Ridley Scott winery launches with whimsical dog illustrations drawn by the director
Known for his extensive storyboarding, the director’s often-unseen draughtsmanship forms the blueprint for the Mas des Infermières packaging.
- Liz Gorny
- 29 July 2022
Blade Runner, House of Gucci, and now: Mas des Infermières. An estate located near Oppède in Southern France is also the first branded winery by Ridley Scott, who has owned the site since 1992 and has often retreated there to paint. The packaging and identity feature illustrations – Scott’s own – and are delivered by London-based Hingston Studio – although the process behind the project stands apart from your standard client-studio relationship.
Last year, when we spoke to Sylvain Despretz, Scott’s go-to storyboarder for much of his early career, we caught a glimpse into the director’s famously scrupulous filmmaking process. Studio founder Tom Hingston attests that Mas des Infermières followed the same path, with Scott helping to carefully define each aspect. “Needless to say, he is meticulous in every detail, with a relentless passion for craft,” says Tom, “which of course made the project an absolute joy from start to end.”
The Mas des Infermières identity is illustrative at its core, in keeping with Scott’s history; whether working with artists such as Sylvain or drawing them himself, the director storyboards each and every scene he shoots. “In our first meeting he presented us with a whole series of drawings,” Tom states, many of which showcased individual narratives that played out on the estate, maps or architecture. These works are embedded into the Mas des Infermières site and brand touchpoints, although they are most obviously noticeable via the labels.
The tasting notes and stories behind each Mas des Infermières product – spanning wine and olive oil – are expressed through the illustrated labels. Though they depict different scenes set in Oppède, they always feature Les Toutous (the two dogs) who, according to Tom, “act as guides to the estate – leading guests through different chapters in the world”.
The “playfulness” of Scott’s hand-drawn illustrations, and of course of the whimsical addition of dogs lining the packaging, has been purposefully offset with some rigorous typography from Hingston. Much of the project took shape around a Sator Stone (a stone square containing a five-line Latin palindrome) located on the estate – the “key to unlocking the identity system”, according to Tom. The Sator Stone led to the introduction of a 5x5 grid that was translated into a custom wordmark and then “expanded into the totemic arrangement” for additional labelling information.
A three-year project from start to finish, Mas des Infermières, Tom affirms, is quite simply about crafting a narrative – key to any Scott project it seems. “There are a multitude of histories – mythical and religious – associated with the area,” he says. The design language nods to these moments, feeding them back into the estate itself through The Cave. A space located within Mas des Infermières itself, The Cave is a new public-facing area dedicated simultaneously to winemaking and filmmaking, designed upon the features of a classic provencal cellar.
Hingston Studio: Mas des Infermières, labelling; Rosé Source 2020 (Copyright © Ridley Scott, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.