Makers & Allies Designs Elegant Packaging For Tangent Wines

by Casha Doemland on 12/10/2018 | 3 Minute Read

Located on the central coast of California in San Louis Obispo sits Edna Valley, home to the Niven Family Wine Estates, the parent vineyard to Tangent.  Established by the Niven's back in the early 70s, this vineyard has stayed in the family throughout the years with a handful of wines being released each year from classics like Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Gris to their own "Ecclestone," a mixture of six exotic white grapes and millennial Kool-Aid Rosé.

As a nationally recognized and award-winning winery, Tangent knew they needed to elevate their current design to something that could match the flavors of the wine inside. To get the job done, they reached out to Makers and Allies, an agency from the same neck of the woods to do just that.

We spoke with Sarah Deiter, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Makers & Allies to get the low down on the design process for Tangent’s new, complex wines.

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What's the origin story of Tangent and how did the partnership with the client begin?

Sarah Deiter: Tangent wines are truly a departure from the ordinary. During a time when heavily oaked Chardonnay was all the rage, Tangent Winery embraced the opposite. Their wines are all estate grown and aged in stainless steel on site. The results are crisp, bright wines that are a unique expression of the varietal and land.

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Unfortunately (or fortunately for us), their original packaging failed to tell the brand's story in an effective manner. It was outdated and a bit corporate in aesthetic, the opposite of Tangent Winery.

They approached us with a goal of making Tangent stand out in the retail environment.

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What’s the inspiration behind the designs on the packaging? Why did you choose to feature geometric watercolor?  

Sarah Deiter: Inspired by mid-century modern textiles and patterns, the artwork incorporates a lot of patterns that use a very similar grid structure or systems, but still have the ability to go off in a variety of directions. It's tied to the idea of Tangent going off on their own path with the artwork breaking out and not staying within the boundaries.


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What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with the packaging and how did you accomplish it?

Sarah Deiter: One of the biggest goals with the rebrand was to help elevate the packaging to support the quality of the wine in the bottle. We did this with the creation of custom art for each SKU and beautiful print techniques at the end to bring it all to life with foiling, embossing, and spot varnish. The attention to detail in the packaging is evident when you pick it up off the shelf. Additionally, the back label has some really nice copy that brings it all together once you turn it around.


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Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.

Sarah Deiter: There's a lesson to be learned with every project, so this is a great question. From a technical standpoint, we learned that we should scan our original artwork in at a much higher resolution than originally anticipated or needed (you're welcome to the designers that are reading this). It gave us the flexibility to then scale down to a reasonable size for playing with the art within the label. Luckily, the artwork was large enough for us to use for future applications such as case designs, POS posters and more.

What was it like working with Tangent?

Sarah Deiter: It was a blast! I love that they aren't afraid to push boundaries and they really appreciated our input along the way. They're one of our oldest clients, so we've had the opportunity to collaborate over lunch, in the meeting room or at the press check to help bring their brands to life!

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