Push The Boundaries With Harvey Nichols Wine and Sparkling Wine

by Jessica Deseo on 01/16/2021 | 3 Minute Read

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

Own label wine is notoriously difficult, for retailers and designers alike. Balancing the brand language of the store, with the category language of wine, with customer expectations of putting a desirable bottle on their dinner-party table, can cause no end of friction. This was a particular challenge for us and Harvey Nichols.

Editorial photograph

Since 2018, we have been working to reinvent their food offer, based on a strategic principle to create 'a fearlessly stylish collection of gifts you can eat’. Aesthetically, we look far more to the visual codes of the fashion world rather than the world of food and drink for our design solutions, so how could we tackle a sector like wine, that is often perceived to be rather more visually traditional and restrained?

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The situation was made more complex by the size and variety of the range, which features 35 wines, that range from easy drinking to fine vintages and from traditional European varieties to more contemporary styles from the New World.

Editorial photograph

Editorial photograph

Luckily the buying philosophy of the wine team at Harvey Nichols corresponded exactly to the brand principles of the rest of the shop. They are fearless, irreverent and daring in their attitude to developing their range. They work with small producers who are all, in their different ways, ground-breaking and revolutionary. Both the buyers and the producers they work with were up for a radical solution that would compliment the design reinvention happening with the rest of Harvey Nichols’s food ranges and push the concept of wine label design.

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We have created nuance and differentiation in the range through colour and texture. New style New World wines get colour ways that would be impossible in traditional wine label design, like the rich navy for the Chilean Chardonnay, whereas classics, like the Châteauneuf Du Pape, still carry their traditional embossed crest on the bottle, making an edgy juxtaposition with the new labels. Premier Cru and other top vintages are treated with gold foil and a textured varnish.

Editorial photograph

Editorial photograph

In the traditional debate of brand versus category, we have fallen entirely on the side of brand and have taken the unapologetic decision to give the wine collection a strong, overarching Harvey Nichols look, which really pushes the boundaries and accepted principles of wine design about as far as they can go. The label shape is based on an abstracted crop of the HN monogram. It is totally unique and has really punch and presence on shelf and online.

Editorial photograph

Verbally as well, the wine range breaks the wine mould with unorthodox copy that brims with Harvey Nichols’ characteristic attitude and plays to Harvey Nichols’s unorthodox customer base, who want substance with style and none of the wine stereotypes. With no illustrated château in sight, and barely a mention of a citrus note, this is a groundbreaking new, fun, feisty, fabulous side of wine.

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