Wine label design notes

Posted by Rob Walker on March 3, 2008
Posted Under: The Designed Life,Wine Packaging

I’ve been saving up a couple of interesting bits related to wine packaging that I intended to highlight shortly before publishing the next volume of The International Review of Wine Packaging and Aesthetics.

However, first I have to say this: After publishing that volume in a few minutes, The IRoWPaA will go on indefinite hiatus. While I love this project, it’s never really gotten much of a reaction, and I can only handle so many quixotic ventures at once. If anybody wants to see it revived later when I have more time, use the comments. (Better, if anybody knows a design publication, online or off, that would be willing to pick up the feature, email me. But please do not email me to say that you want me to revive it later here — I need that to be public, so I can point to the comments, or dearth of comments, when I make a decision.)

Meanwhile, though, I do have those two interesting bits to share. Both come from the blog of How Magazine.

First: Wine Pocket, “constructed of industrial wool felt collected from factory excess.” Personally I haven’t had call for a wine pocket, but maybe you do. Here’s what the $29 item looks like:



Second: How’s blog pointed to this Portfolio article, which says:

To make their products stand out, many winemakers are taking clever, daring, and sometimes even radical approaches to labeling. They’re putting as much attention into what’s on the bottle as what’s in it.

There’s also a slideshow. Clearly I agree with the premise, since it’s kind of what IRoWPaA was about. The piece mentions Yellowtail and “critter” wines, which was the subject of an April 23, 2006 Consumed, and the slideshow has an image of a wine called Plungerhead, which is a subject of the next and final volume of IRoWPaA, coming along any minute now.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

Reader Comments

I enjoy your wine label commentary quite bit. I’d be really sorry to see it go. Buying wine is such a crapshoot and therefore extra-dependent on packaging; and there’s so much stupid design out there, ripe for the poking.

I can see though that it’s hard to tell what readers think of a project like this. As a reader, I don’t have an easy way to respond to this kind of commentary. It feels like pandering to write comments like “LOL!” every time — one wants to add to the conversation and not sound like a dope.

Written By Cynthia Closkey on March 3rd, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

Oh you’re just too kind. I saw your nice post about SXSW! Thanks so much!

Written By Rob Walker on March 3rd, 2008 @ 4:44 pm

Rob – I really hope you don’t give up this feature forever. My gut feeling is that there are a lot of wine-lovers who are also into design and packaging. I enjoy reading wine writers’ takes on design, but I generally prefer yours, since you come at the topic from a different area of expertise.

I wonder if a wine or food/wine publication would be interested in picking this up…

Written By kitpollard on March 4th, 2008 @ 10:57 am

Thanks Kit. I’d be open that scenario, but dunno. Much obliged/ rw

Written By Rob Walker on March 4th, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

I added your site to my RSS feed because of the wine feature. :p

Written By Krupo on March 4th, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

“What’s that – ‘Walker’ you say? ‘IRoWPaA’? Best work he’s ever done – and probably ever will do…”

Written By ant on March 9th, 2008 @ 6:51 am
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