BEHIND THE DESIGN: Take it to the Grave

Smashing the barriers to entry with the creation of the Take it to the Grave canned wines has been crucial for success. The resulting design turns the limitations of can printing on its head with a premium yet edgy can design. Denomination’s creative strategy was to dial up the quality perception of the Take it to the Grave can in order to overcome any perceived quality issues.

Capitalising on the silver surface of the can, the design uses a combination of clean white, silver and gold “foiling” throughout to communicate quality and bring through conventional table wine design cues. “Fourth wave has been an inspiring client to work with (as) they are constantly thinking ahead of the curve and expect the designs to do the same,” said Denomination chief executive office Rowena Curlewis. “The name came about because our client wanted to launch an affordable but quality Pinot. When we asked him how he was going to do that, he was cagey with his response; hence we called the brand ‘Take it to the Grave’.” Denomination researched global trends that engaged the product’s target market of millennial consumers and tested the allure of evil/macabre brands and events. Whilst this trend has been widespread in the US, including on wine shelves, it has not been prevalent in Australia.

Inspired by The Day of the Dead which has been having a global renaissance, the design features skeletons but their macabre nature has been modified by their light-hearted playing of musical instruments as well as their hats and scarves. Gold foiling highlights the accessories of the skeletons and contrasts with the raw content of the illustration. The Take it to the Grave cans reflect the brand personality of the table wines: a combination of playful, quirky, quality and ‘Day of the Dead’ contemporariness. By incorporating the distinctive assets from the table wines – the skeletal musicians and the gold filigree, the connection to the popular table wine brand could be easily made by consumers.

The premium cues used to illustrate the wines’ attributes, such as medals and tasting notes, replace the usual outdoor and on-the-go messaging associated with cans to encourage consumers to think about canned wine as a way to drink less at one sitting and help prevent wastage. The medals and graphic embellishments also signal quality and, along with the detailed capsule featuring Mexican-inspired graphics, acts as a clear differentiator on the shelf. “The Take it to the Grave cans not only delivered 10% total brand growth, the red varietals have proven the potential of traditional red wine a can format – not just sweet, “bubbly” wines,” Curlewis said.

Denomination was particularly delighted that take it to the Grave pushed through its highly rated competition to win the Best Alternative Packaging award as it was a category that seemed to attract the most innovation. “It vindicates our client’s insistence that whatever we do must be ahead of the curve in every way,” said Curlewis.

Post adapted from the Grapegrower & Winemaker June 2021 edition, reporting by Stephen O’Loughlin.



Best Alternative Format Package Design

This is open to any packaging not in a 750ml glass bottle format. Examples include: canned wines, single serve, bag in box, plastic, large format, etc. Packages will be judged on their visual appeal, design functionality, appropriateness for the price segment and creative utilisation of the alternative packaging format.



The Australian & New Zealand Grapegrower & Winemaker is Australia’s longest established wine industry publication. Published continuously since 1963, it is the only monthly wine industry publication in Australia and covers all the facets of the industry – grapegrowing, winemaking, marketing, business and sales – across Australia and New Zealand.

With a target audience comprising SME wineries, growers and winemakers, the Grapegrower & Winemaker keeps the industry abreast of the latest industry news, the newest vineyard and winery techniques and trends in sales and marketing. It contains articles written by a combination of the Grapegrower & Winemaker‘s team of informed journalists and industry professionals.