Nicholas Felton’s 2010 Red Label for the Between Five Bells winery
Nicholas Felton, an infographic pioneer with the Annual Report he created around his own life, has tackled what surely must be the final taboo in graphic design taste …wine label infographics
Even in a data-saturated culture, where good info-graphics in a magazine can quickly communicate the meaning of different kinds of information, the idea that infographics should be used for a wine label will tweak noses from the vineyards of Bordeaux and the Napa Valley, to sommeliers in expensive Manhattan eateries.
But the combination of New World wine innovation, and Nicholas Felton, pioneer of visualizing your personal life as a series of graphs and pie charts, seems like the perfect blend.
David Fesq, the owner of the Between Five Bells winery, writes on his site that he believed the labels should tell you something about the wine, ‘be honest about it’ and he kept all the data around the wine/vineyards from the 2009/2010 vintage.
“It’s at this point in the tale, I can introduce Nicholas Felton. I am fortunate enough to share a great-grandfather with Nick, and I doubt securing the services of one of the world’s leading designers would have happened without this piece of serendipity. Nick specialises in turning data into graphics, and it is this unique skill that linked my first idea to the second- that the label should also be beautiful. (You can see a bit of the process here)
So, if you take the 2010 Red label, you will see the central image as something alluring and interesting. This is actually all the data of the various grape varieties as they entered the winery and went through primary fermentation. There are eight axis at play, including the heat of the ferments, the time on skins and the ripeness of the grapes. These are all things I find interesting, and even for a casual drinker, with a little research, they can tell you a lot about the flavours to expect.”
A fantastic piece of design thinking, it will be fascinating to discover what kind of impact the label has on sales. While it’s going to be hugely popular, and collectable among the design community who will as likely place it on their bookshelves as their dining tables, it will be interesting to see whether for the consumer this creativity increases wine purchases.