Henri Ehrhart is a French wine producer in the Alsace region. Cyrille Ehrhart asked if I would redesign their corporate identity, and it was a pleasure to do so. Here’s an insight of the logo design process.
A brief introduction
The company has been operating for more than 50 years, and is focused on standard and medium range wines (mainly distributed in supermarkets). It sold 4,500,000 bottles last year.
“We are a young and dynamic company but with a strong historical past. (today we are the 7th winemaker generation) a brand who is accessible and reflects a product of high quality.”
Cyrille requested a simpler design than the previous logo (shown here).
The previous heraldic logo is too detailed to work across a wide range of applications. The serif type offers a traditional feel, but the crest-like symbol won’t work efficiently at small sizes without the loss of detail.
Brainstorming and sketching
I researched topics including the Alsace history, wine production techniques, the notion of terroir and Henri Ehrhart’s competition.
I presented ideas relating to the Alsace region, such as crowns from the Alsatian flag, and the stork — part of Alsatian scenery for many centuries. The initial designs were deemed unsuitable, and after clarification a number of new concepts were drafted (some shown below).
Unused design #1
Leaves signify growth, the vine, and the rolling hills of the Alsace region. The pattern is arranged to mimic the rising sun along with the high amount of sunshine symbolic with the Alsatian vineyards. The curve subtly represents the form of the grape, while the repeating pattern offers a sense of continuity, suggesting the 50+ years tradition of the company.
A single leaf icon can be used as a separate design element for a variety of purposes e.g. website favicon, embroidered motif, pin badges etc.
Client feedback stipulated the need for a simpler, less aggressive design, favouring the creation of a monogram.
Unused design #2
The “HE” in the above monogram represents a wine glass and bottle.
The smooth, flowing lines relate to the young, dynamic brand of Henri Ehrhart, with the traditional typeface keeping a level of heritage.
When the mark is used in isolation (without the name) it clearly tells a relevant story, although client feedback ultimately ruled it out.
“It is more important to express the origin of the wine (soil, vineyard, grapes, vine stock, leaf, vine shoot) rather than represent the objects we use to taste the wine (glass, corkscrew, bottle).”
The revised “HE” monogram is formed using a hand-written script (my personal hand-writing) to offer a unique, more flowing and natural outcome than shown previously. The curves symbolise the vine shoots from which Ehrhart grapes are grown, as well as the hills of the Alsace region and the roundness of the grapes hanging from the vines.
It works equally well when reversed, and one of the final steps in the process was to send a PDF with various colour options (link downloads a small PDF file I sent to Cyrille).
The new identity is more adaptable than the previous heraldic crest. Picture it appearing online as an animated signature, or as a stamped seal of approval on boxes of wine being shipped overseas.
In total, I created six different logo options (with some variations around each idea), and the timeframe from initial contact to supply of final artwork was approximately six months.
We were looking for a logo with a touch of modernism. David grasped our needs and produced a stunning design. When feedback was needed, new versions of the logo or any modifications were made very quickly. We really appreciated David’s flexibility and efficiency. It’s great to work with someone so open-minded and responsive. Thank you!