IF WE CAN’T CALL IT PORT ON THE LABEL, WHAT DO WE CALL IT?

Since the law in 2005 no one can call their wines one of their safeguarded regional “place” names. These are: Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Chianti, Claret, Haut-Sauterne, Hock, Madeira, Malaga, Marsala, Moselle, Port, Retsina, Rhine, Sauterne, Sherry and Tokay. The only wineries allowed to still use these names is if they were using it prior to the law and have been grandfathered in. (Also, before you ask, according to the TTB, you still cannot use the place names even if you are buying it from someone who has the name grandfathered in.)

Many place names have easy workarounds, such as Sparkling Wine for Champagne. But the one that is the biggest hiccup for wineries is an alternative name to Port. Some simply call it “Dessert Wine” on the label, but this to me, as a consumer, is troublesome. I am not all that fond of Port but love dessert wine. Port is fortified wine, which means they’ve used an alcohol additive such as brandy. Dessert wine doesn’t use an alcohol additive but instead lets the natural sugars ferment by leaving the grapes on the vine longer.

After doing much research into alternate names for Port, the one that my clients have found the most success with is “Forté.” It’s close enough to the word Port, and more elegant that Forte.

Names you CANNOT call your port wine:

  • Fortified Wine (strangely enough, because that is what it is)
  • Nothing which contains the four letters consecutively port
  • Portly Dessert Wine
  • Export
  • Pour-it
  • Pour’t
  • Portage
  • Portal
  • Port-style

Some have been approved using these two names below, while others have not:

  • “Metodo Portuguese” which means (Portuguese method)
  • “Pour it”

Get Creative:

Some wineries use names such as: Fort, and “WSA,” which refers to “wine spirits additions,” “USB” (ports), “Not Starboard” (Starboard alone is trademarked already), Seriously crafted dessert wine.

Not the Four Letter Word:

The TTB firmly states that you cannot use any form the the four letters PORT in sequence, anywhere on the label, front or back. However, I often run across port in wineries where they clearly print the words port, but fluff it a bit, like in “Portly” even though they aren’t grandfathered in to use it. I ask how they got approved but they just answer, “depends on who approves the application”. It just makes me wonder if they legally filed the label. I would love to hear your comments or experiences using the word Port on your label or other clever names.

To be sure you will be using a top notch graphic designer who has many years of experience, knows the rules of printing, and keeps up with the modern trends, please contact me at [email protected] or click this link. Check out my designs here. I include testimonial pages where my clients express their experiences working with me. I offer unique designs to get your product label, brochures, and ads looking professional and sell. I design personally with you on each project so you get 25+ years experience behind each creation. I strive to save you money in the design process, using stock images and manipulating stock illustrations when the budget calls for it. I can guide you through the TTB approval process for your label and help find the right printer for your project. My design studio is located right in the heart of wine country, in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, Northern California.

WHEN YOU DESIGN YOUR OWN WINE LABEL YOURSELF


“Just make my label TTB compliant, that’s all I need.”

You can save some money by designing your own wine label, but be sure to hire a professional designer to actually create the final.

If you already have a label or logo design in mind, you can draw up a rough sketch or maybe describe it in words and give that to your designer. Some people try to save money by designing their own label on their computer, using programs that are not made for a finished design, like the word of them all, Microsoft Word. All these are just fine for a designer to start with and can save you money by reducing rounds of concept designs.

Ack! Never design with fonts that come preinstalled on your computer:

Not everyone has a design in mind, but if you do, it is never a good idea to require the designer use your exact fonts you used that came supplied on your computer and the exact placement of the artwork without any tweaks, thinking you’ll be saving yourself some money. Surprisingly, this will NOT save you money. The reason being, the designer has to balance their design sense with a font they would never have chosen and art that is not the right style, thus taking longer to make it look professional and balanced. Your layout should be really be used as a guideline only.

Before and After:

The above graphic is an example of before and after. In the beginning, my client, Rio Claro Wines, sent me the sketch on the left. Without having to go back to the drawing board, since he liked his initial design, I kept their main idea intact. Making it look warmer, sleeker, and more inviting to the consumer was far easier than if they required me to use their exact fonts and exact design and just make it look better. I was able to use the pencil drawing the owner sketched of his vineyard, apply some filters and switched out their busy

Small Tweaks to Client’s art keeps it personal:

I was able to use the pencil drawing the owner sketched of his vineyard, apply some filters and switched out their busy clipart wine with hearts for a simplified version of stock art that didn’t clutter up their label but still got the vision across. When finished, not only did I supply them with their labels, but also their new logo in a variety of formats, that they could use however they pleased.

