/ packaging

It is common to think that a package design ends with the product being put on a store shelf. This is not true. This is just a beginning – the design becomes a first touch point between the brand and the customer. A superior package should keep a sense of expectations and encourage interactions. To achieve an excellent performance, we need to understand the people. How they are going to use the product, and how we can unveil the brand narrative that is embedded in the design.

 

LAUGHING STOCK VINEYARDS

ROLE: CONCEPT CO-CREATION / LOGO DESIGN / GRAPHIC DESIGN LEAD / TYPESETTING / WEBSITE DESIGN

In the fall of 2004 Brandever invited me to collaborate on the design of a wine label for Laughing Stock Vineyards. Both owners decided to move from the methodical, and calculated lives in the Financial Industry and follow their love for wine. We started with de-construction of any tangible artefacts that are common on the trading floor to see if we could translate their language to a new application. The final label is constructed of information rings directly silk screened onto the bottle that follow the idea of a ticker-tape. Stock quotes listed on those rings reflect the state of the market on the day of harvest and in time, the bottle becomes a 'time capsule' reflecting on the new and past lives of the vineyard owners. We wanted the customer to pick up the bottle and turn in hands while reading and by gaining the inside knowledge captured in the rings, become one step closer to purchasing the wine.

Laughing Stock wine label received many International Awards including: the Finalist in London International Awards where our label was selected from 16,686 entries from 79 countries, the Applied Arts Design & Advertising Awards Winner (LFNG Blind Trust Red). Laughing Stock labels also won at The San Francisco International Wine Competition and a Gold Medal at Los Angeles International Wine & Spirit Competition.

The design process looks at motion, space, time and appearance. Not only our product needs to attract the eye of the customer, but also evoke an emotional connection with the brand. Physical artefacts can trigger memories and through association enhance the perception beyond the idea of holding a bottle of wine in your hand. Everything is connected and everything matters.

DIRTY LAUNDRY VINEYARDS

ROLE: CONCEPT CO-CREATION / LOGO DESIGN / GRAPHIC DESIGN LEAD / TYPESETTING / PHOTOGRAPHY

This project is a result of another successful collaboration with Brandever. Through his branding research, Bernie discovered a fantastic story about the building… back in 1900's a Chinese laundry was a storefront for a little bordello upstairs. Right from the beginning we knew that this had huge design potential. We wanted something 'clean' looking, but at the same time 'hot and steamy'. Final concept is based on duality - on one side you have the clean lines of the 'laundry' element and on the other side, the red and hot, old fashioned iron forming the focal point of the brand. You need to pick up the bottle and hold it towards the light, and upon a closer inspection of the steam patterns, some curvaceous nudes can be uncovered. The light emboss encourages touching and stroking. Upon the release of the wine, the story has been 'leaked' to the wine stores and sale people with an idea to share the secret knowledge with customers… and the wine started to sell like crazy. I should also mention how much fun it was to photograph wine bottles in suggestive poses.

Label won numerous awards including a spot in Communication Arts Design Annual 46 – apparently it’s not easy to get there… Also Dirty Laundry won awards at The San Francisco International Wine Competition and captured the Best Label Design medal at the 2005 Okanagan Fall Wine Festival.

 

We see, we touch, we play with objects that motivates us to interact with them. Only through careful research and a truly holistic view of the brand, designer can move from individual touch points towards a co-operation of various brand elements supporting the desired customer experience and satisfaction. Every project offers opportunities to learn new things, meet new people and see the world from different perspective, and the most important - to build relationships.

POPLAR GROVE WINERY

ROLE: CONCEPT CO-CREATION / LOGO DESIGN / GRAPHIC DESIGN LEAD / TYPESETTING / WEBSITE DESIGN

Poplar Grove is one of Canada’s most serious wine producers. I was invited in the Summer of 2007 by Brandever to work on the new wine label. Poplar is known for their luxurious, opulent, and highly collectible wines and the artwork needed to reflect the tradition, but at the same time, the owner wanted to show his multi dimensional approach to wine production. Through our research and design analysis we collected large set of concept featuring poplar trees, but non of them really worked for the team. The final idea for the Poplar Rosette came from architectural representation of trees - the rosette is the top view of a tree forming an abstract crest which is modern looking bringing a lot of traditional qualities to the brand.

Poplar Grove also invited us to come up with a website concept to feature their new wine labels. Instead of a typical winery web structure, we started by talking to wine journalists, sommeliers, and wine enthusiasts to find out what they think about Poplar. Those short conversations were videotaped by me and later edited to fit a web format. The website was based on a series casual talks about the wine. The new website was featured in the 2008 Applied Arts Interactive Annual  and it was selected by Communication Arts to be featured February 26, 2008 on CA website. In 2013 we re-designed the site again and now it runs on vin65 platform and of course is fully responsive.