We’ve had a few compliments on our labels so I thought I’d share how the design came about.
It was quite simple really. Taking inspiration from the likes of The Kernel Brewery, we wanted to:
- keep it simple
- take nothing away from the product
- make it immediately identifiable as a craft product
So we started out with the things that we’re legally obliged to put on the bottle:
- the name of the product
- the alcohol content
- the quantity of liquid
- whether it contains sulphites (some people are allergic)
- our address
- the batch number or bottled on date
And then we added the words that got across what we wanted to say about our cider.
As with Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone this started out as a lengthy discourse on the nature of the thing (Bob started out with a 20 page long “piece of vomit” about the spoiled brat Miss Lonely that he pared down into the greatest song of all time).
And that got cut and cut until we were left with the minimal amount of words required.
Those words were “made with 100% Kentish apples”.
Those few words tell you a lot about our cider. They tell you its a craft product. Craft to me means handmade, by me, with care and attention to detail in everything from the fruit we use to the methods we use to the way we package and brand the thing.
100% Kentish apples tells you that our cider is made solely from apples. (You may ask what else would it be made of, but that’s for another discussion). And that it’s a product of Kent. We use only Kentish dessert and culinary fruit, no bittersweet apples. Not because we don’t like bittersweets, but because we want to use local apples and we like the light, refreshing “Eastern counties” style of cider they produce.
(I’m using the Royal ‘we’: to be specific I mean me, my wife and most of the people of Kent. Who knows, in time maybe we’ll convince some of the people of Somerset of the merits of this style of cider too?)
The final thing to put on the label was a name. I toyed with a list of names, most of them ridiculous, in hindsight. But in the end it was an easy decision.
On a visit to Jersey my old school friend (a ‘Thorp’) said you’re a Turner, that’s a great English name. If you’re proud of your product and your business, you put your name on it. That’s what people have always done.
I was persuaded. And because we’re so proud of our village and its appley heritage we added “Marden, Kent”.
We put all those words in the font we use. It’s called Veneer and we like it because it reminds us of the writing on our traditional apple bins and crates.
And then we stopped. We didn’t add anything else, no pictures, no stories.
There are a couple of things we haven’t added but perhaps should.
We don’t have an ingredients list. We’re not obliged to (which is, arguably, odd), though we’ve got nothing to hide. Our cider contains apples, sulphites (which have been used for centuries to kill off any bacteria) and pectolase (which helps the juice clear).
We haven’t said that our cider is unfiltered.
And we haven’t said that it’s unpasteurised, though I expect that as we grow and sell to more retailers we’ll start to pasteurise.
So that’s it, how to build a label 101. Let me know if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org