Wine Label Design – The Importance

wine label

Wine label design is one of the most important communication elements for wine and for your winery.

In fact, a good design of the label of your wines can generate a significant increase in your sales and can even mean a before and after in your business if it allows you to highlight and position your wines in the right segment and raise your prices because it achieves reflect the quality, uniqueness, and soul of your wines.

However, you know from experience that achieving this is not easy. But above all, it is not by chance nor is it just a matter of ingenuity and creativity.

A good wine label carries behind a very strategic work process that will lead us to develop creativity with criteria and coherence so that the label helps you achieve the objectives you are pursuing.

Wine Label Design

1. We start at the root:

The first thing to keep in mind when designing a wine label is a number of valuable marketing considerations to communicate in accordance with the philosophy of the winery and the brand of wine it represents.

Therefore, we will start with a brand strategy that encompasses aspects such as:

  • The objective behind the design of wine labels: When designing a new wine label, we may seek to publicize a special sub-brand, or on the contrary, it may be with the intention of making a global brand, to strengthen the brand of the winery. There may also be the intention to give a new position to an existing brand, or to redesign a label that has become obsolete. As you can see, the reasons may be different and therefore the objective will be as well.
  • The essence of the brand has to be present. Every winery has well-differentiated values, a personality and an essence, or it should be that way. Well, these aspects have to be shown in one way or another in the design of the wine label, forming part of a global coherence.
  • The target , that is, the target audience of that wine, the consumer who will approach that brand in the supermarket, in the specialized wine grocery store, in the restaurant, in the online store …
  • The unique value proposition , or what is the same, what makes a wine brand different and becomes its point of greatest interest. A good wine label cannot forget this aspect.
  • The positioning of the winery, including the wine in question, will also be important, as it will serve as a starting point to devise the creative style that will later be developed with the graphic design. It is about defining the place that our brand occupies in the minds of consumers, in relation to its competition.
  • The cost of this wine for the consumer, which will be marked by a pricing strategy resulting from the market analysis.
  • The portfolio of wines from that winery, the sub-brands, if any, the ranges and other variants. We will have to know them very well to create effective work.
  • The competition must be studied to know the environment in which our label will be displayed and also the movements of the market. In this study we will observe the national and international context, placing emphasis on the areas in which our wine is distributed.

2. The moment to create

In the design of wine labels, exploring the strategic aspects allows us to start the creative machinery with discretion.

There are many details to take into account when designing wine labels, let’s see the most outstanding ones:

  • Brand territories : these are the intangible spaces in which the brand could develop successfully based on its values ​​and personality. Every creative process for consumer brands begins with this analysis, and this makes it easy to do the later steps.
  • Creative concepts : the design of a wine label will begin with some concepts or axes that must respect the strategy previously proposed. All aspects of the briefing will have to be taken into account, especially those related to positioning and the essence of the brand.
  • The power of naming : the name of a wine will have to be original to differentiate itself from the enormous competition it has. It will have to work from good readability, easy understanding, adequate phonetics in all countries where it is sold, viability and legal registration. From there, each project is unique and we can find traditional, innovative names, but also names of the sea of ​​extravagant ones.
  • The visual imagery: it is important to create a well-defined style with common elements that make it possible to relate that brand of wine to a specific universe created on purpose.
  • The type of bottle, its shape and its color : these three elements will condition us when designing the wine label, as different shapes also mean different workspaces and sizes. We will also have to take into account the color of the glass. A light greenish bottle will not be the same visually as a very dark one, almost black.
  • The complete packaging: the design of a wine does not remain on the label, but rather all the packaging elements of that product are taken into account. We are talking about the main label, the bottom label if applicable, the back label, the collar, the capsule and the seal. Depending on the project, the design will also include the box or bottle wrapper.
  • Materials: wine labels are usually made of paper (although there are silicone ones like Hold and Hollo), and this paper can be of many types. When designing, we choose the texture and color based on our creative concept, without forgetting technical and functional aspects such as the weight of the paper and the type of adhesive. At this point we have a great opportunity to think and act in a sustainable way, from the materials used for labels and boxes, through the type of printing and even taking into account the type of cork that closes the bottle. 
  • Limited space: when it comes to wines, the designer has a somewhat reduced workspace, especially on the back label, which must show a series of mandatory information and must find a way to fit it legibly and aesthetically . Some designs make good use of space so that in addition to informing, there is a place to dream. They are the labels that tell us a story, a brand philosophy or an anecdote. It is a shame to waste this area, no matter how small, because the consumer takes it very much into account.
  • Creative techniques: graphic design is often supported with very personal graphic elements such as photography, illustration or typography. This corresponds to the creative concept on which it rests and helps to show the personality of a brand in a way that is easily remembered by the consumer.
  • Technical finishes: they are the last to intervene, but they must be considered from the beginning of the project. Some typical finishes of wine labels are embossing, uvi varnish, dies with shapes or holes, stamping, etc. Some wine brands even skip the paper and opt to decorate the bottle directly on the glass.
  • Legal requirements: these are the regulatory aspects that every wine label must comply with as it is a consumer product. The professional who designs the label must know these regulations and apply them with great care. The legal information required to market that wine, the appropriate government warnings and the reference to the vineyard must be present. They will later be validated by the responsible public bodies or appellations of origin. Some of this information is the category of the wine, the volume of the product, the name and details of the producer, the alcoholic strength and the country of origin.