Wine & Spirits

Metallic effects amp up winery labels’ shelf appeal

Posted: April 9, 2012 by
Dennis Mason

Talk to Jim Pfeiffer for 15 minutes, and the term Renaissance Man comes to mind. Pfeiffer and his wife Laura, are the brains behind Turtle Run Winery, located in southern Indiana near the Ohio River. For the Pfeiffers, Turtle Run Winery is the realization of a dream that began in 1993. At the time, Pfeiffer was fresh out of college, where he took an eclectic variety of courses, including business, marketing, finance , computer science, physics, botany, and geography.

The synergy of his college courses set Pfeiffer on a course to find the ideal location in the United States for viniculture—taking into consideration climate, soil, altitude and myriad other factors. After a four-year search, Pfeiffer purchased a farm near Corydon, Indiana, and planted his first vines in 1998. “The area near Corydon, IN, is quite similar to that in the Burgundy area of France,” Pfeiffer says.  “Our limestone and clay is unlike that anywhere else in North America. Our perfect limestone permits water and minerals to flow to the vines, and that enables us to grow grapes that are complex and to produce award-winning wines. In the wine business, site selection is incredibly important.”

In much the same way, an attractive wine label is important when marketing these wines. “Both distributors and wine shop owners know that attractive labels are the first step in getting consumers to try a new wine,” says Pfeiffer. “ And subsequent sales of the brand—and thus market share—are driven by consumers who return to the store and can readily identify the bottle and label that they liked.”

When Turtle Run wines first began to get distribution, Pfeiffer commissioned a label he felt would be strikingly attractive and would prompt ongoing sales of his wines. The prominent stylized turtle on the label evoked the name of the winery, and the idea of a running turtle was whimsical enough to cause the consumer to recall the wine. “Although the label began to get recognition in the marketplace, I was never quite content with it,” says Pfeiffer.

“I wanted the turtle to pop off the label,” he adds. “We experimented with foils and metallic inks, but nothing produced the effect I wanted.”

Upon a recommendation from a print salesman, Pfeiffer decided to purchase Color-Logic, a graphic design software program specifically intended for metallic printing, for his graphic designer.

The Color-Logic Design Suite CD includes prepared color palettes and plug-ins for mainstream application programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and QuarkXpress. These palettes enabled Pfeiffer’s graphic designer to create metallic colors and special effects with a single mouse click.

“The label design they [his graphic designer and print provider] produced yielded the effect I had been trying to achieve, and after 11 years of frustration, I finally got the look I wanted.”