La Petite Vanguard
ONWARDS and UPWARDS (and DELICIOUS WINE DOWNWARDS)
I knew if I just wished it hard enough, a winery would eventually ask me to design their latest labels! Lo and behold Vanguardist Wines got in touch and I couldn't have been happier to work with such passionate people. A collaborative project between three international friends, Vanguardist Wines as the name suggests is all about having an experimental and adventurous nature, producing wines that are delicious, textural, enticing and challenge the status quo.
BEHIND THE SCENES
It was a whole lot of fun coming up with concepts for these wines. The aim was to get in a younger audience of curious-minded people, attracting classic palates and less educated drinkers alike, both keen to try something new or expand their knowledge of wine. A wine of integrity, focusing on fruit purity, precision and organic production, handled with minimal intervention. The overall vision of Vanguard Wines is 'experimental at heart', producing textural and innovative wines that are inclusive, enticing and push the boundaries of wine-making.
Throughout the ideation process my aim was to represent La Petite Vanguard as the little guy - strong, imaginative, intrepid, resolute and on the forefront - reflecting on an initial concept of the lonely military adventurer, but with a distinct personality for each wine.
I took some inspiration from the medievel military source of the terms vanguard and avant-garde and expanded upon those concepts in ways I hoped were charming or humorous and would appeal to the target audience.
How I approached the characters was through some key descriptors in Vanguardist's own notes as well as reviews of previous iterations of the wines. While they change slightly from concept to concept, in the end the Petillant Naturale became a wild and crazy man; the Grenache a cool, determined woman; The Semillon a bearded and tattooed man; and finally the Riesling a tough and stylish woman. This was a collaborative process with the Vanguardist team and they really helped to determine which characteristics best represented each type of wine.
While I was originally pitching the same background for each wine (expressing colour primarily through the characters) the folks at Vanguardist wanted bright and bold. Far be it from me to argue with that! I worked to give each design it's own distinctive feel, while still keeping them obviously a series. I think the final versions came out great and they stand out brilliantly among the general wine population as intended.