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Label Design

How Wine Labels Tell Stories


Label Design

How Wine Labels Tell Stories


A wine bottle must stand out against hundreds of choices, often relying on a single label to express personality and tell a story. That’s a lot of responsibility for a space that measures just a few centimeters across.

Here are three steps that designers follow to make sure the label attracts attention, while staying true to the brand.

DAf Wine Agency Creative Global Thinking
DAf Wine Agency Creative Global Thinking


1. Know the story

Understanding the background of each brand is crucial. When it comes to wine, it’s likely that the brand story will be informed by the same roots as the product itself: the grapes and the soils they grew from.

What are the characteristics of the winemaking region? Is innovation important to the winery? Does family tradition play a central role?

These are just a few questions to ask to align strategy and creativity with brand storytelling. Their answers unveil the true details that inspire original and beautiful design work.

Becoming fully acquainted with the story is a must to unveil the creative focus.

2. Enjoy your constraints

After all, design is different from art: It has to respect the rules, and resourcefully work around them.

Label design is no exception to this. It is full of limitations—from production costs to print specifications. A proposed design will have to meet budget and consider obligatory information such as varietal details and alcohol percentage.

The designer’s craft relies on fully understanding a client’s brief while acknowledging realistic practicalities—then finding a way to meet them confidently and beautifully.

3. Make artristy central

Designs must be eye-catching and convincing to attract consumer attention. To achieve this, and in line with the brand story, designers may choose to employ minimalist or maximalist techniques.

Minimalist labels use subtle details to tell the product’s story. Usually, these attributes define the product—perhaps a single motif from the soils, or a symbolic relic from a family’s history. The chosen details are then represented through careful consideration of design elements, such as illustration, lettering, typography and color scheme.

Maximalism is where layering, texture, optical illusions and brash color take center stage, as if shouting for consumer attention. Handled skillfully, this technique creates a rich world of layers that reveal multiple storytelling components each time you look.

Storytelling is an ancient skill with modern-day applications. In the art of label design, designers must exploit creative techniques to tell a story on a small space—strategically, memorably and truthfully. Explore examples of how our labels tell stories here.

We’re waiting to cultivate your story.