There is a new craft distillery in Northern California. Humboldt Distillery launched its first product, a Certified Organic Vodka, in May 2013. Auston Design Group was pleased to have been selected to develop the branding and create the packaging design for this new entry into the smoking hot, Craft Spirits genre.
The Distillery, located in the city of Fortuna, on Californiaâ€™s rugged North Coast, wanted their brand image to reflect the coastal essence of Humboldt County. While Redwood trees, rocky shorelines and chainsaw art, were expected directions to take, we found out that the Master Distiller had a love for Crabbing the local waters and felt that the Dungeness crab would be the perfect icon to represent a Humboldt County distillery. He couldnâ€™t have agreed more. Once we got the go ahead we were able to use creative copywriting to explain the somewhat unexpected choice of a crab as the brand’s Icon. The distillery will be releasing Raspberry and Orange Blossom line extensions in the coming months. Stay tuned!
The labels were digitally printed at Vintage 99 Label in Livermore, California.
Congratulations to all of our medal winning clients, and there are many of you. Who knew that even in a blind tasting a strong label design could still influence the decision making process of the most discerning palates. Below is a not so short list of the winners that adorn their bottles with an Auston Design Group wine label design.
Bogle Vineyards Essential Red 2010 â€”Â All Red Blends – Up to $14.99 â€” Best of Class
Bogle Vineyards 2010 â€” Merlot – up to $9.99 â€” Gold
Bogle Vineyards 2010 â€” Petite Sirah – Up to $19.99 â€” Silver
Bogle Vineyards 2011 â€” Chardonnay – up to $9.99 â€” Silver
Bogle Vineyards 2010 â€” Cabernet Sauvignon – up to $14.99 â€” Silver
Dry Creek Vineyard The Mariner 2009 â€”Bordeaux Blends $40.00 to $49.99 â€” Best of Class
Dry Creek Vineyard 2010 Heritage â€” Zinfandel – up to $19.99 â€” Double Gold
Dry Creek Vineyard 2012 â€” Sauvignon Blanc or Fume – $14.00 to $19.99 â€” Double Gold
Vigilance Winery & Vineyards 2010 â€” Petite Sirah – $20.00 & Over â€” Best of Class
Vigilance Winery & Vineyards 2011 â€” Sauvignon Blanc or Fume – $14.00 to $19.99 â€” Gold
Vigilance Winery & Vineyards 2011â€” Chardonnay – $20.00 to $24.99 â€” Bronze
Trinity Oaks 2011 Pinot Grigio â€” Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio â€” Up to $14.99 â€” Best of Class
Trinity Oaks 2011 â€” Chardonnay – up to $9.99 â€” Gold
Trinity Oaks 2010 â€” Pinot Noir – up to $19.99 â€” Silver
McManis Family Vineyards 2011 Petite Sirah â€” Petite Sirah – Up to $19.99 â€” Best of Class
McManis Family Vineyards 2011 â€” Merlot- up to $9.99 â€” Gold
McManis Family Vineyards 2011 River Junction â€” Chardonnay – up to $9.99 â€” Silver
McManis Family Vineyards 2011 â€” Pinot Noir – up to $19.99 â€” Silver
McManis Family Vineyards 2011 â€” Viognier – Up to $19.99 â€” Bronze
Bailiwick Wines 2010 Borderline â€” Pinot Noir – $35.00 to $39.99 â€” Gold
Bailiwick Wines 2010 â€” Pinot Noir – $35.00 to $39.99 â€” Gold
Bailiwick Wines 2010 â€” Cabernet Franc â€” Silver
Bailiwick Wines 2010 â€” Pinot Noir – $35.00 to $39.99 â€” Silver
Bailiwick Wines 2011 Vermentino â€” All Other White Varietals â€” Silver (more…)
The hard working Gnarly Head wine label, originally designed by Auston Design Group in 2003, helped propel this powerhouse brand toward becoming the #1 selling Zinfandel brand in the world. Not wanting to sit on its laurels, and with continued growth in mind, DFV Wines hired ADG to evolve the design with the goal of increasing sales through strengthened shelf presence, and by making the original â€śOld Vine Zinfandelâ€ť label design work better with other varietals; most importantly, white wines.
Changing the label design of such a wildly successful brand as Gnarly Head is tricky business. The intent was to increase perceived value with existing consumers and to insight trial with consumers who are not currently Gnarly Head drinkers. It was imperative that the core equity elements of the package be maintained. Any adjustments to the brandmark, illustration and color scheme had to be done with such subtlety that the average consumer might not notice that something had changed. A big part of the success of the original package was a somewhat crude, unpolished look that appealed to consumers. We call it â€śThe Funk Factorâ€ť. The funk factor was another key element of the original design that had to be maintained and represented in the new design. Our client, and we, believe we have achieved these goals and watch closely as this new design continues to filter-in on store shelves across the globe.
