Responses by Rowena Curlewis, CEO, Denomination
Background: Tread Softly has been created as a “next generation wine for the next generation drinker” in response to the increasing appetite for light wines that taste good, while having minimal environmental impact. Fourth Wave worked with Denomination to ensure the design targeted the right consumers: an audience who cares about authenticity, ethical issues, the environment, their health, brands that support their values and products that align to their innate sociability.
Reasoning: The name, Tread Softly, a common expression that talks to environmental awareness and sustainability, speaks directly to the target consumer. The semiotics of the label design needed to support this name, and so the graphics were delicate and considered. We created a design aesthetic that appeals to multiple generations with a softness that illustrates the brand premise. We wanted to honor the brand’s promise to think differently, so the labels have a twist: the front is minimal and stripped back, and the back label is abundant with flora, fauna and communication messaging.
Challenges: Fourth Wave wanted to identify the “new organic,” which takes the premise of organic a step further. There was not a competitor creating a wine that spoke to the values of millennial consumers, so Tread Softly is the first wine brand to reflect the values of this community—environmental sustainability, moderation in alcohol content, family ownership and a non-conglomerate corporation. The challenge came from ensuring this was communicated on the packaging.
Favorite details: Using naturally flecked uncoated paper stock, the front label is not only nature-friendly, but also is discreet and understated, encouraging you to lean in and take a closer look. However, turn the bottle around and you find dramatic, sensual images of flora and fauna signifying the wines’ sophisticated flavor profiles. The lady beetle nods to the brand’s environmental awareness. The capsule also features illustrated paintings of flowers, plants and beetles.
Visual influences: The semiotics of the label needed to support the name, so the graphics are delicate and considered. The design celebrates the selection’s pioneering, eco-aware spirit and communicates that the wines are better for the planet and the consumer.
Time constraints: Speed to market was important for our client, as he wanted to be the first brand to take ownership of this new territory. We worked as quickly as we could, making sure that we were able to provide artwork for items with longer lead times so that there would be no delays at the end.
Anything new: The capsule technology is very new and this is a first for us in terms of using this technology. It’s still in its infancy, but we are delighted with the level of detail achieved.