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How to Design a Wine Label | Guide

Designing a wine label involves taking a similar approach to logo, packaging and brand identity design for your business. As ‘design’ is the key word here, visual elements will without a doubt play a key role in communicating your brand voice and message. Simultaneously, this expression will have the power to influence consumers’ perception of your brand.

Much like how eyes are known for being the window to the human soul, consider labels as the window to the soul of a brand, its history, culture, values and personality.

When it comes to wine, designing a label for it may seem a little tricky as first. However, once you get the very first few steps down, the rest of the design process will most likely flow easily.

As a starter, it could be a good idea to thoroughly reflect on the essence of your product: Wine. While it is psychologically proven that most people correlate wine to the feelings of relaxation, there are possibilities that when people hear or think of wine, they could also think of luxury, nostalgia, or even love.

Curious as to how you can create your own successful wine label? Here are the answers to the questions you may have when designing a label for your new and upcoming wine product.

Ultimate Guide and Tips to Design Your Wine Label

Which color(s) should I use for my label design?

Take a look at the image shown below.

How to desing a wine labelThe image depicts three wine bottles. Although the products are essentially the same, the perception that you may personally have towards each wine bottle could differ.

This can be explained by the notion of color psychology. Simply put, colors affect the brain in ways that result in us associating different colors to different emotions and feelings. Hence, the choice of color for your label will act as a significant determinant of consumers’ impression of your wine product.

Color associations may also vary between cultures, and while it isn’t necessary to go incredibly in-depth with color theory, developing a basic understanding of it can be very helpful.

The following list shows the main emotions associated with each particular color:

  • Red: Love, romance, ambition, energy
  • Yellow: Happiness, laughter, cheery, optimism
  • Blue: Calmness, serenity, wisdom, loyalty
  • Green: Natural, health, growth, tranquility
  • Orange: Energetic, excitement, enthusiasm, wealth prosperity
  • Pink: Romance, love, gentle, calming
  • Purple: Royalty, exotic, wealth, sophistication
  • Brown: Reliability, stability, friendship, warmth
  • Black: Power, intelligence, strength, luxury
  • White: Purity, innocence, cleanliness, neutrality

According to these color symbolism, the best-suited colors for a wine label could therefore include:

  • Red wine: Red, black, white, purple
  • White wine: White, black, green
  • Rosé wine: White, pink

Similar to creating a unique brand identity, wine label designs involve the process of careful selection of color that will not only be defining of the brand itself, but also the type of wine being sold. As with any other labels, it should consist of three main colors:

The main brand color

This is the brand color that people will associate with your business. For instance, red highly represents Coca-cola, while green is heavily used by Greenpeace.

The secondary brand color

Some brands use more than one color in their visuals and the same can be applied to your label. Think of the multicolored Google logo, the blue and white color combination for Samsung, and green and white for Starbucks.

A neutral base color

For the base color, white it often used as it is considered the safest color.

Need more help? You can read more about this on our blog about choosing the right logo color.

What are the best typography used for wine labels?

How to design a wine labelThis refers to the choice of font that you will use within your label. As all visual elements should remain cohesive, your wine label design should also be appealing and fitting to the rest of your brand image.

The three main fonts that should be considered in this process include:

The main font

This will be the most significant choice you will have to make in terms of typography. Your main font will set the styles for all your other font choices.

The secondary font

As you should be sticking to the same designs, your secondary font should stylistically align with the main font used.

The copy font

This font will be used for any descriptions added onto the wine bottle or packaging. This should be a simple font that can easily be read by consumers, so try to avoid any squiggly or hard-to-read fonts. Typically, Arial and Times New Roman are used as copy fonts.

The common font choices used on wine labels include serif and san serif fonts, typefaces, or scripts. While serif and san serif fonts can give an old, classic, vintage or modern feel to your product aesthetics, typefaces and scripts can elicit more of a retro look.

Here are some useful websites and programs that could help narrow down the infinite range of fonts for you:

Depending on how you want your wine to be perceived by consumers, you should select the most appropriate font that will support your already established brand image. However, do not be afraid to get creative with this as there are so many choices out there that could result in a stunning and unique label design.

Who are my target customers?

Before deciding on your brand and visual identity, it is vital that you know precisely who your customers are. You need to be aware of both their demographics and psychographics. If you are not so familiar with these concepts and their differences, here is a simple description:

Demographics

This can refer to your target customers’ age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, educational background or career status.

Psychographics

This provides deeper insights about your customer’s personality, behaviors, desires, and needs. This will be something that you will have to be extra attentive to in order to provide your ideal customers with a convincing product that will bring the most value to them.

With more power in the hands of consumers in our society today, these are the people who have the ability to determine whether or not your brand will make it or break it in the industry. It is highly recommended that you get to know your customers on a more personal level. This will open many doors for you as it allows for a better understanding of what they need from you and what benefits you can provide them with.

A good tip would be to conduct a detailed consumer research, or when in need of help, do not hesitate to ask your customer service team or sales assistants. They are the people who may be of great support as they frequently interact with your customers on a day-to-day basis.

Which design style should I stick to?

How to design a wine labelThe style of your wine label design will enable you to visually communicate your brand voice with greater specificity. This is an aspect that can help you distinguish yourself from the many other wine brands in the market.

