May (No. 496)
Building the brand, boots and all
Ian Kidd , IKD Design Solutions Adelaide Pty Ltd
I have derived great pleasure from working with the wine industry for what must be 30 years or so. Fresh back in Australia following eight years designing my way through the UK and Canada during the ’60s, one of my first clients was Seppelt. Although I knew the Seppelt family well, I knew little about wine. When, as a teenager, my mother liked a nice shandy or a Pimms No. 1 Cup, Dad a sherry, and my girlfriends a Barossa Pearl; I drank everything with no discernment and proved it by throwing up in the strangest places. It was a good life. Simple maybe. Ignorant definitely. But the best was yet to come.
Whilst some Australians were aware that we had a wine industry, most of us didn’t consume and even fewer were cognizant of our wonderful achievements in competition at the world’s great wine shows for more than a century.
Taking advantage of my absence overseas during the ’60s, wine suddenly became popular. We no longer sat around in beer gardens, we sat under vines and talked nonsense about cheeky little reds. Worse were the blind tastings at dinner parties where you hoped that some bore would quickly arrive at the conclusion that the wine was made from grapes picked under a full moon at 3am from vines planted on an east-facing slope and finally matured in the bottle for eighteen months so that we could get on with actually enjoying the stuff.
There were not many winemakers in those days and choice didn’t extend far beyond Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Moselle, Chablis and Cold Duck. One label looked little different from another and words like marketing, positioning, demographic, A and B personalities, Generation Xers and niche were virtually unheard of.
So, when I designed my first labels, I simply drew on instinct and natural ability. It must have worked, because hundreds, probably thousands of labels later, we have wine clients in all States and five countries.
NOTE: The complete article can be found in the May issue of The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker.