Italian Riesling Wine Label (hand painted)
At the end of 2016, I've been contacted by a client for some calligraphy he needed. He wanted some 150 hand written label cards, which he was going to hang by the neck of his wine bottles. The wine is old, 33 years now, white dry wine from Italian Riesling grapes from the Northeastern region of Romania. 
I was looking forward to that, especially since he was going to use handmade paper.
The project remained into a stand-by state until later on, in 2017. He contacted me again about the little handwritten cards, and sent me his view on what I thought to be the wine label itself. I wasn't happy at all with his choice of design, which was this one:
Now, around here there appears to be some error in communication, since my client wanted to use this design in print for the little hang cards, and I was absolutely convinced that this is the label to be glued onto the wine bottle. Anyhow, I thought I could make this look much better, so I challenged myself to revamp the label. I told my client that I was going to make the label from scratch, and he will choose whether to use it or not.
He gave me unlimited creative liberty. Yesssss!
I started by researching what Italian Riesling represents, and testing various typefaces I could use for inspiration for my lettering. I decided to go full handmade, redesigning and drawing and painting the label from scratch, all traditionally painted with watercolors.
The lettering elements I had to use were: Riesling Italian, 1984, Vintage, vin alb sec, Dealurile Moldovei. Then there was the painting of some vineyard, and the stamp which my client had been using for 20 years.
I made this comp, which shows a part of my efforts that went into this label. Pencil and watercolor on paper all the way!
After cleaning everything up, I got myself some new and better quality paper (Canson 160gsm), a really small brush and some Diamine Meadow ink and Ecoline watercolor, and cleaned it all up over a light table.
And then everything went into Photoshop so I can assemble the puzzle.
I changed the color theme after realizing (with some help from the well-trained eye of my girlfriend) that the meadow green was a bit too bright and did not help my design. So I lowered the yellow in my green channel, I pumped up the magenta in my reds, and lo' and behold, the design looked better.
I had no idea about how the bottle looked like, so I made some mockups on possible bottles. 
We finally cleared up the confusion when my client told me that he was expecting a design for a card, not for a glued label. I'm still not sure whether the label will be used (for this project or for some other project of my client), and if it will be used, in what form — as a card or as a glued label.

Anyhow, I'm really happy about the whole process (it was really fun to paint all those details!) and just as happy about the outcome of my efforts. 

Thank you for watching!
Italian Riesling Wine Label (hand painted)
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Italian Riesling Wine Label (hand painted)

Hand painted label for a 33 years old bottle of wine.
48
413
1
Published:

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