Studio Overview

Analog + digital wine brand design that integrates strategy + execution.

Offset Visual Identity and Packaging clients on studio shelf

Wine Insiders + Outsiders

Our company has built a multidisciplinary team of 22 with deep experience within and outside the wine industry. The 6 person Offset Brand Studio, is no exception, and is made entirely of senior and executive level talent spanning strategy, design, technology, and production expertise.

Design + Technology

Offset is one part Brand Design Studio and one part DTC Software, with our platform, Offset Commerce. Clients who use us for design and commerce benefit from an unmatched integrated customer experience. Even if you only use us for analog projects, we can’t help but make sure your brand assets are optimized for digital.

Napa + San Francisco

While we work with wine clients all over the US and internationally, our Brand Studio team works out of our 2 offices in the Bay Area, where in-person collaboration with our California clients and third-party creatives is the norm, not the exception.


Focus

We create new brands + evolve existing ones + design and build custom websites.


Brand Creation

The process of creating a new brand is exciting, but it can also cause stress and indecision, which negatively impacts the effectiveness of the end product. We guide our clients through the complicated strategic, logistical, and emotional decisions that go hand-in-hand with bringing a brand to life.

Our new brand projects often begin with brand strategy and visual identity and packaging work, followed by voice and story development that is produced in collaboration with third party creatives, (often within the context of a website project).

There is nothing like real-world deliverables with a deadline to pressure-test and sharpen brand creation work!


Brand Evolution

Changing that by which you are most recognized can be a daunting business hurdle. Because we understand the high stakes involved in a redesign, we make sure we are fully versed in your reasons for change before making a single strategy or design recommendation.

Brand evolution projects take many shapes, from evolutions that are centered around packaging changes to story evolutions that manifest in brand talking points, content development, and website overhauls.

While brand evolution projects can come as early as the second vintage, we love the delicate work of evolving storied legacy brands and playing a part in contributing to wine’s rich history. Tradition and progress don’t need to be at odds.


Custom Websites

Wine ecommerce websites need to balance the often conflicting needs of marketing and sales, brand and story, and user utility.

How to balance and prioritize these needs changes between types of brands, brands within the same competitive set, and even within individual brands according to the stakeholders involved during the process.

Through fifteen years of experience building wine websites, operating our wine commerce platform, and supporting hundreds of wine releases, we have unique insight into the patterns behind effective wine ecommerce websites. We help our clients discover what needs their website can serve, and then design, develop, test, and iterate over time to meet those needs.


How We Work

Studio Approach

Focus resources

In the scoping process, we lead frank conversations on business/project goals, your team’s bandwidth, desired timeline, third-party production budget, and expectations/maintenance after your project’s launch. We take your time and investment seriously.

Begin with discovery

Before beginning strategy or design work, we devote time to listening, observation, and research. We share the patterns we’ve uncovered through years of working in wine. Challenge assumptions (ours and yours) and ask questions along the way.

Be style agnostic

We pride ourselves on not having a studio style and always doing what is appropriate for each project. In the words of Charles Eames, “The extent to which you have a design style is the extent to which you have not solved the problem.”

Design holistically

No matter the end deliverable, we test and refine our brand work in multiple real and theoretical applications to ensure it is optimized for analog and digital, and functions as a foundation for future work to build upon.

Obsess over quality

In an age of hollow brands, cookie-cutter design, and click-bait content, we take pride in working with wine businesses (and other creatives) that put quality first – doing work that exceeds expectations and pushes our industry forward.

Reduce waste

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition reports that 70% of a product’s environmental impact comes from its packaging. Even if it’s not in the brief, it’s our responsibility to advise clients on how they can reduce packaging waste.


Client Testimonials


FAQs

Yes!

While we love designing the integrated customer experience that using us for design and commerce can provide, it’s not a requirement. This allows the Offset Brand Studio to work with a broader segment of the wine industry than where Offset Commerce currently specializes (allocated producers, high-touch retailers, and enterprise).

The majority of our client engagements are structured on a monthly model. A preliminary scope and desired timeline determine the monthly amount. We like this model because of its flexibility and how it encourages a focus on quality and what will provide the most client and customer impact. Because our clients are essentially reserving our team’s time in advance, we can modulate our focus on the inevitable changes in client/project needs without the need for complicated change orders or other billing surprises.

After medium to large monthly projects are completed, small projects (e.g., website updates, and small label changes) are often billed hourly.

Yes, to both!

We commonly begin an engagement on a very specific deliverable (e.g., a label redesign or a website). Our relationship often naturally evolves to working holistically across many deliverables, but it’s not required.

When it comes to small projects, our approach is slightly different. We typically don’t engage with new clients on small projects that don’t contribute significantly to brand creation or evolution, or the design and development of a custom website. However, once we’ve collaborated on a substantial project, it’s quite common for us to extend our services to smaller deliverables (e.g. box packaging, marketing print collateral, social media templates, signage guidance, etc.).

Significant work for bootstrapped small clients is another matter. We believe small independent producers play an important role in bringing new life to wine culture and reserve a portion of our team’s bandwidth each year for projects that inspire us.

For creative third parties, we almost always budget for providing creative direction and love nothing more than the alchemy that comes from deep collaboration. We have a deep roster of trusted collaborators but are also always on the lookout for new talent, including those with deep wine experience and those who can bring a fresh perspective from other industries.

We often include third-party writers within our contracts but encourage direct client relationships with all other creative third parties. Our creative direction/collaboration cost is captured in our proposal, so we don’t charge traditional markup.

Printers and packaging vendors contract directly with our clients. While we take pride in our in-house production expertise–and provide guidance and attend press checks–we aren’t ultimately responsible for vetting, procuring, or managing any print vendors or the components they may produce.

Occasionally!

We believe in the value of focus. Channeling our creative energy almost exclusively towards wine allows us to offer a wide range of services and anchor everything we do in strategy informed by years spent in one industry.

That said, as a collective group, the Offset Brand Studio team has deep experience applying their talents to sectors outside of wine.

These days, we’re open to occasionally extending our expertise to spirits, art, culture, design, and nonprofit clients.


Let’s Talk