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By: Anna Kernbaum

Pixellent Design, Chief Creative
Posted: May 10, 2017

I’ve been invited to participate in student work review as a panelist for Chapman University’s Graphic Design program. The student’s project was to introduce a new wine brand to novice wine drinkers, young people who don’t know so much about wine, or people who want to switch to wine from other drinks. Their challenge was to create a package design that appeals to a younger demographic, while doesn’t alienate the sophisticated wine enthusiasts; design a wine label that not only is attractive, but also educates and informs about the wine & help introduce new wine drinkers to the customs of wine drinking.

As I listened to their very well prepared presentations, I was thinking about the complexity of creating packaging design. It’s not enough to just have a nice idea, or come up with a great logo… It involves a lot of research into market trends, consumer data analysis, concepting and in a lot of cases even prototyping. When you work on a new brand’s packaging you don’t just sit at your desk with a sketch pad or your Wacom tablet. You often have to call and visit label vendors, bottle suppliers, manufacturers and in some cases even get your hands dirty with gluing together a six pack carry case!

So where do you start when you design packaging for a new consumer brand? I’m sure most of you would say, oh, well, you start by coming up with a name. Right? Yes, that’s true, but unless you are a naming genius, this will not be so easy. For the right brand name to happen you had to have gathered a lot of information, sat through some client briefings, participated in some brainstorming sessions, and then hopefully you found a suitable name that isn’t trademarked by someone else yet.

The students presenting their inspiring package designs did all that, in the right order!

  • They did market research.
  • They did consumer surveys.
  • Then they did their analysis on their main demographics’ needs.
  • They brainstormed about ideas, names, colors, fonts, shapes and then the name popped up.

I’m also very sure most of them had probably a dozen names they thought would work, and settled on the one they did for a good reason.

Here are a couple of the five brands presented, with the students who created them. Check these out, and be the judge yourself. I myself can safely say: Kudos, kids, well done!

Catalyst wine label design and development by: Shayne Bock, Catherine Foster, Gretchen Grage, Stefanie Shoemaker and Molly Peach. Dieline by: Will Reynolds (attends University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

Tangent wine label design and development by: Audrey Chang, Annie Woodward, Kelsey Schott, Matt Sandoval, and Dillan Watts

Anna Kernbaum is the founder/owner and chief creative of Pixellent Design. You can contact Anna directly at, or by calling (310) 896-5071



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