Not very long ago, the standard wine label distinguished itself using scripted fonts, images of scenery and other elegant, sophisticated visual cues that telegraphed class and cache. In today's wine market, however, brands are having more fun with the task of designing their identities. More and more, humor and the potential for shareable content have turned the wine label game into an irreverent, lighthearted marketplace that caused Christine Sismondo of The Globe and Mail to write "Welcome to the brave new world of wine branding."
"Labels have images of sexy ladies and Mexican wrestlers…funny sayings about wine being liquid therapy or mother's little helper, and now even expletives, daring people to share provocative labels on social media in hopes of attracting attention on crowded shelves and catching the eye of a younger generation of drinkers who need to be convinced that wine can be just as fun and casual as craft beer and bourbon," she writes.
At the end of the day, wine is similar to any other liquor: a centerpiece at parties and how drinkers choose to unwind. The notion that wine should always be stuffy and refined may have worked for previous generations of imbibers, but today's audience is looking for an edgier take on the marketplace. This can be credited to several developments. First, the proliferation of budget wines like Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck have lowered consumer expectations about cost. Even box wines, once thought the nadir of the industry, have taken on clever and credible new personalities for a younger audience.
The conservatism which once defined wine branding is on its way out. And while the finest bottles of Bordeaux might trade in old marketing models, brands seeking a wider audience need a memorable, approachable identity. When companies invest in a custom label printer, they take complete creative control over how their brand is expressed in a crowded marketplace. This lends limitless possibilities for tweet-able, unforgettable labels.