To be sure you will be using a top notch graphic designer who has many years of experience, knows the rules of printing, and keeps up with the modern trends, please contact me at [email protected] or click this link. Check out my designs here. I include testimonial pages where my clients express their experiences working with me. I offer unique designs to get your product label, brochures, and ads looking professional and sell. I design personally with you on each project so you get 25+ years experience behind each creation. Striving to save you money in the design process, I use stock images and manipulate stock illustrations when the budget calls for it. I can guide you through the TTB approval process for your label and help find the right printer for your project. My design studio is located right in the heart of wine country, in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, Northern California.

WHICH LOGO FORMATS TO USE

“HELP! My logo gets blurry when I make it bigger.”

If you decide to design your own logo, do not design it in Microsoft Word or in a bitmap format such as a .png or .jpg. If you enlarge your logo, it will get fuzzy, rough and pixilated. You will need your final logo in a vector format that can stretch as large as a billboard and still look great. Adobe Illustrator (.ai) and Corel draw are programs that do this. A .svg .eps and .pdf are great as long as the original format came from in vector art and not an imported bitmapped (raster) images such a jpg. See the example above.

Let me explain this better.

One thing to keep in mind is that most screen resolutions have 72 dpi (dots per inch) and high def monitors have 150 or so dpi. But we’ll focus on the more common 72 dpi here. In printing, they use 300 dpi. This means that the inch on your screen of 72 little dots will shrink down so that 300 dots can fit in the same inch space. Your artwork will become less than a quarter of the size than what you see on your screen. When this happens, people tend to just print it at a larger percentage. That means that those 72 little dots are now expanded to fit in the space that should hold 300 dots. Each of the 72 dots will become BIG About 4 times the size of a tiny print dot. And your printed artwork will look rough and jagged.

Raster and Bitmap Formats:

When you design on your computer’s screen, you’ll need to make sure you have the dpi set to 300 or above so it will print with the clarity you see on your screen. I am talking about raster (bitmap) images, like photos that have the extension .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, . tif, .tiff, or .bmp, at the end. It is very important to change your dpi to 300 or above if you ever plan to print.

Vector Formats:

The other format is vector and use the extensions: .ai, .eps, svg, .dxf, and .pdf (if the native file is vector). Vector formats do not consist of tiny dots per inch. What you see on your screen are mathematical formulas that can expand your logo as large as you want, without getting rough and jagged. For this reason, your logo should be created in a vector program or you will be stuck with a blurry logo when you try to enlarge it. I refer you to the above image again.

Many people who aren’t designers find it difficult to work in a vector program. Most of them are fairly expensive and tedious to learn with too many complicated options they don’t need. Most professional designers use Adobe Illustrator and a few might use Corel Draw. If you want to design your own logo, have a designer transfer it into vector format for the final version. They can add professional tweaks, then save it out in a variety of formats for screen and print. Or better yet, get a quote for additional ideas and you might be blown away.

To be sure you will be using a top notch graphic designer who has many years of experience, knows the rules of printing, and keeps up with the modern trends, please contact me at [email protected] or click this link. Check out my designs here. I include testimonial pages where my clients express their experiences working with me. I offer unique designs to get your product label, logo, brochures, and ads looking professional and sell. I design personally with you on each project so you get 25+ years experience behind each creation. I strive to save you money in the design process, using stock images and manipulating stock illustrations when the budget calls for it. I can guide you through the TTB approval process for your label and help find the right printer for your project. My design studio is located right in the heart of wine country, in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, Northern California.

TOYS IN BONDAGE

It would drive me insane when my kids would get a new toy at the store and then on the way home want to play with it. All electronic toys came in layers and layers of plastic clamshells with layers of plastic inserts pushing the toy to the front. Opening a simple doll is not quite as difficult, but just as frustrating. Once through the outside package, each of the dolls arms was zip-tied down. The hair was sewn in place, tiny frustrated fingers not patient enough to do anything but tear it out of the stitches, losing the lustrous shine of new doll hair.

I tried to fix this problem by keeping a pair of scissors in the car. The problem is, it didn’t occur to any of us to remove the packaging before we drove off.

