Wine label graphics draw on Americana

Vintage general store signs and old California fruit crate labels provide the inspiration for new label graphics for Sonoma County-based Murphy-Goode’s classic wines.

The history of Murphy-Goode Winery of Geyserville, CA, is deeply rooted in Sonoma County, dating back more than 30 years. Recently, the winery decided to update the aesthetics of its packaging label to reflect the brand’s heritage and key wine quality cues.

Says Murphy-Goode Chief Marketing Officer Caroline Shaw, “We wanted to create a label that celebrates Murphy-Goode’s deep heritage in the region’s agricultural and winemaking community and embodies the core brand values of handcrafted, unique, and authentic.”

Beverage branding and packaging design firm Swig Studio led the project, drawing on Murphy-Goode’s agricultural roots in the Alexander Valley wine region with an emphasis on craft. In their efforts, Shaw says Swig was inspired by vintage general store signs and old California fruit crate labels, “evoking a time when people tended the land, grazed livestock, and grew fruits and vegetables.”

The new wine bottle label—adorning seven varieties in the California line and three in the Sonoma County line—reveals a rugged, yet stylish California aesthetic, showcasing the high quality of the wines. According to Shaw, the approachability of the label also reflects the “robust, yet approachable wines inside.”

Drawing on the resurgence of Americana, Swig wanted the label to embody the idea of “Made in America,” which it saw as a natural fit for the classic American winery, which is inspired by the past, yet looking toward the future.

The label is made from Glacier and Glacier Plus uncoated, wet-strength label paper from UPM Raflatac, flexo-printed in three colors plus a matte varnish and embossing by Grigsby Label. “They [Grigsby] were pivotal in experimenting with different printing techniques and inks, which helped us achieve our vision for the final product,” says Shaw. The California line uses a cream-colored label with dark blue copy; the Sonoma County line a dark blue label with gold lettering.

The new label began shipping to distributors nationwide in July 2016, with new releases rolling out through the end of the year.

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