We are very pleased with the top quality reproduction of our artwork. The labels were printed on the state of the art Gallus EM 410 S flexographic printing press. A special thanks to Mark Grigsby of Grigsby Label in Eldorado Hills, CA. for seeing the job through.
Raff Distillerie, San Franciscoâ€™s newest distillery, is located on Treasure Island where it produces high-quality, small-batch spirits. Auston Design Group developed branding for the distillery, and package design for its Bummer & Lazarus Gin and its Emperor Norton Absinthe. Both brands are based on mid to late 1800â€™s Barbary Coast characters of historical significance. The package designs are meant to reflect the mood of the characters and the era.
Emperor Norton: Norton was a successful San Francisco businessman who, after some bad investments, lost his fortune. A few years later, apparently mentally unbalanced, he proclaimed himself “Emperor of these United States” and “Protector of Mexico”. Though he was considered insane, or at least incredibly eccentric, the citizens of San Francisco celebrated his regal presence and his proclamations; most famously, his “order” that the United States Congress be dissolved by force, and his numerous decrees calling for a bridge to span the bay, connecting San Francisco to Oakland. He was treated deferentially in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented. Norton died in 1880. Nearly 30,000 people packed the streets of San Francisco to pay homage to him. Absinthe is a fitting homage to his legacy.
Bummer & Lazarus: Bummer and Lazarus were two stray dogs that roamed the streets of San Francisco in the early 1860s, and were embraced by the cityâ€™s citizens. Recognized for their unique bond and their prodigious rat-killing ability, they became a fixture of city newspapers and were exempted from local leash and muzzle laws. This unique Gin package is a nod to an overlooked part of San Francisco history.
Special thanks to Jay Tapp and the crew at Metro Label for masterfully reproducing our designs on their Xeikon 3500 digital printing press. The Digitt finishing system was the icing on the cake with amazing emboss and deboss effects.
Bailiwick is primarily a Pinot Noir brand that focuses on producing extremely high-quality wines from single vineyard locations around Northern California. Each vintage there are seven to nine vineyard designated Pinots, plus a Cabernet Franc. Their only white wine is a California Vermentino.
The concept features a venn diagram of overlapping circles. Each circle represents the strength and experience each of the two owners, brothers Paul & Bryan Vais, bring to this new enterprise. Where the circles overlap represents the strength of the partnership, their Bailiwick. There is a different color combination for each of the Pinot Noirs produced by Bailiwick Wine Co.
The labels were beautifully printed by label printers, Tapp Technologies, in their new Napa plant. They were digitally reproduced on their HP digital press, and finished off-line with an embossed texture and debossed brandmark.
Auston Design Group is proud to introduce Brasas, a new ultra-premium cabernet sauvignon brand produced by Palmaz Vineyards winery in Napa Valley. Native to Argentina, The Palmaz family wanted a wine label that embodied the countryâ€™s culture.
Our decision to produce a branded leather label was influenced by the Argentine’s love for Asado: the unique and centuries-old Argentine method of outdoor open-pit cooking. Brasas takes its name from the Spanish word for coals. Perfectly tended coals are the most important part of this method of barbeque. The choice of capsule color is indicative of tarnished silver riding tack; the graphic depicts the art of Argentine Gaucho rawhide braiding.
The leather labels were technically very difficult to produce. In the end, they were masterfully crafted via Trademark Graphics, a specialty printing company based in San Francisco, California. Our thanks to owner, Todd McCartney, for maintaining the highest standards and helping us see the project through to fruition.Â
Thanks to The Dieline, the most visited website on package design in the world, for awarding our package design for Einstok: third place winner in the beer category, in this year’s 2012 Dieline Awards.
“The Dieline presents the winners of The Dieline Package Design Awards presented by Inwork. This worldwide competition devoted exclusively to the art of brand packaging awarded 38 winners across 12 different categories including Best of Show and Editor’s Choice titles. The Editor’s Choice was handpicked by Andrew Gibbs, founder of The Dieline.
The Dieline Package Design Awards entrants were judged by a highly esteemed panel of 10 industry experts, based on quality of Creativity, Marketability, and Innovation. Debbie Millman, President Emeritus of AIGA and President of Design at Sterling Brands, served as the chairman of the judges.”
