Labels make potent statement with wine

THE State’s robust wine industry has provided some exciting opportunities for the local design industry.

While a continuing weak manufacturing industry has left designers in WA with very few opportunities to explore packaging design, a thriving wine sector in the South West has resulted in some impressive label designs.

Braincells managing director Howard Cearns claims wine label design in WA is top class.

“We’re doing two new labels for the US market for a guy who operates out of here,” Mr Cearns said.

“And for Plantagenet we’re doing a UK and a US label.”

Several of the high-profile clients in the wine industry have developed a good understanding of the power of a strong label on the bottle shop shelf.

“Those for whom the light has gone on, you can hear and see on the shelf and see customers talking about it, and you can see the payback,” Mr Cearns said.

In the 1980s in Perth, Matilda Bay with the Redback label used design in a way it had never been used before.

A strong label can enable a local winery to get its wine on to a high-profile restaurant wine list.

It’s a competitive market out there on the retail floor, with research suggesting a label has less than 0.1 of a second to grab a person’s eye.

Perth’s proximity to the Margaret River wine region plays a role in label design.

An understanding of both the land and the community serve to create the inspiration for the fresh exciting design wrapped around bottles of WA wine.

It’s not just the individual wineries in the region that are working to build a strong presence.

Roland Butcher at Chemistry, for example, has developed a logo for the Wine Industry Association Western Australia that could be used to brand Western Australian wines.

Mr Butcher hopes all locally produced product eventually will wear the Wine Industry Association logo to help identify and brand WA product.

“We can brand the State through packaging with that,” Mr Butcher said.

“The WA association has started to use it on their own communications, but there are other things they can do with it.”

On the shelf next to wines from all over the world, the WA wine leaf will help customers quickly identify which wines come from WA.

And the flow-on benefit is wine tourism, which follows interest in WA wines.

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