wine retail design

Wine retail design

Shall we have another bottle...?

One of our key areas of expertise in recent years has been working within the wine trade.

Our two key major wine retail design projects are for the high street retail chain Oddbins, and secondly for the French business Le Verre Gourmand, who supply hotels, chalets and restaurants from their base just outside Chamonix.

Then, a recent major project saw us design a full suite of wine labels for a new wine brand, Chemin des Pins. This rounded off our experience as not only working on wine retail design, but the very design of the product itself.

We have also realised a long-cherished dream and devised a wine retail brand from scratch, Thirsty in Cambridge. Our work for Thirsty includes brand design and development as well as a full e-commerce website.

A wine retail design story: Oddbins

Our work with Oddbins began in a very simple way, designing a series of store-front retail posters. Following a buy-out and restructuring, the business had very little in the way of in-store print materials, never mind the specific wine retail design collateral it needed in-store graphics, point of sale and so on.

Our first major project for Oddbins was a redesign of their in-store graphics, shelf-edge signage, in effect giving the stores a subtle makeover. Our design concept was taken from the design of the brand identity which we felt had never really been exploited and carried into the stores. So with this in mind, a brand language was developed and launched in store-front posters as well as this signage.

It’s a great example of how a well-known brand can have a fresh look without expensive store-refits, and taking an identity long-term customers know well and giving it a fresh twist.

wine retail design

Wine retail design for Oddbins

wine retail design

Wine retail design for Oddbins

These are a couple of examples of our favourite store-front posters for Oddbins. We’ve designed hundreds of these, usually directed by the in-house marketing teams, using ongoing themes which usually run for a year at a time. Each set lasts a month, and there are usually four each time, including one that local teams can use to write special offers or new product.

Alongside these posters sits a set of customised price labels so the whole store has a unified, single look. It’s a great example of how a wine retail design campaign can have a cohesive feel that starts on the street, draws in customers and takes them on a journey – hopefully to discover new products.

Retail brand identity for Thirsty in Cambridge

Brand new wine retail design: Thirsty in Cambridge

Our latest wine retail design project is a really exciting one – the development of a completely new retail concept.

Working with our long-standing client Le Verre Gourmand, we have developed a new brand called Thirsty, which launched during the summer of 2015. It’s a fantastic project with a striking, bold shopfront in the heart of Cambridge. And it’s caused quite a stir.

Using the graphic language of the protest as a backdrop, this gutsy new shop is set to ruffle feathers and re-imagine how wine (and craft beer) is bought in one of the student capitals of the UK.

Shopfront branding for Thirsty in Cambridge

Thirsty’s shopfront in Cambridge

The second phase of the project was a full e-commerce website for Thirsty, selling their curated selection of products on the web, not just on the high street.

Wine retail design

W-commerce web design for Thirsty in Cambridge

E-commerce web design for Thirsty in Cambridge

Design for a special event: The Oddbins Wine Fair

Moving beyond their retail stores, Oddbins asked us to help re-launch their popular wine fair and create a stand-alone graphic look for the event. Our response was to devise a brand look inspired by classic Italian travel posters of the 1950s. To achieve an authentic, original look, we screen printed the poster for the true hand-made feel with a soft, friendly look with a visual pun between the awning and the champagne coupes.

Poster and brand concept for the Oddbins Wine Fair

A bold new look for Le Verre Gourmand

Following our other work in the wine industry, were approached by international wholesaler Le Verre Gourmand to design a new brand look for their business. Using custom type and a specially designed travel-style stamp, we created this memorable, bold identity which is used at their warehouse just outside Chamonix, in France.

The brand design appears extensively across signage, vehicle branding, shelf-edge labelling, stationery and other materials such as invoicing and in-house print materials.

The brand has been a huge success for the company and has coincided with the move to a new warehouse and significant growth in trade. In an industry where investing in design is a little unusual, using custom design and deploying it carefully has proven a smart move. The team believe that having a instantly-recognisable brand is key for the company as they visit restaurants, bars and chalets in the area around the warehouse which are busy year-round with tourists, but particularly during the ski season. It’s a bold and persuasive symbol of a growing business.

Brand identity as part of a wine retail design project for Le Verre Gourmand

Vehicle branding and warehouse signage as part of a wine retail design project for Le Verre Gourmand

Vehicle branding and warehouse signage as part of a wine retail design project for Le Verre Gourmand

When the product becomes the project

During the Summer of 2014 we were invited to work on a completely new brand of wine, named Chemin des Pins. An unusual piece of wine retail design work, it focussed on the product being sold, rather than our usual work marketing the product.

The end result is a full set of wines which form part of a range of ‘premium vin de table’ products which is sold wholesale to restaurants and ski chalet companies in the Chamonix and Megève holiday centres of eastern France.

Our label concept design for Chemin des Pins

‘Sometimes the right design solution isn’t necessarily the most adventurous or wacky route – which was very much the case with our new ‘Chemin des Pins’ wine brand.

We needed an understated, elegant, quite conservative look for the wine label design – which Richard and his team have achieved with some aplomb. The bottle labels look as good as the stuff inside tastes!’


Our label concept design for Chemin des Pins