Bottiglia di vino rosso con chiusura del tappo in ceralacca con etichetta in carta bianca decorata in lamina oro e rilievo serigrafico.

Design and wine, much more than a matter of label

What can design do for made in Italy excellence like wine? How do you overcome the challenge of adding new quality to a valuable product, destined to stand out in international markets?

This is the first question I asked myself when Vinicola Consoli, a fourth generation Lazio winery with almost a century of history, asked me to design the label for a special collection of bottles.

It was necessary to give a graphic design to a new product, in a limited edition of 1330 numbered copies, to be presented on the occasion of Vinitaly. A red, elegant and austere Igt of 2016, dedicated to a particular year, 1967, that of the birth of Corto Maltese, of the famous portrait of Marilyn Monroe made by Andy Warhol or Sgt. Pepper’s of the Beatles.

For a designer, working on wine is not just exercising a style, his own: about 80 percent of a consumer’s choices pass through the label, as winemakers and entrepreneurs in the sector can confirm. The label must not only inform, but above all invite, suggest, seduce. The designer’s task is therefore to achieve the one that most of all returns the message chosen for each wine.

The work we did here in the agency for 1967 started from the name of the bottle. We split 1967 into two parts. The first, 19, has become a word. The second, 67, a two-digit image on which to imprint photographs and sentences of 19 between facts and characters that marked that year. And then Warhol and Marilyn, the Beatles and Corto Maltese, but also Totò, Luigi Tenco and the Apollo 1 space mission.

A design label is not just a matter of pure decoration. The technology and the support of the label factory have allowed us to enhance the 67 of the label with a play of ennobling between hot foil, screen printing braille and digital printing. The result is a graphic that recurs in 19 different ways on 1330 bottles. Not, therefore, a limited edition with all the same labels, but a collection in which research and design exalt once again a product destined to stand out.

And it is this work that in one year has been appreciated by two different and authoritative juries. The first time last year, when the second prize went to the International Packaging Competition of Vinitaly at Nineteen ’67. The second on February 8th, when the German Design Award 2019 in Frankfurt. Double toast to made in Italy, double toast to design!