Wine Cards Product Design (2021)
Case Study Graphic Design Identity Design Photography Print Design Product Design UX
I created Wine Cards to help students (including myself) learn relevant characteristics of wines made from a variety of grapes. Each red and white wine card represents a varietal wine—a wine made from a single grape variety.
Once in the bottle, a wine still continues to change. Reactions take place as it ages. Sometimes those reactions are desireable, and sometimes they're not.
This mercurial nature of wine is what makes it so fascinating and also so difficult to master.
Between 2018 and 2020, I sampled and documented over 400 wines from different parts of the world in order to understand how climate and winemaking practices influence its taste. I also enrolled as a winemaking student to learn about the chemistry involved in wine production.
During that time, I started to put together the idea for Wine Cards.
The sketches focused on layout and ideas for different gauge and meter styles (for showing levels of a wine's acidity, tannin, etc.)
The content on each card would be divided into modules—"Wine Profile," "Food Pairing Suggestions," and "Geography" for example. The number of possible modules allowed would be determined by the final dimensions of the cards.
Wine Cards originally started as a small handbook, distinct from other products because of its size. But that didn't allow me to create a product that was easily scalable, so instead, each wine variety profile was put on a card. There would be a base set of cards, with the idea that additional cards could be added in the future.
I experimented with different sizes, orientations, content types, and display styles.
This project is the first of several wine education products I'd like to produce under the brand League of Wine.
For the logo, I chose a wine glass because of its importance in wine. It's an ongoing debate whether the glass matters or not. Many believe it's inconsequential, but from my experience, it has great influence over a tasting, especially when it comes to aromas.
I produced dozens of prototypes made from different materials, each with distinct characteristics. I experimented with durability and rigidity; reflective properties; textures (both tactile and visual); inking processes (including holographic printing); finishes; and packaging (cases made of plastic, tin, wood, etc.)
The finished cards are made from "S33 superior smooth" card stock with a black core—a high quality stock used in professional gaming.
Extra attention was devoted to fonts, namely letter width, weight (or boldness), and legibility from certain distances.
The sidebar, which showed the wine's name and color, was reworked to also include its flavor profile. It was then possible to view all profiles even when the cards were overlapping.
A Wine Cards set includes branded packaging and carrying tin, 2 booklets (details about these in the next section), and 32 cards total.
The booklet titled "Wine Cards" includes information on the product, while "The Aromas & Flavors of Wine" booklet is a crash course on the categorization of a wine's flavor profile.
Along with the marketing photographs above (taken in my kitchen), I created marketing renders of the cards and their details.