Apparently King Tutankhamen thought so. Just to make sure, though, he packed his own. Commonly known as King Tut, he ascended the Egyptian throne at the tender age of nine and was believed to be in his teens at the time of his death in 1352 BC. But that didn’t stop him from enjoying the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage! Wine jars were discovered among the objects buried in the catacombs of his tomb, intended to accompany funerary meals that would ensure a pleasant afterlife. The jars contain some of the world’s oldest wine labels. Not only are they among the most ancient wine labels on record, they are some of the most detailed. The Boy King’s wine labels displayed enough information to meet the present day requirements of some countries’ wine label laws. One label, for instance, read “Year 5, Wine of the House-of-Tutankhamen Ruler-of-the-Southern-on, l.p.h. in the Western River. By the chief Vinter Khaa”. King Tut apparently not only wanted to ensure he would be able to drink wine in the afterlife, but he wanted to know exactly what he was drinking. Did he want to be able to pull out a particularly fine jar of wine for one of those very special occasions one experiences following death? We will probably never know … What we do know is that reds were apparently Tut’s wine of choice, according to the scientists that studied residue left in the jars. Among the residue, they found the chemical that imparts color to red wine, malvidin-3-glucoside, according an article published at Scientific American. This discovery was not exactly shocking, as many ancient Egyptian tomb paintings depict red and purple grapes being pressed.
Monthly Archives: August 2009
Health-conscious shoppers who find themselves in the snack aisle are most likely to toss a package of cookies or crackers in their cart that has a product image at the top or left side of the packaging, according to a study featured in a New York Times article published Aug. 17.
The University of Miami Business School study, which will be published in the December issue of The Journal of Marketing, concluded that consumers perceive product images placed in either or these locations to be healthy or light. In contrast, product images placed at the bottom or right side of their packaging are viewed as being rich or heavy. Of the 270 cracker and cookie packages included in the study, the images of rich, full-bodied products like decadent double chocolate chunk cookies were placed in the lower or right front portion of the packaging most of the time. Light, “healthy” products were placed in the top or left portion of the packaging 66% of the time.
The New York Times article’s implication that these findings arise from the way the human eye approaches images was challenged earlier this week by The Package Unseen’s blog post about the packaging design study. The blog post’s author notes that the cookie industry is dominated by a handful of large companies, and theorizes that their design systems are more influential on the packaging design in this category than how the human eye approaches images. To me, this is like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg?
At any rate, I am looking forward to examining more of the research when this study is published in full. In the meantime, you might want to experiment designing your product labels based on the research that has already been released.
There was a great article last week in Packaging Digest that described the slow move to serialization in the pharmaceutical industry. California, under their ePedigree law, has mandated that all drugs must carry a unique identifier for every bottle that is sold by 2015. In Europe this mandate is happening much sooner - in Turkey it begins next year and in France in 2011. What this means is that all pharmaceutical labels will soon be have to be printed digitally. Digital label printing is the only way you can print a unique code on every label. These codes are going to be very complex in order to stop counterfeiting. They will most likely be what is called a 2D barcode that can contain a great deal of coded information in a very small space. I expect as digital printing technology advances and as consumers demand more traceability with the products they buy that we will see serialization move beyond pharmaceuticals into other products. By the end of this coming decade I expect most products on the supermarket shelf to have some kind of unique identifier on the labels. But the pharmaceutical industry is leading the way and providing much of the technology that will eventually flow into other products. Related Posts Food Recalls and Serial Number Labels QR Codes Coming to Wine Labels Photo by Alex Dodd.
If you are someone who sells wine, you likely kno w how challenging it can be to find promotional items relevant to your industry. If you hunt hard e nough, however, you will find that there are a few great solutions to this problem. I am particularly fond of the idea of vineyards promoting their wines with wine tasting journals branded with their corporate logo. Branded wine journals also make great corporate gifts, and are the ultimate wine accessories to offer your customers, especially those looking for special gift ideas for their favorite wine lovers.
Here are a few wine journals that can be personalized to promote your unique brand:
Nomad Wine Tasting Journals offers vineyards the option of having their logo embossed on the leather cases they sell for their wine tasting journals. They come in a 5”x7” undated format that has room to record details of wine tastings, trips, purchases, dining experiences, and special trips. Each Nomad Wine Tasting Journal includes 120 pages (enough for 30 daily entries) and has also has space for recording up to eight wine tasting entries per vineyard toured, and several pages for pasting favorite wine labels.
Renaissance Art’s Small Wine Journal consists of 160 acid free 5-1/2”x7-1/2” pages. Its leather cover, which comes with comes in a range of color and closure options, can be embossed with your logo. Each journal includes a free custom-printed title page, and is packaged in a made to order gusseted chenille pouch.
Norwood Promotional Products sells a tri-fold journal with room to record tasting notes on more than 100 wines, and its cover can be custom-printed in up to four colors with the image of your choice. The journal is 6”x9” closed; 12”x9” open.
Every year Package Design magazine runs a makeover challenge. This is where they take real products, this year it is Casa Visco, and assign four design agencies the challenge of doing a complete packaging makeover. Then people vote on which of the four makeovers they like best. The current Casa Visco packaging pictured above is somewhat uninspiring and has an inconsistent look, so it provides an opportunity for a vastly improved look. The four design firms all produced very different looks, and they were all a vast improvement over the original. I voted for the Beach Packaging Design entry - the new product labels are all crisp and clean and I love the diecut "spoon" that shows the product in the jar. They have also done an interesting thing with the barcodes, something we highlighted earlier this year. Anyone can vote in the contest until September 30th. Winners are announced in the November issue and I will let you know the winners then.
Award-winning graphic designer Enric Aguilera proves that the simplest designs are often the most effective by creating these packaging designs for gourmet food purveyor delishop. Instead of blending the bar code into the label design by making it as small as possible and positioning it to wrap around the backside of the product, he does the very opposite.
Most small business owners don't think about branding very much. We assume that it is for the big companies like Coke and Pepsi to worry about, not something that a small business just trying to survive needs to concerns themselves with. Wrong. If you are selling products then you are creating a brand. Your brand is what differentiates you from your competition in the minds of your customers. Now, here at Lightning Labels we are not branding experts, but we do look at hundreds of labels every day and we can tell those companies that thought about branding when designing their product labels. The photo above is from a company called Natural Sundae, who make natural aromatherapy products. If you look closely at the labels you will see a consistent look between their product lines - this is a key ingredient in creating a strong brand. To learn more about branding here are some resources: The Practical Guide to Branding (from Business Week magazine) Branding Blogs (from Label and Narrow Web magazine) Brand Packaging magazine