Rob Walker points to an interesting article in the Houston Chronicle that analyzes the impact design has on the purchase of wine.
Citing research contucted by Keven Malkewitz, an assistant marketing professor at
Oregon State University, the article describes how 125 experts —
graphic or industrial designers — analyzed the aesthetic attributes
of 160 wine bottles. Responses were sorted into five primary design
types: massive (or bold), contrasting, natural, delicate and
From the article:
"Next, researchers showed photos of the bottles to 268
consumers in Oregon. They asked 15 questions about each bottle’s “brand
personality,” including whether the brands seemed sincere, exciting,
competent, sophisticated or even rugged.
The results? Consumers found “massive” packaging (Wine by Joe was an
example) and contrasting designs (the label on Australia’s Yellow Tail)
to be exciting and eye-catching. But they also expected them to be low
in competence and sophistication, of lower quality and less expensive,
the study found. Additionally, wines with highly contrasting designs
were thought to be rugged.
Natural designs — like Washington state's Chateau Ste. Michelle —
were thought to be sincere, competent and sophisticated wines, but not
especially exciting. Consumers also expected these wines to be
expensive but of high quality and a good value.
Delicate designs — Italy's Travaglini, for example — also scored
high on competence and sophistication and were expected to be of high
quality, classy and expensive. Consumers found nondescript designs —
California's Fusee — insincere, and believed they were corporate and of
little value for the money.
Malkewitz said the results showed some wineries — Yellow Tail's
colorful kangaroo set against a black backdrop — have successfully
aligned their packaging with their content and pricing, sending a clear
message to consumers.
"Yellow Tail is accurately signaling who they are and what they do
with their packaging," said Malkewitz, a former marketing executive at
Wine by Joe, however, might be slightly off-point, he said.
"The bottle is screaming, 'I'm not very expensive. I'm not very
competent.' " Malkewitz said, noting that the wine is more expensive
than Yellow Tail's and other mass-marketed wines.
Wine by Joe founder Joe Dobbes, a 22-year winemaking veteran, said
he designed his 5-year-old label almost tongue in cheek. His target:
Generation Xers who want an approachable but good-tasting wine to drink
during the week, at wedding receptions and "maybe funerals."
"The whole idea behind Wine by Joe is to give people a serious wine
without attitude — in other words, a great value," Dobbes said. "I'd
say don't let the label fool you. ... Really, it's only a beverage. ...
Don't get too caught up in it."
London based designer Kacper Hamilton has created "7 Deadly Glasses", one glass desgined for each of the deadly sins. The glass above is my favorite of the bunch, representing gluttony.
Hamilton says - “These red wine glasses are based on the 7 deadly sins. Each glass
encapsulates a sin, which is revealed through the ritual of drinking.
The ‘7 Deadly Glasses’ are about celebrating passion and encouraging
the user to be sinful in a theatrical fashion."
One of the most interesting things I read this week was Speak Up's terrific analysis of the Barack Obama campaign's skillful use of their campaign '08 logo.
"For each segment of people, the logo changes accordingly, tip-toeing a
fine line between cliché and clever, and never crossing to the former's
dark side. The iterations are quickly identifiable and feel genuinely
concerned with connecting to the people they are talking to, without
pandering. The executions are rather flawless and work perfectly on
screen with the detailed gradients and subtle background illustrations.
Even the typography is lovingly handled, with each segment changing
ever so slightly and unified by the use of Gotham in most of the
applications, and using other typefaces as fitting — even the "kids"
typography looks finessed, despite the looming pitfalls of faux
child-drawn typography. This kind of playful flexibility is typically
reserved for the likes of MTV, VH1 or Nickelodeon and the breadth of
this kind of brand architecture for global corporations with endless
"Pantone, Inc selected
PANTONE® 18-3943 BLUE IRIS, a beautifully balanced blue-purple, as the color of the year for 2008. Combining the stable and calming aspects of blue with the mystical and spiritual qualities of purple, Blue Iris satisfies the need for reassurance in a complex world, while adding a hint of mystery and excitement. "
"From a color forecasting perspective, we have chosen PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris as the color of the year, as it best represents color direction in 2008 for fashion, cosmetics and home products," explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "As a reflection of the times, Blue Iris brings together the dependable aspect of blue, underscored by a strong, soul-searching purple cast. Emotionally, it is anchoring and meditative with a touch of magic. Look for it artfully combined with deeper plums, red-browns, yellow-greens, grapes and grays."