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New trends in label design

October 25, 2011 by Mariano Gioia | in News

After having touring the main international wine fairs, one of the directors of the specialized studio ‘YG Design’, shares below his perception about wine image in countries of the Old and New World.

In the world of wine label design, there is a general trend toward an image that is closer to the consumer, especially to the new ones, those without the knowledge or prejudice regarding the aura that wine has had in some cases. This is exactly what happens in markets like United States, where wine is gaining space to beer. On the other hand, in China, consumers are just learning how to drink this beverage.
With the purpose of showing the new design trends, we have considered analysis areas, divided by the most representative markets.

Some general considerations

Some wine-producing countries par excellence have still their “country brand” in the presentations of their wines.  They are mainly France and Italy. Their tradition, legacy and elegance are already exhibited at the front of their bottles. The great French wines’ classic typographic compositions, generally accompanied by the image of the château in question, differ from the Italian style, which is traditional but contains a stronger chromatic presence.
Nonetheless, we have observed a general trend toward more contemporary and less classic labels.

The “French revolution

In view of showing cases of interest, we give some exceptional examples, where, judging by their labels, it is difficult to identify that they are bottles from Bordeaux. “A la gloire du chat” and “La Panthère Rose” are some of them.

The well-known case of the South of France

As it was widely known, the southern region of France, cradle of wine, has detached itself completely from the image of its northern neighbors. In this region, there is a great deal of bolder labels, images free of castles and heraldry, with stronger presence of color and new designs.
In the case of Longue-Dog, there is a pun on the name of its origin (Languedoc), getting a new meaning by changing some letters, thus reaching a funnier concept that helps to remember the brand.


Although Italy has less ground-breaking cases than France’s, there is a greater number of “less traditional” labels. We noticed a trend to use less typography on labels and give more importance to images, which are colorful, striking and take up a large part of the label.

The two Spains

Spain seems to be divided in two. The differentiation is not made by areas or regions as in France, but a contrast between traditional labels and most contemporary depictions. In some cases, under an “anything goes” concept, we find unstructured typographic compositions, very powerful images and original layouts.
An example is Matsu (Vintae), a line that communicates its Young, Aged and Reserve wine by means of a sole portrayal for each of them. The characters depict allegorically the age of the wine they contain.

Portugal: the Old World’s revelation

Nowadays, Portugal seems to be part of the “Old World” in terms of wine image and the phenomenon’s homogeneity is surprising. Most of its labels do not depict tradition or history, but other concepts appearing behind their depictions, making their brands more forceful.

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3 Comentarios » - Leave a comment


Matt »25 Octubre 2011 @ 12:26 pm |

Cool. My wife has 6 syrahs and 3 carmeneres coming out this year in Chile, and those labels are seriously cool

Tony Auston »26 Octubre 2011 @ 14:57 pm |

Matt, I am a wine label designer in California. If your wife doesn’t have a designer yet, I would like to talk to her about designing her labels. We work with wineries of all sizes. Here is the link to my website: I hope I hear from her.


Travis »26 Octubre 2011 @ 21:01 pm |

All too often I have seen labels developed without the true sense of soul that reflects the winery. A brand created for the sake of a brand is desitined to be just another close out special at Trader Joes (see Critter Brands).

A truely great wine label is a work of art, a masterpiece that speaks on the winery’s behalf of the great wine in the bottle.


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