Usonia wine packaging

Usonia, run by Julia & Alex Alvarez-Perez, makes minimal intervention wines from fruit from their own Cayuga Lake vineyard and from likeminded growers. The name comes from Frank Lloyd Wright, who coined the term to refer to his vision of a democratic American landscape unbound by Old World conventions. Since first reimagining the brand’s labels in 2022, we have overseen all Usonia releases.

In collaboration with Drew Litowitz, we developed a spirited yet rigorous design system that allows each wine’s distinct personality to come forward, while preserving a strong visual connection across Usonia’s entire portfolio.

An eclectic selection of typography references—and subverts—traditional wine labels. Paired with juicy color blocked hues and surreal illustration, the bottles stand together in a gradient of color, and apart from competitors.

Each year, we work with a single artist to create illustrations for all releases. In 2022, we collaborated with JoMinor.

Our design system accommodates playfulness and improvisation as the brand evolves. For example, our Tocai Friulano design breaks from the solid colors of prior labels, introducing gentle gradients that nod to the charitable purpose behind this release, from which a portion of proceeds benefited LGBTQ+ farmers.

We’ve also brought our eclectic type-handling to stationery for the brand, like these letterpress notecards.

In 2023, we worked with artist ThéophileBartz. In addition to updating illustrations annually, we also remix each labels’s color blocking to differentiate releases from year to year.

As new wines are added to the Usonia family, we continue to find new ways to utilize this robust grid and color system.

In 2023, we also worked with Théophile Bartz to create a unique t-shirt coinciding with the year’s releases.

2022 labels designed with Drew Litowitz
2022 label illustration by Jo Minor
2023 label illustration by Théophile Bartz
Labels printed by Niagara Label
Notecards letterpressed by Poppy Press Studio
T-shirts printed by Kitty Box Press