Decanter Labels

We were assigned the task of designing labels to display the contents of decanter bottles.  There are generally two types of decanter bottles: Decanter bottles for wines and decanter bottles for spirits.  Decanter bottles for wines are left open without a lid.  These bottles come in all shapes and sizes to allow different rates of aeration (exposing the liquid to oxygen to enhance the flavours and aromas and to allow sediments to settle) depending on the wine they contain.  For example, small, slim decanters allow less aeration making them more suitable for lighter bodied wines like white and rosé, whereas larger wide base decanters allow more aeration making them suitable for full bodied red wines.  Conversely, decanter bottles for spirits have a stopper to prevent the liquor oxidising and losing its taste.  Traditionally spirits were sold in barrels to traders and retailers, who then filled different sized vessels to sell the liquor onto members of the public.  In the 1800’s Wealthy households began storing the spirits in clear, crystal decanters to display the liquids colour and condition. Thus, due to the large variety of decanter sizes it was important to ensure that the labels were designed to fit around various bottle neck sizes.

  To make the decanter labels versatile they were designed with a slight curvature to allow them to sit against either curved or flat sided bottles.  A chain system was used to allow the label to slide over decanter bottle necks of different sizes.  Traditional decanters of the 1800 era follow the style cues of Victorian design, which is known for its abundance of rich colours, patterns and ornamentation.  Victorian glassware is known for its decorative, facetted surface cut designs, so it was important to try and complement this with the design of the decanter label.  The decanter label was given enough depth to hold enamel to provide further customisation in terms of colour, as well as plated finish.  Originally the decanter labels were designed to be blank allowing custom messages to be engraved into the label’s surface, however dies were also cut with the most popular spirits pre labelled.  These included Bourbon, Brandy, Gin, Port, Scotch, Vodka and Whisky. 

Custom decanter labels rendered in different plating finishes.

With the decanter label design complete and approved by the customer, die sets were cut in our in-house CNC facility.  These die sets were then set up on the in-house knuckle-press machinery and tests were made to find the perfect stamping settings in terms of tonnage and number of strokes to generate the perfect stamped relief.  Finally, the base metal reliefs were plated in the customer’s finish of choice and any enamel was applied to the finished product, having been pantone matched to the colour requested.

Custom Decanter Label design selection

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