The designs for the labels were so many, in every format, shape, and colour, and utilising every system of attaching the label to the bottle. The best labels are still paper labels. The contest actually specifies this characteristic, eliminating any possible experimentation. This label is triangular, on paper with a handmade look and the main lettering hot-stamped in gold. Gold-foil lettering like this is never easily readable; the light must fall on it in just the right way. So one must hold the bottle carefully, tilt it, or slightly rotate it. Easy legibility is not an absolute must in our case, since this is an uncommon magnum, in a limited edition, and the collector know what it contains, as do the guests who will be the favoured recipients of this Franciacorta. If we wanted to make the printing easily readable we would print it as black on white. But the wine is well known, and thus the labels become more of a decorative motif rather than a means of identification; it is like the passport of a famous personage. It must be there, but it is useless. Our triangle measures 12 centimetres per side; it is equilateral, of course, to convey the idea of internal balance. Its three corners project themselves in different directions and symbolise dynamic energy. The wording is in Optima, devoid of any manipulation or deformation, and conjures up a vaguely rationalistic classicism. It exhibits a logical sense of reading by utilising a logical division of the component words, and the form of their composition suggests, perhaps as a sub-conscious impression, that of a cluster of grapes. The triangular form could also suggest a glass, or better, a stemmed wineglass, although this is not a wine that one drinks in a normal wineglass. The label has a green background which should blend in with the glass of the bottle. The paper is a large-grained rustic type, but rather sophisticated, and with a distinctive feel to it. The gold lettering is embossed, and one should notice and feel that effect, since the hot-stamped gold has the effect of flattening the grain of the paper. The label contains all the necessary information, including the logogram of the producer, which appears perfectly integrated into the whole. The label is opaque coated, naturally. If a printed label had not been specifically required, metallic letters printed directly on the bottle would be an excellent suggestion. The effect of this procedure could be studied simply by producing an appropriate stencil and printing in off gold on transparent film. Or utilising a silk-screening process. Or even, for a much more sophisticated effect, one can die-cut a very thin silver foil then print in gold, and the writing would wrap on the bottle as a net. Of course, the dimensions could be larger. Presenting these kinds of experimental possibilities would of course require an appropriate expenses reimbursement. Research does have its cost, but it very often is worth the time spent on it. Finally, I take the liberty of making a small suggestion. Since this is a very special type of product, a taste of it during the creative research stage might effectively move that research in the correct direction, allowing a more emotional approach, more in depth, more personal. Mutual understanding seems to be fundamental for an effective communications project.
Giancarlo Iliprandi, currently regarded as one of Italy’s finest graphic designers, first dedicated himself to studying medicine and surgery, then to courses in painting and scenography at Brera, but definitively committed his career to graphic design and planning, specialising in the various aspects of visual communication. He has won many prizes and tributes for his reflections on typographical composition and lettering, and for his creation of typefaces. After teaching at the Scuola Superiore di Pubblicita`, Isia in Urbino, and at the Istituto Europeo di Design, he is currently Professor in the Department of Design at the Politecnico di Milano, which in 2003 conferred on him a degree in Industrial Design Honoris Causa.