Student Spotlight: Kanonkop Wine Packaging


Incredible final project by Juanel Van Der Walt, a graduate of The Brand Communications School in Cape Town.



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"I graduated from Vega The Brand Communications School in Cape Town last year, and this piece was in my final portfolio. The Rationale follows:

The brief was to design packaging and a labels for an existing South African wine estate, and if needed, revise the estate's logo. We were to choose three wines from one estate, and treat the labels and packaging as a campaign.

During research I became fascinated with the Kanonkop estate's late patriarch, Paul Sauer. Kanonkop has a rich history in the South African wine industry, so the concept was shaped around Paul Sauer and his relationship with wine. He played an essential role in developing and popularizing pinotage (South Africa's indigenous varietal), and his dedication to fine wine resulted in the renowned flagship cabernet sauvignon. I chose Kanonkop's pinotage, cabernet sauvignon and the Paul Sauer blend (launched in memory of the beloved man) as the wines.

A love-triangle metaphor is used to illustrate Mr. Sauer's relationship with his wines: he is secretly obsessed with pinotage ("The Mysterious Mistress" character) while being committed to his renowned relationship with cabernet sauvignon (characterized by "The Lady of the House").

The 2003 vintage of these wines are sought after, which inspired the premium visual direction. The estate is named after the old canon on a hill found on the farm, which was fired to notify farmers when ships entered the harbor to trade. The black color palette is a reference to this canon.

Extensive attention was paid to ensuring that the package had a functional afterlife post-purchase, both as carrier packaging and storage at home. It is made of robust natural materials and can be carried with one hand (the cotton carrier straps are elasticized and does not hinder storage and the adjacent panels are magnetized to secure the package when closed)."