Wine Industry Package Design Keeps Brands Blooming

by Paula Sugarman

Over the past few months I’ve run across a couple of marketing success stories with some clients in the wine industry. These are great examples of using wine label package design to give a boost to brand awareness.

A Bountiful Box
Here’s a wine shipper carton from Cline Cellars which was designed by their in-house marketing department. I just love the cheerful flowers and bright colors. It’s sure to attract attention when used for display on the retail floor. Consumers are responding well to it.

Brand Refresh
Increases Sales
Several years ago Sugarman Design created new branding for CSU Fresno’s award winning winery, which is part of the Department of Enology and Viticulture. It included wine label design for three price tiers and labels for other foods produced by the University’s Department of Agriculture.

Recently Sugarman Design was assigned to refresh the University’s Tailgate brand giving it a more collegiate look. The Bulldog Foundation required the school mascot’s entire body be used rather than just the head. At the same time the label size was increased. Greater product differentiation for varietals was achieved with color-designated banners. These changes, some playful, some practical, resonated with students, alumni and employees. We heard there was a sales increase of 39% that made tails wag.

Since then, new shipper cartons have been introduced which are helping to increase shelf presence even more. Shown below are the labels before and after the brand refresh.

More Fun Stuff
I can’t resist sharing a couple of other concepts for CSU Fresno, which didn’t make it to press.  As with many design assignments, a lot of fun work gets left on the table. I love the idea on the left, which has the bulldog carrying the bottle between his teeth.

Keeping Pace with Wine Label Design
This is a fast moving world we live in; wine label design is no exception. In order to keep up, wine marketers are freshening their labels every three to four years. New design enlivens brands, gives wineries something to talk about, and invigorates sales.


Paula Sugarman is owner and creative director of Sugarman Design Group, a California graphic design studio specializing in brand identity, wine label design and food package design.



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