New Safeway drinks branding is heady brew

US supermarket Safeway's wine bottles receive premium packaging from studio Stranger & Stranger.

Stranger & Stranger specialises in a very particular field: the studio creates drinks brands and labels in markets all over the world, notching up around 100 a year. Its remit stretches from naming, researching and registering wine and spirits brands worldwide, to designing bottle shapes, labelling and marketing material.

Stranger & Stranger designed each bottle sleeve for Safeway to appeal to a different buying taste

Recently, the studio felt that wine aisles at US supermarket giant Safeway could do with a refresh - and the company agreed. Stranger identified 22 specific niches and buying needs that it felt could benefit from specialist packaging: for instance, those looking for a crisp drinkable white wine or a complex dark red.

The studio then developed a patented bottle sleeve that could carry everything from quotes to recipes, and would draw the eye.

The words and images were carefully chosen, and special treatments like foils were applied

The idea came from Stranger's own Spirit No. 13 pack, a custom-packaged brew that the studio produced as a gift last Christmas - which featured in our spirit bottle label designs post. "The added real estate that the over-sleeve gives us has enabled us to engage with people in a way that a tiny back label never can," explains creative director Kevin Shaw. "The best ideas are the simplest, and we made them look striking and very individual."

This article was originally published in Computer Arts issue 209.

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