Le Ruse Wine Strikes a Balance Between Timeless Luxury and Approachability
by Chloe Gordon on 02/23/2023 | 3 Minute Read
Wine has a distinctive knack for falling into one of two classifications— top shelf and bottom shelf. If it feels like there's no in-between on approachable and unattainable, you wouldn't be entirely wrong. But what if there was a wine that looked both sophisticated and within reach for the everyday casual drinker?
Le Ruse is just that. It's a brand whose motto declares it a "friends and family house wine." Yet, the label, designed by Studio MPLS, is refined, featuring delicate gilded details on the intricately embossed label that features enough white space to allow the design to feel like a breath of fresh air.
"Gold foil says timeless luxury. But more importantly than that, it looks really, really cool. With a purely typographic label, the gold foil brought the extra something the label needed," noted Brent Schoepf, senior designer at Studio MPLS. "And I'd be lying if I said we don't try and convince all our clients to use it all the time, that and blind embossing."
The innovative mixture of gilded and embossed typography paired with the simple, two-toned label contrasts simplicity and maximalism. When entirely different font styles converge, it can create an overwhelming sense of imagination and noise, but Studio MPLS managed to tone it down and make the design digestible.
The key for the studio, however, was landing on the right type for the project.
"When I first saw Santa Ana Sans by Hoodzpah, I knew I wanted to use it for something. So I based everything else around whatever worked with it. It's wildly versatile, and the vintage slant it brings felt great when paired up with Carta Nueva, a beautiful calligraphic typeface by My-Lan Thuong," shared Schoepf. "I tried dozens of different scripts until I came upon Carta Nueva, which feels graceful and grand — old and new all at once. To top it off, Mystery Show by Jeff Levine brought it all together with a little bit of art deco flair."
The label is as dynamic as it is delicate, highlighting both the depths and simplicities within the wine itself, each design element juxtaposing the last. "Lots of wine labels seem to either push heritage or modernity, so we're happy that this brand lives somewhere in between," stated Schoepf. "A little bit straightforward and a little bit confusing is where this one lives."
The initial label, Blue Earth, was named after the Minnesota county where Le Ruse Farmstead calls home, and Studio MPLS intrinsically selected a blue-toned label to fit the name. The other two followed suit, inspired by the soil and the sky, implementing a terracotta hue and dusty sand shade for the remaining two labels.
Finding the balance between timeless luxury and approachability, specifically in the wine space, is a delicate dance, especially when the packaging has to speak for itself. Studio MPLS has blended foiling, embossing, font selection, and color palettes to create a bottle for the average consumer, and they manage to make it look like a breeze.