When I started to work for Oddzon, a Hasbro company, I was determined to change these infuriating packages! But, I soon learned that there were reasons toys had to be packaged this way. The large plastic packages we call clamshells, help keep people from stealing tiny products. They are supposed to make it easier to display and hang. They add value and if the other comparative products are using it, you have to as well, or look inferior. So much plastic, plastic, plastic all over the shelves and many of them non-recyclable.

But the biggest eye-opener to these frustrating packages was because they were shipped to us from overseas. Giant ships stacked high with freight boxes usually take 30-60 days to cross the ocean. This is like being in a rock tumbler for 60 days. This rough bouncing at sea and constant rubbing of parts together removes paint, creates ugly abrasions, and breaks the toy itself. Companies found a way to prevent this: No part of the toy can touch another part of the toy. Ah ha!

Sadly, I had to give into these methods but as often as possible, I requested twist ties when possible instead of maddening plastic zip ties and other softer openings.

To be sure you will be using a top notch graphic designer who has many years of experience, knows the rules of printing and keeps up with the modern trends, please contact me at [email protected] or click this link. Check out my designs here. I include testimonial pages where my clients express their experiences working with me. I offer unique fresh eye-catching ideas to get your toy packages, childrens’ book covers, ads, and toy logos looking professional and sell. I design personally with you on each project so you get 25+ years experience behind each creation. I strive to save you money in the design process, using stock images and manipulating stock illustrations when the budget calls for it. I opened Westcott Design in 2000 after working at Oddzon and Hasbro as the lead design for girl’s toy packaging design and impulse toy packages. Since then, I’ve designed for numerous toy companies, large and small throughout the years and loved every minute of it.

FONTS IN LOGOS

Here are a few rules I feel strongly about if you want to design your own logo.

  • Never use a trendy font. It will look so out of trend in a couple years. What you liked about it in the first place will look common and dated when the trend is over. Logos should be made to last at least 10-20 years before needing a refresh.
  • Fonts that come with your computer should never be used in your logo. Everyone else uses them and your logo might look common and amateur. Designers own about 10,000,000,000,000 fonts and can easily find something that is special for you. We have professional programs that can access the fonts’ alternate letters. We can take small parts of a letter, tug, push, redraw and tweak it to the extreme to make it work for your logo.
  • Hire a professional designer. You will be competing with other companies that do put money into their logo. You want the consumer to believe in your product and trust that it is made with the finest quality and expertise. A professional design will pull this off.

To be sure you will be using a top notch graphic designer who has many years of experience, knows the rules of printing and keeps up with the modern trends, please contact me at [email protected] or click this link. Check out my designs here. I include testimonial pages where my clients express their experiences working with me. I offer unique fresh eye-catching ideas to get your toy packages, childrens’ book covers, ads, and toy logos looking professional and sell. I design personally with you on each project so you get 25+ years experience behind each creation. I strive to save you money in the design process, using stock images and manipulating stock illustrations when the budget calls for it. I opened Westcott Design in 2000 after working at Oddzon and Hasbro as the lead design for girl’s toy packaging design and impulse toy packages. Since then, I’ve designed for numerous toy companies, large and small throughout the years and loved every minute of it.

WATCH YOUR COLOR CONTRAST

If your logo, headline or title is going to be on a background color, you need to choose contrasting colors. I made this mistake in my early days as an art director and the entire city of Los Angeles had flags on every street pole advertising something they couldn’t read. Luckily I wasn’t fired, but I will never do that again.

Step away from your art or squint your eyes. Does your logo blend together and get lost? Your artwork might look bright and beautiful up close. But if someone needs to see it on a shelf, a few yards away, it might blend together and be lost.

It’s about color value. If you turn the colors in the art to shades of gray and they still contrast, you’ll have a good color scheme. But if they blend like these above, you will need to change the colors for better contrast.

About 8% of the population is color blind so keep that in mind.

To be sure you will be using a top notch graphic designer who has many years of experience, knows the rules of printing and keeps up with the modern trends, please contact me at [email protected] or click this link. Check out my designs here. I include testimonial pages where my clients express their experiences working with me. I offer unique fresh eye-catching ideas to get your toy packages, childrens’ book covers, ads, and toy logos looking professional and sell. I design personally with you on each project so you get 25+ years experience behind each creation. I strive to save you money in the design process, using stock images and manipulating stock illustrations when the budget calls for it. I opened Westcott Design in 2000 after working at Oddzon and Hasbro as the lead design for girl’s toy packaging design and impulse toy packages. Since then, I’ve designed for numerous toy companies, large and small throughout the years and loved every minute of it.