9 steps for designing luxury packaging

Typejockeys co-founder Michael Hochleitner walks through a recent identity project for Trapl Wines.

Austrian studio Typejockeys was asked by Trapl Wines to develop an identity for its new range of seven luxury wines.

Although wine-maker Johannes Trapl has had success around the world and is relatively famous in Austria, this time he didn't want his name displayed too prominently. Instead he wanted a completely different design approach.

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Faced with a fairly open brief, Typejockeys started by researching the vineyard and its processes thoroughly, before creating 18 initial concepts. Here, co-founder Michael Hochleitner walks through the key stages of Typejockeys' identity for Trapl's luxury wines...

01. Meeting the client

The first step of our process is always to get an insight into the product we are supposed to help sell. We learnt about Johannes Trapl's principles, and he showed us how and why he makes wine of this quality. We were inspired by the things we saw and the stories we heard.

02. First sketches

Our initial sketches involved looking at embroidery and other crafts. The idea was connected to the handmade nature of the wines so we thought about adding a handmade look to the whole
label. It didn't really work in test prints but it sowed the seed for the next steps.

03. Initial layouts

Taking the structure of picture walls as a starting point, we developed a label that told stories about the wine and the winemaker. We created a number of different illustrations and roughly put them in a grid. The client liked the personal touch and we started to work on refining this idea.

04. Refining the idea

We brainstormed with Johannes Trapl and his wife about what little details could end up in the final labels. At the end we had a list of some obvious but also some rather unusual ideas, including abstracted images of the vineyard, pictures of earthworms and his machinery.

Next page: five more steps to designing luxury packaging