• Transform magazine
  • October 25, 2021


Denomination designs brand and packaging for new natural wine range

  • Cowpunk Closeup 3
  • Screenshot 2021 10 08 At 13.20.22

Australian winery, Cowpunk Wines, worked with drinks design agency, Denomination, to develop the brand strategy and packaging for its inaugural brand of natural wine.

Natural wines are made with minimal intervention from the winemaker with no traditional “fining” or preservatives. Cowpunk was looking to tap into the growing desire of consumers for natural products, aiming the product not only at hipsters but at a broader audience as well.

“We wanted to respond to the growing consumer desire for additive-free, sustainably produced original-state wines, but it was important that the range appealed to a broad market. Cool, yes, but not intimidating,” says Nicholas Crampton, co-owner of Cowpunk Wines.

The name Cowpunk was chosen to capture the ‘earthy naturalness and edginess’ of the brand, explains says Rowena Curlewis, CEO at Denomination. “Cowpunk music – a mixture of country and punk- is unvarnished and edgy and was inspired by the real, raw sound of country music before it became hugely commercialised. We thought this was a great analogy for what natural wines are all about,” she says.

The packaging identity harks back to early hand-made ranch signage often welded into shape using steel or old bits of iron. A series of icons, inspired by cattle branding, replaces the traditional back label copy. Used on both the labels and shippers, the infographics keep the messaging short and simple.

A ‘roll it’ icon shows to those who are new to natural wines that the bottle needs to be agitated before opening - a counter-intuitive step for many people - and also aims to become an icon for the natural wine 'movement' when used on merchandising.

The labels are hand-stamped with not only the year but also the month - and day - when the grapes were picked, echoing the 'use by' date on fresh foods and conveying the freshness of the product, a key element of natural wines. This also seeks to communicate the small batch, hand-made nature of the wine.

To highlight the difference in the wine style, the bottle comes with a swing top closure. Again this borrows from the fresh food category of pickles and preserves and aims to create a homely yet appealing personality for the brand.

Due to the swing-top enclosure, the bottle is 100% resealable and re-usable, with the aim of eventually having refill stations at selected retailers. ‘Re-use it’ on the back label and shipper encourages consumers to re-use the packaging as opposed to simply recycling it. The simple two-colour print cuts down on ink usage and the stock is a natural 100% cotton paper with impurities and slight variations in tone.