Branding: Design choice - Cycles Gladiator

Such are the complexities that surround wine labelling that occasionally a winemaker locks himself away in a darkened room with some creative types to devise a label that will stop the average supermarket trolley-pusher in their tracks.

Most of us buy wine in supermarkets so the labels have to work hard to do a great deal in a short space of time. They need to sum up, stylistically, what to expect from the wine, say what the grape, or mixture of grapes, is, the country of origin and the vintage.

With Cycles Gladiator, hunt carefully and you'll find all this, but this functionality is muted by utter absurdity. A Botticelli-like girl flying through the air, pushing a bike with feathers on the peddles, tells us nothing apart from the pointless stupidity of those who came up with what they no doubt thought was a touch of genius. So excited are they by their folly that the text on the back of the bottle attempts to excuse them for it, but forgets to say anything about the wine.

The name, Cycles Gladiator, is meaningless. More's the pity, because the wine is actually very decent. The Merlot, rich, textured and delicious. The Pinot Grigio a fine example. If I were a grape and had spent a year sucking water up and turning it to juice, only - post-crushing - to be plonked into Cycles Gladiator obscurity, I'd be livid.

Design: G Massias.


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