The Bogle family has launched a new product, Essential Red. A slightly off-dry red wine blend crafted to offer consumers an affordable blend that doesnâ€™t punch them in the face with over-ripe, high alcohol sweetness.
With three successful and enduring Bogle brand design launches under Auston Design Groupâ€™s belt, the Bogle family entrusted the studio with the brand development and package design for this delicious new blend. The final result is a label with very strong shelf presence, that evokes the rustic look and feel of a bygone era.
Auston Design Group teamed up with Bronze Creative to develop the branding for this new entry into the rapidly growing specialty rum category. Marauda, Spanish for marauder, is in reference to the rum loving pirates that prowled the Caribbean Sea in the 18th and 19th centuries. The brand is targeted to aspirational consumers who have cut their teeth on lower quality rums and are looking to experience a higher quality and more mature product. The package design combines custom bottles, screen-printing and pressure sensitive labels. Lot numbers, along with sequentially numbered bottles from each batch, reinforce the hand-crafted, small-batch nature of this rum. A limited production wax-dipped launch bottle was created as an introduction gift to distributors and key accounts.
International Beer Week (2/10 â€“ 2/19) was the perfect time for Sierra Nevada to introduce the extension of Pale Ale as its first foray into cans. Auston Design Group has been working with the creative department at the brewery for the past year to extend the Pale Ale branding to cans and the twelve-pack carton. Sierra Nevada saw the expansion to cans as a great opportunity to make the Pale Ale more portable. Auston Design Group was asked to explore a broad range of solutions, ranging from very close in, to radical departures from the existing look and feel of the brand. A collection of the strongest of these concepts was put before focus groups. After much thought and consideration based on the learnings from the focus groups, as-well-as gut instinct, the brewery chose to stay true to the current Sierra Nevada Pale Ale graphics. We are proud to have been a part of this expansion, and are excited to enjoy these pale ale’s in the wild.
With hundreds of different brands fighting for attention on store shelves, wine is one of the most competitive consumer goods in the world. The Auston Design Group team is proud of its ability to create wine brands that sell. The studio is responsible for the branding and package design of a number of top selling brands. Following is a look at some of our top performers from 2011.
Gnarly Head: #1 selling Zinfandel brand in the world
In 2011 the Auston Design Group designed wine brand, Gnarly Head, became the #1 selling Zinfandel SKU in the world. The brand was launched in 2003 and has shown steady growth with each consecutive vintage. Originally designed as an Old Vine Zinfandel brand, the winery has expanded it to include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay. Zinfandel continues to be responsible for the bulk of the brandâ€™s sales. Gnarly Head has received both Impact Databankâ€™s, Hot Brand award and Beverage Dynamics â€śFast Track Brandâ€ť award for the past five years consecutively, and was included in Wines and Vines magazineâ€™s 2009 & 2010 â€śTop 30 Momentum Brandsâ€ť list.
Mark West Pinot Noir: #1 selling Pinot Noir in the United States
2011 also saw Mark West Pinot Noir become the number one selling single SKU of Pinot Noir in the U.S. Since the 2005 brand redesign by Auston Design Group the brand has grown steadily from 30,000 cases to well over 500,000 cases annually.
Vigilance: #1 selling wine brand at BevMo!
Vigilance is sold exclusively through the BevMo! chain and in 2011 became their number one selling wine brand chain-wide. This Auston Design Group developed brand concept was launched in 2008 with the initial production of 8,000 cases. It has since surpassed 50,000 cases.
Chariot Gypsy: a top performer at Trader Joeâ€™s
Chariot Gypsy is sold exclusively through the Trader Joeâ€™s grocery chain. Aside from Two-Buck-Chuck, Gypsy was one of Trader Joeâ€™s top selling wines in 2011. In 2010 the brand showed an amazing spike with sales well over 200,000 cases; growth of more than 300% over 2009 figures.
EinstĂ¶k Doppelbock is a limited-edition seasonal release that provides the ideal ale for celebrating the holidays. Malted barley, notes of chocolate and caramel sweetness make this the perfect ale to go along with most hardy winter fare. Because of the limited-edition nature of the product, Auston Design Group, took a lighter approach to the label design and had a little fun with our badass viking, because after all, it is beer and beer should be fun…right? EinstĂ¶k Doppelbock is available at Harvey Nicols, in the UK and in liquor stores across Iceland.
With its highly anticipated launch at Harvey Nichols, London last month, EinstĂ¶k represents the first Icelandic craft beer brand to be exported from the island nation. The new brand has been received with much excitement by consumers, as-well-as the trade. There is a strong curiosity surrounding Icelandâ€™s first craft beers, and we are happy to report that they are receiving positive reviews. The brand is slated to hit the U.S. market in the first months of 2012.
