Joseph Danny
Visual Design & Development

Product

In 2018, I began studying viticulture and enology, and have since delved into wine education product design. Wine Cards—a culmination of a year's worth of research and design—is the first of many wine education products I'd like to produce.

Wine Cards (2020)

Responsibilities

  • Creative Direction
  • Interaction Design
  • Print Design
  • UX

Tools Used

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Book Binding Tools
  • Drafting Tools
  • Draw.io - Diagrams.net
  • Google Docs
  • Google Forms
  • Google Sheets
  • Nikon D850 + ZEISS Milvus 2/100M

Sections

Details

Being able to accurately describe wine (especially in a blind tasting) is an important skill to wine professionals. In wine industry certification exams, that ability is often put to the test. Needless to say, the dreaded tasting component is often the most difficult for many wine students to pass.

I created Wine Cards to help myself and other wine students learn relevant characteristics of wines made from a variety of grapes. Each red and white wine card represents a varietal wine—a wine made from a single grape variety.

The initial idea arose from my desire to have an educational tool that is portable, concise, and accurate (with an appealing design, of course). Ultimately, a tool that would assist students in their study of the aromas and flavors of wine.

Wine Cards will officially be released in early 2021. A single unit includes packaging, a metal tin, 15 red wine cards, 15 white wine cards, 2 reference cards, and 2 booklets ("Wine Cards" and "The Aromas & Flavors of Wine"). Cards measure 2.5 in. x 3.5 in.

This is the first project of many I'd like to release under the League of Wine brand I'm currently developing for 2021. You can read more about the process below.

Sketches

Wine Cards originally started as a small handbook, distinct from other products because of its size.

After producing countless book prototypes, it was clear the quality was simply not up to the standard I was looking for in a wine product. And the product needed to be even smaller, more portable. Something that could fit in your pocket, perhaps?

Instead of a book, I decided to put each wine variety profile on a card, and formed a core or base set of cards, with the idea that the set would be expandable in the future.

The card prototypes ended up being of higher quality and far more durable. (Yes, they are wine resistant.) And that's when Wine Cards truly started to develop into something useful.

Design-wise, the main challenge was the limited amount of physical real estate on each card. Over a year, I designed and tested dozens of compositions, fine-tuning along the way. Following below are some of the sketches:

Wine Cards marketing photograph

Wine Cards front

Grape variety / wine profile page sketch

Grape variety / wine profile page sketch

Wine Cards concept sketches

Wine Cards concept sketches

Wine Cards prototypes

Various prototypes composed of different materials and printing methods, each with distinct physical properties

Mapping The Aromas & Flavors of Wine

When I started studying wine, I was oblivious to its depth and complexity. In terms of depth, wine is a bottomless well.

The aromas and flavors of wine are particularly interesting because they are incredibly volatile, which makes a wine's potential character incredibly dynamic.

While many aromas and flavors can be attributed to a particular compound or set of compounds, a wine's profile is constantly changing. After all, it's a living thing, and technically speaking, a wine is biologically never the same from one minute to the next. This makes mapping the characteristics of wine notoriously difficult. I sometimes refer to this as a wine's flavor genome. The map below is only a fraction of what is possible in wine.

The Aromas and Flavors of Wine map

Between 2018 and 2020, I sampled and documented over 400 wines from different parts of the world in order to better understand the characteristics of wine:

Tasting notes spreadsheet

Tasting notes for a sampling of some of the wines I tasted in 2020

Logo & Product Shots

For the League of Wine logo, I created a line-based wine glass pictorial. I chose a glass because of its importance in wine, specifically, the importance of a glass's physical properties. It's an ongoing debate whether the properties of a wine glass affect the tasting of wine. Many believe that the glass itself is inconsequential, but from my personal experiences with hundreds of tastings, it seems that the glass itself does have some influence over a tasting. It's especially apparent when it comes to detecting aromas.

League of Wine logo

My goal for the product shots was to create brightly lit scenes that showcase the cards and the accompanying materials. All of the shots were taken in my kitchen, with planning and photography taking about a week.

Wine Cards marketing photograph

Lifestyle photograph featuring the red wine cards

Wine Cards marketing photograph

Lifestyle photograph featuring the white wine cards

Wine Cards marketing photograph

A full set of Wine Cards, including metal tin and booklets

Wine Cards marketing photograph

Booklets & Packaging

Each unit includes two booklets and packaging. The "Wine Cards" booklet includes information on the product, while "The Aromas & Flavors of Wine" booklet includes information about the categorization of wine's characteristics.

"Flavors of Wine" booklet exterior

"The Aromas & Flavors of Wine" accordion booklet exterior

"Flavors of Wine" booklet interior

"The Aromas & Flavors of Wine" accordion booklet interior

"Wine Cards" booklet exterior

"Wine Cards" accordion booklet exterior

"Wine Cards" booklet interior

"Wine Cards" accordion booklet interior

"Wine Cards" product packaging

Packaging design