E&J Gallo Winery asked us to rebrand one of the growing brands of wine in their portfolio, Dark Horse, a modern expression of wine from California. Dark Horse is a brand known for delivering surprisingly exceptional wine at an affordable price.

By focusing on perceptions of quality and taste, along with a bolder, more uplifting brand story in both packaging and communications, we set out to create a visual world and a 360 branding portfolio for Dark Horse as it boldly moves forward to reach new consumers. Our approach was to elevate the brand’s quality and premium perception and consider the entire packaging portfolio. We redefined what is possible for the brand, starting with a new look and feel through the label design, elevating and refreshing the packaging to match the quality and taste that the brand is known for by its loyal consumers.


Brand Renovation, Visual identity, Packaging design. 

The labels are printed on an elegant, premium paper stock in both metallic and matte finish, amplifying color, flavors, taste, the icon, and the celebrated Dark Horse’s savoir-faire. The Dark Horse icon has a front, center placement on the label, and the label’s navigation system is simplified.

We developed a flexible design system that allows for future innovation to guide and inspire the whole brand look and feel, including the touch points of portfolio strategy, POS and collateral materials, retail inspiration, and brand content. We wanted to increase competitiveness on the shelf among the varietal set by uplifting new branding and packaging.

Olga Enkina, Marketing Director EMEA, E&J Gallo Winery, said consumers’ response to the packaging has been “overwhelmingly positive” with drinkers showing a “much stronger preference” for the new labels.“The distinctive designs make Dark Horse easier to find in store and the strong colors enhance the brand’s stand-out on shelf, setting it apart from its competitors. Research has also revealed that consumers perceive the wine to be better-tasting as a result of the new look,” she said. A recent Nielsen Packaging Study which featured Dark Horse wines conducted in the US showed that consumers were 20% more likely to buy  Dark Horse wine in its new packaging compared to the existing labels.