Case Study: The Panel Logo Design
A Sommelier-Vetted, Global Wine Club
The Panel is a wine club based in Sonoma, California offering intercontinental wines to its invitation-only members. Each month, the bottles are chosen in a blind tasting by an exclusive panel of sommeliers with expertise in wines from around the world. Built from the ground up, this brand simultaneously launched a chic, brick-and-mortar tasting room and online presence for its club members.
Our task was to design a logo that would help establish The Panel as the leading resource for approachable and highly curated international wine. The aim was to build a sense of community among wine club members and a broader wine-enthusiast populace through networking events, speaker series and valuable online resources.
The Panel’s primary audience included everyday wine enthusiasts seeking to deepen their knowledge, and expand their experience with the wine community.
International / Old World
The mood board featured a color story crafted from metal, aged wood and wine. Contrast and shadows, understated typography, and masculine lines construct the worldly, exclusive tone that the club wanted to portray. The very nature of the product itself (wine) lightens the mood with a fun, indulgent, and timeless spirit.
The top row depicts some of the rough drafts we initially presented. While I’m still partial to the “panel of sommeliers” cameo on the upper left, we missed the mark on this round. However, the client appreciated some of the font selections as well as the wine bottle silhouettes from the upper right option. For the second round (bottom row), we included a couple variations that incorporated those elements. We also tried a range of tagline options on for size. The mark on the lower left presented the ‘global wines’ concept that ultimately evolved into the final logo.
Once the globe idea was earmarked, we explored variations on the theme. While the typography was more locked down, we applied several approaches to illustrating the globe/wine bottle icon and played with color. We wanted to make sure we could design as simple a mark as possible, yet still convey the “global wines” concept.
Towards the end of the logo design process we needed to nail down the nitty-gritty of the minimalist color palette. We presented three chromatic grays and ultimately the client chose the cool tones based on the materials used in the interior design of their physical club house.
The Final Mark
While we try not to play favorites, The Panel is one of our favorite logo designs and overall branding projects to-date. It has a lot of what we love: an original and creative concept, minimalist typography, distinct personality, and, well… it’s about wine! Our experience with the client was also positive and constructive. The logo design was carried into a broad range of applications including printed promotional materials, a website, digital newsletter, signage and packaging. Preview more of the work we did for The Panel here.