Responses by Di Elderton, creative director, Future Days.
Background: Established by Brian Croser in 1976, Petaluma is one of Australia’s most distinguished wine companies. Second Blooming by Petaluma is a new contemporary range aimed at people seeking minimal-preservative, vegan wines that you can feel good about drinking. As people become more conscious about sustainability and the environment, they are making ethical decisions about the products they consume.
Design thinking: We worked to define a new brand—one that speaks of nature, simplicity and modern elegance. Petaluma came to us as we have become known in Australia for producing the world’s first generative wine labels: 350,000 different labels for winery Mitchelton’s Preece Wines collection. Our original solution was to show the stages of each flower from bud to blooming—in keeping with the brand name—so that every six bottles would show a full cycle. To capture this, we believed that creating digital flowers would enable each composition and create motion in tandem with the static forms. We had seen artist Garth Henderson’s digital flower sculptures before and knew that he would be the perfect collaborator.
Challenges: Finding the right flower with a suitable form that was native to South Australia and would resonate with an Australian and international audience. There were a number of iterations, many of which we loved and the client didn’t—and vice-versa.
Then, it was finding the best composition of the flower and its foliage so that it looked stunning on both the labels and shippers. Color was also a consideration and needed to be in keeping with the expected cues for each varietal.
Favorite details: A large, well-known wine business was willing to move out of their comfort zone, take a risk and work with us to produce something unique in Australian wine packaging.
Visual influences: The flower photography of Robert Mapplethorpe and Erwin Frotin.
Time constraints: The uncertainty and constraints caused by COVID-19 also meant that our final solution didn’t include variable flower formations blooming, which was a letdown.
Specific project demands: Due to COVID-19 and Melbourne—where we are based—being in lockdown for 262 days, we were homeschooling children while running the studio, as was our client—not ideal!