Going strong in the Catalonian wine industry for almost 20 years, Atipus has become known for creating sophisticated and elegant visual identities with subtle, provocative undertones. “Conceptual, creative, and simple design” is the trick, says Atipus co-founder Eduard Duch. But a little mischief goes a long way too. In its 20 years' worth of experience, Atipus has witnessed a slow metamorphosis in the local wine sector, from traditional and “classical” design, to a gradually more innovative place for experimentation. “We try to let our curiosity run wild and not necessarily see the product as “just a wine,” says Eduard. “Perhaps this freedom, our focus on telling a story and not being subject to rules, is what may best describe our work approach.”
Swerving away from “classic ideas associated with the wine world” was the key principle for Atipus’ design for Nobles i Guillotines, which is produced by Ancestral Pét-Nat wines. The challenge of the brief was to reflect the unique and historical wine-making method used by the brand whilst simultaneously reflecting its bold, “unapologetic” character. They decided on a satirical approach, says Eduard, aiming to poke fun at the pompous tradition of naming wines after aristocrats. For inspiration, the team turned to the “most emblematic movement of people against power” it could think of – the French Revolution.
The concept of the guillotine lead both the visual and conceptual creation of the identity. Atipus made a series of videos in which historical figures like Queen Isabel II of Spain are unceremoniously beheaded, her emoji-like visage popping off and bouncing away. While they lend a provocative, unorthodox feel to the label on the back of the bottle's design, the label on the front is distinguished by a simple yet effective typographic treatment. As if sliced by the guillotine itself, a clean tear through label has been made, distorting the words and giving the label its jaunty, asymmetrical look. “This cut also works as a physical and metaphoric representation of breaking with the established”, explains Eduard.
A recent identity we’re particularly fond of is Atipus’ design for a wine produced by La Mancha. Encouraging their client to go for a playful, contemporary name, they decided to call it Mejunje – a lightly “derogatory, colloquial and affectionate” word meaning “concoction” in Spanish, Eduard tells us. The name also had the benefit of having close linguistic ties with the area in which the wine is made. Continuing this thread, Atipus researched local culture in order to reflect this in the visuals. It came up with a label shaped like the traditional mantilla headscarves worn by Castillian women with a colour scheme and typographical treatment inspired by old bull fighting posters. The overall result is attractive and slick; the perfect balance between vintage and contemporary aesthetics.
To represent its long-running involvement with Vi Solidari wine, summoning the feeling of a place was central to the design process. For 10 years, Atipus has worked with the brand to raise money for childhood cancer research. Aiming to communicate the identity of the town where the wine is made, the team had the idea of getting the children who regularly volunteered in the local hospital to help out with the design process. Against better judgement, and many nay-sayers, Atipus decided that the wine labels would be more unique and fun for the children if each was hand-painted. “People told us that making 1,750 drawings would be impossible,” says Eduard. “But after insisting, everyone got involved.” A wonderful example of Atipus’ simple yet effective ideas for pushing design in the traditional wine sector, the risk paid off – “Everything was sold out in less than two hours!”
Atipus: Mejunje (Copyright © Atipus, 2022)
About the Author
Elfie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in November 2021 after finishing an art history degree at Sussex University. She is particularly interested in creative projects which shed light on histories that have been traditionally overlooked or misrepresented.