9 Tips Before You Refresh Your Wine Brand

Need to refresh your wine brand?

Here are some tips to consider from Patti Britton of Britton Design:

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First of all, is your theme or story coming across with a good impression? If not, maybe it’s time to hire a wine package designer. That designer should be able to uncover your story and communicate it clearly. Galante Vineyards in Carmel Valley is a 700-acre cattle ranch that once had outdoor garden roses. So that definitely conveyed a western theme. I had a saddlemaker carve out a leather rose border, scanned it and then foil stamped and embossed silver conchos for the label corners. Now the design tells the story.


A discussion should take place between the potential client and designer about the planned price for retail bottles. Also, buzzwords should be identified to guide the label design's direction - i.e. modern, edgy, elegant, fun, colorful, nostalgic, etc.


Make sure your logo design is strong and readable. Maybe the logo needs a tweak to the design or a major overhaul. If it’s a tweak, I always start by doing a lettering study with different fonts to get some ideas. Creating hand lettering for your logo adds some proprietary appeal to the brand - no one else owns your branding. Investing in a lettering artist who specializes in branding is worth the money. That becomes the brand identity to be applied to all aspects of the printed material– shippers, stationery, shopping bags, glasses, brochures, website, etc.


Monograms are great for the top/and or side of the capsule, on the corner of the front label, and/or added to the shipper for some reinforced brand recognition. For the Brick Hill label design, I designed the “BH” that was foil stamped and embossed for the front label, then applied to the capsule and shipper. The Ray’s Creek “RC” western type monogram was copper foil stamped, too.


A different label shape can quickly draw the eye of the consumer to the brand on the shelf quickly. Distinctive label shapes tend to stand out a little more. It will cost a bit more for the printing die cuts, but it’s worth it in the end to increase sales. I recently redesigned Ray’s Creek with a two-part label and it really stands out.


It used to be (and maybe still is) that white labels make the brand more expensive looking. Now that’s switched to black labels which I’m really not a fan of. The choice of color to me should make sense. My client Naggiar Vineyards in the Sierra foothills is owned by a vintner who is half Italian, half Lebanese and his wife is French-Canadian. For their wine label design, I chose Mediterranean colors with the majority of the label a bright textured orange - which really stands out on the shelf.


Is your paper stock working? A textured paper like bright white felt or eggshell felt always makes the brand look more expensive. Classic Crest is a favorite of mine and always prints well. Matte litho papers are great for food labels.


Need a little bling? Wine brands are touchy-feely, I learned that years ago. Wine bottles are initially held in the hand to admire and touch. The front label can use some embossing like the brand name and maybe the monogram. Maybe a clear foil over a black logo with embossing­­–that always looks nice.


Don’t forget the back label! Here you can offer romance copy about your winery or vineyard, food choices with the wine, number of barrels if it’s a small artisan brand, all kinds of statistics. Use this real estate well.

About Britton Design

With 30+ years of valued design experience, Patti Britton of Britton Design in Sonoma, California has a strong background in wine and food packaging, logo design, and collateral design. Patti designs award-winning, distinctive labels and packaging for large corporations and boutique wineries locally and nationally.

Patti grew up in Colorado, then attended California College of the Arts in Oakland graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Graphic Design. She intended to move back to Colorado, but the Bay Area was too appealing. After working for a couple of packaging design companies in San Francisco, she started Britton Design in 1991. Among her first clients were E & J Gallo, Viansa Winery, Racke USA, Kendall-Jackson, and Bartholomew Park Winery.

Patti Britton can be reached at 707 938-8378, pb@brittondesign.com, www.brittondesign.com

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