Legendary rap artist, E-40 (aka Earl Stevens), entrusted Auston Design Group with the creation of the brand identity and packaging for his new line of wines. Earl has been a wine aficionado since his early days in the recording business; a career spanning twenty years. It wasn’t until recently that he decided to develop his own brand, Earl Stevens Selections.
The label design is intentionally very traditional. Earl Stevens wanted to steer clear from any gimmickry that played off his celebrity so that the wine was appreciated as a quality product in its own right. Any nods toward his music and lyrics are subtly hidden within the label, such as “707" and “Northern California”, both representative of where he grew up and often referenced in the lyrics of his songs.
Since its October 2013 release, the brand has garnered a lot of positive press. It has gained broad consumer appeal, showing quick and steady growth. Distributed by Southern Wine & Spirits, Earl Stevens Selections is widely distributed throughout California; including Costco, and all Northern California BevMo locations.
It’s no secret that musical artists are often engaged to endorse and promote existing alcohol brands, but few can say they have created a successful brand from the ground up, or have the credibility to do so. Earl is a world-class promoter and has fully embraced the use of his music and social media, not only to get the word out to his wine loving fans, but also to introduce an often overlooked market demographic to the enjoyment of a nice glass, or two, of Earl Stevens Selections.
The label was printed at Metro Label, Napa, CA, on their Belgian Xeikon 3500 digital press, with offline gold foil stamp and emboss/deboss on their Swiss made Digitt Rhino finishing unit.
Photography by David Bishop & Phil Emerson