Prior to determining your style, you will need to have a clear definition of your brand personality and voice, which are the main factors that make up the entirety of your brand identity. With this information, you should be able to curate your style around this idea.

How do you want your product and overall brand to be perceived? A retro, classic, luxurious or feminine personality are a few that you could potentially associate with wine products.

Adapt your label design to this and check whether or not this is consistent with every other aspect of your brand. If yes, then you are good to go. If not, keep experimenting with different styles until you find one that is the perfect match for you.

To break it down in an easier manner, you may start off by creating a style guide. Refer to the main colors, typography, label sizes, and packaging design used, for example, to help come to a decision on the preferred style for your other visual elements. Additionally, you can use this guide to make sure that all features remain complementary to one another.

What are the materials I can use for my wine label?

While the choice of wine label material may seem like a minor decision to make, it is definitely an element that should not be overlooked. No matter how great your logo looks, if your product packaging does not feel right to your consumers, this might stop them from buying it.

Logo and packaging designs come hand-in-hand, and wine label materials can add an exquisite detail to your product. With this, you want to evoke your customer’s senses and allow them to physically and emotionally ‘feel’ your product within a single look or touch.

The majority of wine product purchasing decisions are made at the shelf. The label and packaging will be the very first visual elements your customers will encounter, therefore you want them to not only be eye-catching but also defining of your product’s qualities. They can enhance your visual expression and make your brand identity clearer to your target customers.

However, with the many materials available, how can you tell which one is the right match for you?

One of the first things you have to figure out is the best-suited environmental condition(s) for your wine and whether it will need to withstand warm or cold temperatures. Secondly, you will have to specify which type of aesthetic you are going for which will again have to align with your chosen style.

Below are the materials typically used for wine label facestocks:

Paper

This is the most common type used by many brands. Paper facestocks can provide a classic, natural, traditional yet timeless aesthetic to your wine product.

Film

This comes with a higher cost but can add an exclusive touch and feel to your label design. You can either use a pearlescent film facestock or even have it metalized. Silver is commonly used, however it is possible to add color to give the impression of a gold, copper, or brass material.

Paper-film Hybrid 

This is the most expensive choice of material but could be well worth the cost. It is composed with paper on the top and film at the bottom. Although the hybrid does not hold embellishments such as embossing as well as the paper facestock, the benefit comes with its ability to withstand cold temperatures and wet conditions which is perfect for various wine products that need it.

How to design a wine labelNext are the types of decorative elements to may add to your product to give it a unique twist:

Foil stamp

This can give your label some shine to it.

Emboss

This can be used for added elegance to your product.

Spot varnish

This is mainly used to enhance a focal point within labels such as the logo or brand name.

Matte varnish

This can be used to help protect the paper facestock. Luckily, this will not take away the touch and feel of your facestock.

Die cutting

This technique is used to create different shapes, which can be a great way to make your label stand out.

How can I create a winery brand identity that stands out?

Your brand identity is a unifying set of elements (ie. logos, colors, symbols, voices) of your business that influences how people perceive your brand. A successful brand is a brand that has a well-established brand identity, one that highly resonates with its consumers and deepens their emotional connection towards your business.

Whatever the product is, it is important to create a brand identity that expresses what your brand stands for. At the same time, it is necessary to define and specify your target consumers. This way, you will be able to shape your strategy around their characteristics in order to appeal to them.

Another good tip is to position your wine in a way that accentuates its key selling point. What makes your wine different and better than all the other brands? This is a prime opportunity for you to get creative and think outside the box. Highlight these qualities and make sure that it is clear to consumers.

How do I find the right wine label design for my brand?

People choose their wine not only for its taste and quality, but also for its brand. Therefore, you want to communicate your product and brand’s key qualities through your label design. Choose the right color, shapes, fonts, material and label size that exemplifies this. Make sure that your design and style remains representative and cohesive to rest of your brand message.

For a luxurious wine label design, stick to monochromes or add hints of red and purple. Couple it with a serif or sans serif font for an exclusive and classic feel to it. For a more edgy wine label design, feel free to play around with more colors and use script fonts.

So what defines a successful wine label?

The aesthetics of the label design, touch and feel of the label, and overall packaging will be aspects that define the success of your wine label. However, none of this can come about without first having a holistic understanding of your product and winery.

In simple words, treat your wine label the same you would treat the entirety of your brand. Be mindful and attentive to all the choices you make when it comes to each of its visual features, and do not neglect any element or minor detail. A tiny mistake or inconsistency within your design can be a setback to a successful design.

What else might I need to know about wine label design? 

If you’re new to designing wine labels or any label in general, you may be able to find some helpful tips and inspiration on our blog along with more in-depth explanations of how to create a powerful and unique brand identity.

All of these topics are highly-related as one can not be successful without the other. It is recommended to take a good read of our article about branding in order to obtain a better understanding of the concept.

This way, you can be assured that the next time you create a label design, you are designing one that is beautiful, unique, and most importantly, special to your brand.

If you still feel a bit stuck, do not worry. We have a line of design professionals at DesignBro who will be able to give you a helping hand with your unique wine label design.

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Written by France Preecha

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, France is a marketing enthusiast with a B.A. degree in International Communications & Media. Growing up in a family who work in the design industry, France has developed a deep passion for the arts and writing over the years. France currently resides in Amsterdam and is working with content marketing at DesignBro.

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