandparents, parents and children.”
Neil Ashmead GTS
Elderton Wines of Australia has bottled a wine in tribute to auto (and wine) enthusiast Neil Ashmead. The Neil Ashmead GTS, or “Grand Tourer Shiraz” features a racing-styled label bearing Ashmead’s signature. This bottle’s best attribute, however, is its’ six-speed stick shift screw-on cap. The creatives at Fuller, an Australian ad agency, deserve plenty of praise for this creative wine label design.
Honey Moon Wine
While we’ve never had the palette for sweet wines, this bottle by designer Lauren Golembiewski has our sweet tooth a-humming. Golembiewski created the Honey Moon Wine concept as an annual gift to past and prospective clients in celebration of a budding summer. The “honey moon” is the first full moon of the month of June, known as the perfect moment to begin the harvest of honey.
Return of the Living Red
The crew from /M/A/S/H/ returns to this list with a special bottle for Redheads Wine. A collaboration with Redheads Studio yielded a bottle called “Return of the Living Red”– a simple, provocative design with a throwback to classic horror films. Save for a seal of blood-red wax over its cork, Return of the Living Red is only adorned with a simple, aged envelope containing clues about the bottle’s contents. The cards within the envelope continue the horror story, showcasing the illustrative handiwork of the /M/A/S/H/ team.
Sav Sparkling Wine
While Sweden may not strike you as a typical wine producer, the Scandinavian country has some interesting contributions to the world of wine. Sav Sparkling Wine isn’t borne of grapes, but a birch sap that is pressed in the virginal wine-making region of Jämtland. Sav’s bottle and identity is inspired by the very tree from which this wine is created, the white birch. After the cover is peeled away, the label is a minimal white with solid black lettering. We’re a bit apprehensive to taste a wine made from sap, but we’re quite pleased with the label alone.
Mini Garage Winery
As long as you don’t store these wines in your garage (especially next to the turpentine), you’re in for a tasty treat of packaging design. The Mini Garage Wines and Brandies by Anthony Hammond have a literal conception– Hammond’s wine is produced in a former tractor shop in Germany. The packaging is amongst the most creative on this list, although we’re skeptical on their ability to preserve the original flavor of the product. Perhaps its the condition of the rusty turpentine cans in our own garage
Lunar Vine Wine
Lunar Vine Wine wanted to add a dash of color to their bottles– who better to hire, then, than UK design firm DeathByColor? DBC created these wild wine bottles as lush and colorfully explosive as they could be. While this tends to communicate “these wines taste like soda pop”, we can certainly appreciate the artist’s vision. Our favorite is the Shiraz, it is no surprise that we go for the most colorfully conservative
Matsu Organic Wine
A quick glance at these bottles instantly communicates this winery’s main value– three generations of expertise. The Matsu Organic Wine bottles show the history of this wine from grandfather to grandson, showing the focus this family has put into its grape over these generations. Each label represents a different wine from Matsu, “El Pícaro”, “El Recio” and “El Viejo”– each with it’s own personality and flavor.
When Segreto commissioned a special design for a limited edition anniversary vintage, Takk! Design delivered a strong, bold signature for the product. The result was a pitch black bottle with a thick, subtly scripted font showcasing the brand’s mark winding around the label. Pair three bottles together, the name is spelled out in its entirety with little separation. If you were in the right place at the right time, you may have been lucky to pick up a bottle (or three) from your personal wine boutique. If you are one of the few, give us a call when you uncork, yeah?
Let It Grow Wine Bottles
Brazilian design firm LetItGrow wanted to reach out to their clients with a special gift. The designers took 100 empty wine bottles, painted them white and then illustrated each bottle by hand. Before delivering the unique work of art, they wrapped each unit in a vacuum-sealed black plastic label with a description about its contents. We don’t know about you, but in some circles shipping an empty wine bottle as a gift is a criminal offense… no matter how beautiful they look!
Francis Ford Coppola “Carmine” Wine Jug
The design crew at Sfaustina created this obelisk of a wine jug for film’s most noteworthy wine lover, Francis Ford Coppola. Coppola’s father, Carmine, used to stock wine jugs in his basement where the young Francis would play. The young Coppola attempted to carry a jug across the basement with a pencil through the handle, but the pencil broke and the jug shattered. To recreate Mr. Coppola’s childhood, Sfaustina designed this jub with a dark label with sheet music written by Francis’s father and a black pencil in the handle. The name, of course, is “The Carmine”, named for the Coppola family patriarch.
Shefa Profusion Wine
The word “Shefa” translates from Hebrew as “profusion”, with these wines named as such for their youthful abundance. The Shefa Profusion Wines are flush with Hebrew iconography and imagery, giving these a decidedly Middle Eastern appearance. While little is known about the waters within, the bottles themselves certainly have an intoxicating effect.