Inspirational Wednesday: Critter Wines

When it comes to packaging design, that small stretch of paper on glass is a critical key in the industry. It helps bring out emotional response towards the product and the brand. It is also a space for both art and communication, a place where a designer can tell a story to a prospective buyer.


Harold Hamersma, a man with a strong opinion when it comes to wine, just launched his new book called ‘De grote Hamersma 2015’. This is already the fifth edition of the book, containing tips, a wine index and over 2500 new wine types, all provided with their unique own story. Because according to Hamersma, the story behind wine is becoming more and more important.


As there are so many ready-to-drink wines, it is important to design a label that will stand out from others and do its talking. Studies indicate that a wine label has only 3 seconds to grab a buyer’s attention, that’s why many market-savvy wineries are responding by targeting specific demographic groups with their labels. The largest wine-drinking demographic, the ‘Millennial generation’ (under 35s), likes fun, energetic, colorful or provocative labels, so we are seeing more labels featuring animals (‘critter wines’), labels with quirky names (‘Fat Bastard’ or ‘Flying Pig’), and labels with modern, contemporary artwork. Baby Boomers, on the other hand, are likely to be attracted by more conservative labels (pictures of chateaus or vineyards) as well as labels with legible typography with larger fonts because of their failing eyesight. So why are people interested in buying wines that feature animals or have funny names? Bright colors, eye-catching fonts, quirky looking design make people laugh, while unusual names of the wine make people remember the brand better. Also, consumers have an easier time with an image if they are already primed about it.  For example, if a person already likes cats, then a picture of a cat on a wine label may appeal to that consumer, even if the cat has nothing to do with wine.


To sum up, the reason why critter wines work is because easily recognizable labels create an unexpected and memorable connection with the consumer’s perception of the image and the identification of the wine.


‘Wine makes a person happier’, Hamersma says, ‘and you shouldn’t be stingy when it comes to your happiness’. So instead of only looking at the presentation of the bottle, people should look at what is inside, because a horrid looking bottle can contain the most delicious wine.’


Would you buy a wine just because it had a funny picture of an animal on the label?

Let us know!

Click here to read more about the new book.


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