Tri-Cities design firm creating wine & beer labels - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities design firm creating wine & beer labels

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash.--  One graphic design firm in the Tri-Cities has won four national awards for its wine & beer bottle labels.  Sara Nelson Design in Kennewick was presented with four package design awards from Graphic Design USA. 

The awards are for the Alexandria Nicole "a2" label, ROS Wine Company's Farm Boy label, the Veranda Beach design, and the Ice Harbor 22oz. bottle series.

As far as the design process, Sara Nelson, the Creative Director and owner, says each design is totally different.  She explains, "We have an illustrator on staff, a writer on staff, and several designers."

Take the Ice Harbor series for example, which was done mostly digitally.  Nelson says, "We started with a wonderful photo.  Well, it's not even a wonderful photo- it's a very ordinary photo."  It's a picture she took of part of a train car when she was traveling to the Oregon Coast.  "We alter them in Photoshop, enhance the contrast, add some copy... and then drop that into the label," says Nelson.

The Farm Boy label was a totally different process, done mostly by an illustrator, Herb Leonhard.  He explains, "It usually starts with doing some photo reference for some of these labels."  He says for this picture, he had his son model for him, then did a pencil sketch.  From that pencil sketch, he created an acrylic painting. That painting then became the Farm Boy label picture and was slightly altered in Photoshop to become different editions of the bottle.

"Oh it's always wonderful to see something you've done reproduced and out there taking on a new life," states Leonhard.

Nelson says the wine and beer bottle labels have become a growing industry for her firm.  She explains they used to create only two or three wine or beer labels a year, now it's over a dozen, with requests from as far away as Ohio.