Yeah, sorry to do that to you during the workday; I’m sure you’re fancying a glass of Syrah now. Yet it is the label of this wine we’re focusing on here, and it’s every bit as rich and intoxicating as the contents of the bottle. Fortunately, its designer, Varna, Bulgaria’s Jordan Jelev (aka The Labelmaker), is happy to walk us through what it is we’re looking at here.
The label “is mostly influenced by the art of the ancient Thrace, and after them, the Greek and Roman civilizations and cultures. There are lots of remains and different artifacts across the land of Bulgaria so we are very familiar and closely related with everything left by these three historical subjects. In this label I used an abstract image printed in golden hotfoil representing the idea of ancient amphitheaters built with large stones and eroded through the centuries. It also depicts another very specific element of ancient architecture – the keystone which ‘locks’ the arch.”
The transparent raised varnish is particularly effective here, suggesting hidden layers of detail once you’ve duly appreciated the gold foil. In that regard it’s very much like the remains of ancient civilizations.
Jordan continues to walk us through the finer aspects of this label, starting with “the amazing Velmart paper by UPM Raflatac – it is an amazing canvas for every wine label with its random fine texture and visible thickness; it is more solid than most of the other equivalents. When overprinted with solid contrast background ink, the texture shines even more! The other great feature is the Lemaco 336 gold hot foil which I really love – it has rich and vivid color, more noticeable than most of the other golds that are actually pale and desaturated. The third thing is the transparent raised varnish which completely changes the feeling of the paper, catches a lot of reflections and makes you want to touch the label when you see it on the bottle.
“I rediscovered how awesome the White Velmart is when covered with solid black – I used this effect many years ago for other labels and now I am back to it still very happy. I am reconsidering to change the paper from Velmart White to Velmart Black. This is the same paper but produced entirely black. I will first have to make some experiments and then maybe go for it! As you have already noticed, paper is one of the most important things in my work, especially when wisely combined with other elements of the design.”
You took the words right out of our mouth, Jordan – you might even call it the “keystone.” Now please pass the Syrah…