EinstĂ¶k is an Icelandic word meaning â€śuniqueâ€ť, which is fitting as the country was originally settled by Vikings and rests on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Like other northern European countries that endure long hard winters shrouded in darkness, the Icelandic culture is earnest and efficient. This characteristic is evidenced in their history of a clean and minimal approach to design. The EinstĂ¶k branding and label design are an effective representation of this northern European mind-set. The bold sparseness of the package lends itself to strong billboarding on shelf, which makes it stand out like a beacon in the highly competitive beer aisle.
EinstĂ¶k is distributed in the UK by Love Drinks, London. The beer labels were expertly reproduced by Guidotti Centro Stampa in Lucca, Italy. The simple design is very cost efficient to print with only 2 to 3 colors per label.
After completing the wine label design, Auston Design Group provided structural and graphic design for luxury cases that house Darioush Wineryâ€™s most revered and exclusive wine, Darius II Cabernet Sauvignon. The subtle and minimalist design reinforces the ultra luxury status of this tier and evokes the very essence of Darioush Wineryâ€™s brand image: chic, sophisticated, and understated â€“ the epitome of elegance.
The cases were beautifully produced via Influence Communications, a specialty printing, packaging and POS company based in beautiful Oakland, California. Our thanks to Chris Hundley and Bill Brown for maintaining the highest standards and helping us see the project through to fruition.
Every now and then a great project with a great cause finds its way to our door, and most recently it was Heslet Honey Co. of San Francisco. Because we believe in the cause and appreciate the forward thinking and dedication of beekeeper, Kate McGee, we took on the branding and packaging of this start up on a pro bono basis.
Heslet Honey is comprised of two beehives located on the lush and verdant east facing slope of San Franciscoâ€™s Telegraph Hill. Kate tends the hives, harvests and hand crushes the honey, strains, packages and sells itâ€¦ this is a truly handcrafted product.
Our approach to branding this honey was to take great care in not over designing or over packaging it. The somewhat home-spun and vintage look of the label is intended to reflect the design aesthetics of the 1940â€™s, when the brandâ€™s namesake, Valetta Heslet and her mother, transformed Telegraph Hillâ€™s public right of ways from garbage dumps to beautiful gardens. The master label art is black on white and set up to be photocopied to craft paper. It is hand trimmed and applied with a glue stick.
Visit heslethoney.com to learn more about this important pilot program that utilizes public right-of-ways to provide urban agriculture in the city.
Bee Keeper, Kate McGee, at her hive in the Greenwich Street right-of-way.
New Pinot-centric brand, Bailiwick, just finished its maiden printing and is looking delicious. Their only white wine is a California Vermentino (shown below with the four Pinot’s during printing QC at the press check).
The concept features a venn diagram of overlapping circles. Each circle represents the strength and experience each of the two owners, brothers Paul & Bryan Vais, bring to this new enterprise. Where the circles overlap represents the strength of the partnership, their Bailiwick. There is a different color combination for each of the four Pinot Noirs produced by Bailiwick Wine Co.
The labels were beautifully printed by label printers, Tapp Technologies, in their new Napa plant. They were digitally reproduced on their HP digital off-set press, and finished off-line with an embossed texture and debossed brandmark.
Auston Design Group recently completed this redesign for the 2010 Dry Creek Vineyard FumĂ© Blanc. The new design draws inspiration from lithographic art prints of the early 20th century which many consider the golden years of yacht racing and the America’s Cup. The package was designed to compete at the $12 and under category with an emphasis on quality cues that would have it perceived as a much more expensive wine. The new package has been very well received by both consumers and the trade. And for good reason, it’s a great value, a great package and the wine is delicious. www.drycreekvineyard.com
Thanks to Cameo Crafts of Sonoma for doing an amazing job with the pre-press and the printing of this label. This was not an easy one to print with 4 color process, 3 spot colors, emboss, deboss and a persnickety designer on press.
Iceland’s first craft brew, EinstĂ¶k OlgerÄ‘, is about to reach the shores of North America for the first time. Auston Design Group developed the branding and package design for this new high-end luxury import. EinstĂ¶k will launch a White Ale, Pale Ale and Toasted Porter this fall, with a winter brew arriving just in time for the holidays. Einstokbeer.com.
We are excited to see that the currentÂ Bevmo 5Â˘ sale catalog, features four
brands on the front and back covers designed by Auston Design Group.