Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sketch Sunday 12

Wine label design.

My dad bought and planted about one hundred wine grape vines on our property a couple of years ago, and we picked them last year for the first time. We didn't get a lot, but there was enough to make a few bottles of wine. I was the designated label designer.

On a previous Sketch Sunday, I posted my brainstorming sketches:

Brainstorming sketches.

After a few pages of doodling, I developed some ideas about how to proceed, but it wasn't until after the corking process that we decided upon the name of the wine. I opened up Illustrator and began making vector shapes on a 4" x 4.5" canvas.

I started by just putting the necessary text—the logo, name, year, etc. After moving the words around, I felt comfortable enough with the overall balance of the text to start embellishing the label by adding some background elements.

The first iteration on Adobe Illustrator.

The second iteration.

Since I am relatively new to Illustrator, I went for a simple, clean, and modern look, using basic shapes, colors, and blending techniques. I tried to get a good balance of light and dark, text and white space, and different colors, and used repeated motifs to tie the whole label together.

The final design!

When the design was finalized, I printed the labels out, trimmed them, and glued them on the bottles! Check out these beauties. :)

The final product!

The wine is very good for a first attempt. Since the vines are only 2-3 years old, the flavors are not as strong and the taste has "young vines" written all over it (according to one of my connoisseur colleagues). The color is a brilliant dark red with purple hints, and the wine tastes moderately sweet and acidic. In case you can't tell, the text at the bottom of the label reads: Brix 21.2 - TA 0.85 - pH 3.96 - Alc. 12.2%.

Here are some photos from the whole process:

Wine grape-picking, Aug 2008.

Cabernet grapes on the vine.

The tiny first year harvest with grape crusher & barrel in the back.

Wine bottling session, May 2009.

Transfer from carboy to bottle.

Can you see the nice dark red? It couldn't be captured well on photo.

The corking process... guess how the wine name came about! ;)

Our eclectic mix of only 22 bottles.

It was my dad's dream to have his own vineyard, and he made it possible with a lot of research and hard work. I want to congratulate him on a job well-done and thank him for the fun experience. Cheers, and to next year!


  1. This is awesome! Congrats to your dad. I love the bottle label.

  2. WOW, I can't believe how much more impact those vertical lines add to your label. learning so much. your blog truly is inspiring. <3 lorraine

  3. Yay! Learning is good. Inspiration on inspirimint is even better! :D

    I thought the label shape/dimensions (4" x 4.5") made the overall design look a little "frumpy"—kinda fat and off-oblong, but not quite square. The vertical lines balanced out the flat design a lot better, but once it was put on the curved surface of the bottle, the effect was completely different. In the photo, the vertical lines don't add much to the design, and it looks like I should have added more vertical lines closer to the center of the design.

    But... this is all retrospect so I'm not gonna fuss over this one much more. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing. i really appreciate it that you shared with us such a informative post..
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  5. @bob - I'm glad you enjoyed it!