Responses by Jason Schulte, founder and creative director, Office.
Background: When our ongoing client Flour + Water Hospitality Group released two Italian-inspired house wines—Pasta Sauce, a red blend, and Pasta Water, a white—wine director Sam Bogue asked us to create the labels. Targeting restaurant customers, Bogue wanted colorful bottles that feel unpretentious and fun to align with the approachability of Flour + Water’s wine program.
Design thinking: The design is a modern, abstract take on noodles to play off the “pasta water” and “pasta sauce” names. The typography is purposefully straightforward; there’s no need to take away from the jokes in the names.
Challenges: Italian house wines have traditionally been cheap options delivered to your table in straw-covered jugs. Today, house wines have become a way to further express the restaurant brand and make a delicious wine that’s tailored to pair perfect with the food. This was an opportunity to show customers, through design, the philosophy and unique personality of Flour + Water’s wine program.
Favorite details: While they’re house wines today, they could become a bigger business proposition down the road. We approached the design as if they’d be sold on shelf among hundreds of competitors.
Visual influences: We were inspired by the bold simplicity of classic Swiss design while using a modern color palette and gradient to give it visual interest. Taking cues from the growing natural wine category, we designed the labels to feel more like album covers than traditional wines.
Specific project demands: What made the project easier was our longstanding relationship with the folks at Flour + Water. We’ve worked with them over the past couple of years to brand or rebrand all their restaurants: Penny Roma, Flour + Water, the Flour + Water Pasta Shop and Flour + Water Pizzeria. As with any long-term client, there’s trust and a shorthand in working together. But the folks at Flour + Water are particularly exceptional at collaborating. And they get the value of design, and a high level of care and intention shows up in their restaurant experiences. Most importantly, they’re great people.