Bernie Hadley-Beauregard of Brandever Strategy, Inc. contacted me via email to see if I was available and interested in creating an illustration for one of his new clients, a wine producer in Canada:
I would like to discuss a wine packaging project with you. It is for a small, premium Pinot Noir producer in the Okanagan Valley.
Are you available for work in the short to medium term?
Packaging is my favorite type of project, so I was interested and very exited about working on the project.
I telephoned Bernie and
we briefly discussed
the project. He informed me that Foxtrot Vineyards in Okanagan Valley, BC, would use the illustration as part of
packaging identity for their premium Pinot wines. Bernie also told me a little about how he works and the approach he takes when creating a unique
for a client.
Following our conversation, I received an email with detailed instructions from Bernie:
Thank you for your call this morning. I’m pleased that we had a chance to connect as I have admired your work for some time. Attached is the image that sparked the idea for Foxtrot Vineyard’s new wine.
In the interim, can you kindly provide me with an estimate on producing an image similar to the Mad Bear that you have just sent me? I’ll follow up with you soon thereafter...
...Rather than have the pair [bear and girl] dancing close to one another (which I think would be “expected”), I’d rather have them appear as if the bear is either:
1: Escorting the woman (as if going to the dance floor). A profile view perhaps (i.e. not looking directly towards the viewer), or
2: Separated from one another while holding one hand together – as one sees at the end of a dance swirl
No shiny, happy people (i.e. – no smiling on either characters). I want a gentle composition whereby the woman seems serious/honored
to be dancing with the bear. She maintains an elegant demeanor, confident, without smiling.
A composition whereby the characters are
from one another – creating a visual tension – is preferred. It also makes for a more balanced aesthetic on the label. The bear is not wearing any clothing or anything like that. I’ve been thinking that she should be a working class grape picker (i.e. not in a formal dress). Please see the attached image titled Vendangeuse for reference.
Finally, the label shape is still in the design process (rectangular or oval?). One thing for sure, the label needs to be in a LANDSCAPE format (i.e. not portrait) because the bottle style (a burgundy bottle, if that means anything to you). We might therefore have a close-up of the two characters rather than a whole body visual.
The background setting should be in a vineyard. I can supply you with reference imagery if necessary.
Most importantly, Michael, I welcome your ideas for the composition.
I hope this gives you a general idea of what we are looking for.
With this information, I began collecting reference materials and created the first round of rough drafts.