“Dark” wines represent an emerging yet lucrative category targeting young, affluent, urban males—aka “beverage geeks.” These guys are attracted to edgy brands. They want to be the first to try new things and to tell you all about them. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates asked us to craft a brand story and wine label design that would help them ride this trend and plant a firm stake this competitive category, instead, we gave them what would be next.
When we looked at the category, it was surprisingly gimmicky and homogenous, with everyone leaning on dark colors and aggressive type. Rather than just follow-the-leader, we looked for ways to fit into an established category, but redefine it at the same time. Through contrasting light and dark tones, our suite of label designs leverages geometric letterforms to create a monogram-like treatment—distinct, personal, with equal measures of sophistication and personality.
Well this is something new. Looks like somebody’s been pushing the boundaries a bit. But isn’t that the way the best things always happen? Tipping over a few sacred cows, not taking the conventional wisdom at face value, learning the rules so you can break them with style? At least that’s our Motto. A wine with backbone behind its elegance—a complex companion that manages to stay in balance while it keeps everyone else on their toes. Sure, we may ruffle a few feathers along the way, but to tell you the truth, they weren’t the flock we were planning to uncork this with anyway. After all, the path separating genius and insanity is a narrow one. Who’s up for a good stroll?
Vice President of Marketing, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates