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Wine Label Design: Part 1


I've been commissioned to illustrate a wine label for a tiny private vineyard in California. I'll add an appropriate visual with it later on, but for now, I wanted to establish the look and feel for the project by nailing the Dark Horse logo first.

Comments (16)


Are you entertaining font suggestions? Try these (if you're going to use a pre-fab font):

(1) Centaur bold italic
(2) Poor Richard italic
(3) Goudy Old Style bold italic

Condense the font spacing & they won't look as generic.

The bottom one...it looks very Manichewitz-y, like it would be found in an old bubbe's cupboard, no?



The dictionary says "a dark horse candidate is one who is nominated unexpectedly, without previously having been discussed or considered as a likely choice."

I'm trying to think of what a logo would look like that I might initially ignore, but then come back to choose...

An interesting contradiction in goals - design a logo obviously intended to be noticed but one that conveys the feel of something initially overlooked.

This is why I'm an engineer instead of an artist.

I like the third design best.


I'm with Jason. 3rd one begs for a horse head logo.


I might as well go all in and make my choice known publicly. "C" it is, it grabbed me.

The name is due to the skepticism I started with, and I actually have a dark horse.

Thanks for the comments everyone.



Remove the oval from "B".

I would take the 3rd font and add it to the 2nd art element. If I could draw like you though, I'd probably script my own typeface.


I'd go with #3 as well. Add a rearing black horse and there you go.


Thanks for the input. I'll be showing the finished piece soon. There's more to this than you know.


I feel like doing a little Don Rickles bit. No offense intended.


It's "Dark Horse"--not "Dark Chchchorse."


"Product packaging designed to be initially overlooked..."

You're an engineer. No kidding.



Get a life!!!


Hey John!
You getting paid 'in kind'?


C is the way to go, imho :) The main issue I see with A and B are the font shadows - the illusion of 3D just doesn't go well with a flat bottle label. Also, the font in C helps create an atmosphere of mystery, darkness, also speed.


As a matter of fact, I will be given a couple bottles plus the agreed fee.


Just a 'couple'? Or a couple of 'cases'? :o) Hick!


John Cox is a painter, cartoonist, and illustrator for hire. For information about purchasing existing work or commissioning new work, contact him by e-mail at john555cox [at] hotmail.com.

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