Word Search Wine Labels


When I saw Roger Badia’s design for Lo Tengo Claro’s wine label, above left, my first thought was: eye chart. Then I took a closer look and realized: no, not eye chart, word search puzzle.

There are other, earlier examples of this idea… Mendocino Wine Group’s 2007 Puzzle Time Wine label, above center (photo by Just Karen) and El Buscador wine label by Dorian, above right.

But Is Badia’s label design really a word search puzzle?

If so, his execution is more subtle than the other examples. No vertically or horizontally spelled out words are circled. No diagonal words, highlighted. Just a justified grid of letters on a white ground.

There’s nothing in the press release (or anything that I could find searching online) specifically stating that the design was in any way related to word search puzzles…

Was I reading too much into what was simply a spare, minimal wine label design?

According to the press release “the community” chose the label design. What (I think) that means is that Riba Comunicación designed a number of different labels, posted them on a Facebook page, and then let social-media/popular-opinion choose the final design.

However, the earlier version of this label that was shown among the other proposed wine label choices was a little bit different.

Some of the words in that version were highlighted by color, making it seem more likely that the original concept was related to idea of word search puzzles after all.

(Earlier version & video, after the fold…)


Not speaking Spanish might also partly explain my uncertainty as to whether or not Lo Tengo Claro’s label was a word search puzzle. “Claro” means “clear” and even though I don’t know the language, I gather from the context of the ad above that their campaign plays with different interpretations of the word. (Clarity of TV image above)

One idea behind the more explicitly puzzle-like labels (Puzzle Time Wine and El Buscdor) is that they are interactive. By writing on the label, the wine consumer can actively solve the puzzle.

At least one commentator has cited these labels as proof that wine manufacturers are looking for new “low-brow” customers. And it’s true that word search puzzles of this type are not exactly on a par with The New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle in terms of difficulty.

Even so, Puzzle Time Wine thoughtfully provided the answers to their front label puzzle on the bottle’s back label.

See also: Writing on Packages and Interactive Packaging



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