Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 21 January 2016
Circuit is a 2014 Pinot Noir and 2015 Pinot Gris range from New Zealand’s Black Estate, a Vineyard run by The Naish Family and located across three hillsides in the Waipara Valley, an area of North Canterbury with clay and clay-limestone soil. Black Estate worked with Australian graphic design studio Toko on the branding and packaging of these two new wine varieties which extended across labels and boxes.
Toko establish an interesting link between the nuance and spectrum of flavour and the gradation of colour. These move from the vivid and impactful, to areas that are a little more earthy. Although not a wine expert, and acknowledging the visceral nature of the imagery, the greens and yellows, to some degree, suggest something along the lines of a citric quality, where orange and purple hint at a fruity warmth.
Sharp diagonal cuts and soft radial fades work well to further characterise, or at least imply, flavour profile in a contemporary, compelling and distinctive manner. This is enhanced by plenty of white and a grid-based layout of information that also makes a connection with the Black Estate website.
A generously spaced serif leverages the heritage, experience and craft conventions of the industry, and offers a traditional contrast to the modernity and soft organic transition of colour and an abrupt geometric bisection. The Circuit collection box looks particularly neat, unique and thoroughly modern, bringing together the two colour palettes across large areas of white space.