As you know, I am passionate about small businesses, and work hard to support local and family run companies where I can. I love attending local food markets and fairs, stocking up on beautiful and unique food and drink produce.
Therefore I was delighted to be asked to design new wine labels for West Fisher, one of the smallest commercial wine producers in the UK.
I began by working with the product "Kent Gold", which is described as: "A blended medium dry white made from Pinot Blanc and Reichensteiner grapes, Wiltshire grown but all made in our winery near Biggin Hill, of course. Similar to a Soave in character with an almost Sancerre character to the finish, well suited to fish & summer dishes." This is one of my favourite wines in the West Fisher range, so I started to play with my ideas about wineries and Kent to make an illustrative mark.
The old label (seen to the left of the image) plays with sun, but I wanted to evoke images of the earth.
Kent is synonymous with countryside, fields and farming and I wanted to imply this heritage with the wine labels, whilst also adding texture and depth.
I started with a gold textured background and a rounded and smooth shape (like a grape), and then I started hand carve out lines, as if the shape was the earth being ploughed for seeding/ growing.
Once we had arrived at a shape and style, I decided to look at changing the texture from gold foil to watercolour. This way we could make the design work across the range, so each wine has a unique shape and colour whilst retaining the same illustrative style.
Working with the established West Fisher branding was challenging at first, but I think we came to a happy balance of old and new. The legal requirement for specific font sizes for measurements and alcohol volumes was also tricky, as it is stipulated in cm not in points!
One aspect of the design I felt strongly about was the angle of the horse's head on the logo. I tilted the horse's head up slightly, so it was no longer looking down, as I felt it had previously looked sad and downbeat. We also decided to incorporate it into the illustrations, which was a nice touch.
Overall, I am very happy with the result, as is Simon from West Fisher. I feel a real sense of pride when I see all the bottles lined up on the market stalls! They look fabulous, plus they taste really good!
If you are interest in supporting Simon and his amazing range of wines you can learn more and buy from his website: West Fisher Winery or find them at many of Kent's food fairs and markets!