Wine labels have to do a lot of heavy lifting: luring customers in, communicating the mouthwatering flavors within the bottle, and getting them to pony up the sticker price all at a single glance. Vintners—as well as beer brewers and distillers—have gotten pretty creative in the graphic design department with elaborate labels festooned with vivid illustrations and custom type. How to make the label both evocative and meaningful to the consumer, and not merely an exercise in artistic license? The Barcelona design studio Atipus recently created a series of labels for Rojalet, a new wine brand, and strikes that chord remarkably well.
“The goal, in the end, is to communicate,” Eduard Duch, the creative director of print projects at Atipus, says. “And communication becomes a balance between form and content. When you start with a good concept, you can afford to bring the design to the limit and achieve a more impressive product without losing the message or the sincerity of it.”
Atipus based their design on terroir, the physical qualities of the land that influence a wine’s taste. “‘Rojalet’ refers to the red soil where the vines grow,” Duch says. “This leads us to think about the earth and the representation of soil. The layers tell the story of the soil, its composition, and thus the character of the grape.”
The vintners started with one white and two reds. Atipus tasted the wines and channeled the qualities into the labels, which are abstractions of soil strata. The “vigorous, fresh, and fruity” white has a label with thick wavy lines of red, orange, gold, and blue. One of the reds has an intense presence, but is still young so Atipus worked with a black background and thin, brightly colored lines. The other red is aged longer and has a more nuanced flavor so its label is far calmer—just speckled black and white bands with a zip of gold.
“With a wine you expect to have a good time, to enjoy a tasty drink that meets expectations but also gives you something else,” Duch says. “With the label, it should be the same.”