Dieline Awards Best Use of Label Marries Modern Vibes with Traditional Sensibilities
by Theresa Christine Johnson on 06/09/2022 | 5 Minute Read
The winner of the Dieline Awards' Best Use of Label might be giving you a little déjà vu.
That’s because, this time last year, the Mallorca-based design studio Símil won the same award presented by Manter, a product brand by Fedrigoni. This year, they’re walking away with the honor because of their outstanding and eye-catching design for Spanish vermouth Turmeon.
After perusing some of Símil’s work online, the client, Bodegas Jaime, approached the small but mighty studio of two in hopes they could work together. Símil took on the project to design two products in the Turmeon line of vermouths: Clasico and Zero (which use the same botanicals and flavoring but with no sugar and half the calories).
“They wanted to create this new product that was more like an entry-level vermouth,” explained Pep Bernat Vizcaya, creative partner at Símil. “They wanted to create something that would stand out on the shelf and look quite unique. They wanted something that you kind of love or you hate, but either way, it creates some sort of impression on you.”
Pep explained that the client didn’t really have a vision for what they wanted the label to look like, which gave Símil plenty of room to play. Still, they had to stay true to the brand and respect its heritage.
“They started in 1846,” said Ainhoa Nicolau Salas, creative partner at Símil. “It’s a company with history, and they wanted to reflect that without losing modernity. So we created something where tradition and something very modern meet.”
Ainhoa and Pep turned to the ingredients to guide their design. Turmeon Clasico and Zero get made with aphrodisiac botanicals that people have used since the Middle Ages to make tinctures and love potions. With this in mind, they decided to explore a design with an iconic shape—all while avoiding something overly simplistic and simultaneously making it exciting.
“The main idea was to play around with the symbol of a heart,” Pep said. “We did quite a bit of exploration trying to integrate it into this design but make it not too obvious. It’s there, but it also blends in with the whole design.”
Pep also emphasized how this was not Turmeon’s first or only item for sale. They’re a typical Spanish bodega that sells wine and other products, and on top of the brand’s history, there is also a high level of craftsmanship in everything they make. The label had to reflect the skill and fine ingredients that go into the vermouth and are the cornerstone for anything Turmeon produces, all on one label—or technically, three that get put on the bottle at the same time.
“One of the biggest challenges was to find a way to apply all the labels together,” said Pep. “It’s quite a big label, and sometimes the machine kind of moves the roll of paper just a little bit. You can finetune the labeling machines to make sure that when they apply labels, they’re aligned with the center and don’t move. They did a little bit of testing with the labels until they found the right method at the factory.”
Símil’s design looks simultaneously timeless and edgy. The main word mark is a sans serif that doesn’t detract the eye from graphics with fine linework and elegant details on the white parts of the label. The heart appears almost like an optical illusion—a shape with innately tender connotations with bold colors, lines, and angles. The bottle’s black and white capsule adds to that playful trick-of-the-eye appearance, and foiling throughout the label emphasizes a sense of luxury.
And perhaps what makes this project and Dieline Awards win even sweeter is that Símil thoroughly enjoyed making Turmeon’s label. Although the design is rooted in tradition, Ainhoa and Pep said the process of combining the colors, foiling, and ornamentation and figuring out just the right figuration for it all took time—but it was a fun task to take on.
The design for Turmeon comes together in one brilliant, award-winning design, and for Símil, getting recognized in design competitions brings them a deep sense of pride. “Every year, more and more agencies want to win these awards and to get featured on the blog,” Pep said. “It proves that you can compete with the bigger agencies, and that’s really important for us as a small agency.”
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