Drinks design: The cult of craft

The image of a lone brewer toiling away in a garage to produce 100 cases of beer has been a powerful marketing tool for the craft beer category.

Constructed and communicated through careful design cues, it simultaneously speaks of a product’s craftsmanship, authenticity and provenance, qualities that have dominated not only beer, but increasingly the wine and spirits sector, expertly tapping into the millennial consumer’s taste for handcrafted products made at their origin – preferences that have simultaneously seen this influential demographic shun products that smack of mass-production and overt marketing.

Clamouring to cash in on the growing cachet of craft, wine, spirits and beer producers of all sizes have been borrowing cues from craft beer to convey a product’s handcrafted, artisan roots through rustic labeling, crown caps or handwritten print. Last year, UK supermarket Aldi launched a range of 50cl ‘craft beer-style’ squat wine bottles, designed to appeal to the millennial consumer.

Communicating, or constructing, an appealing and authentic brand story is also key to a product’s craft appeal. Design agency Denomination recently unveiled a packaging and brand identity for Fazzoletto, a new brand from Piedmont-based wine co-operative Araldica, developing a story around the ‘fazzoletto’ neckerchief, used to identify Italian partisan fighters at the end of World War II – a clever nod to its Italian heritage. While its label features the image of classic Italian sculptures ‘vandalised’ by the brightly coloured cloths, a second tactile fazzoletto adorns the neck of the bottle itself.


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