Premium Italian Wine Inspired by the Renaissance

THE BORGIAS

Self-Initiated

BRANDING
PACKAGING DESIGN
LETTERING

A self-initiated project exploring the premium beverage category and making custom Roman typeface. The Borgias is a fictitious product line combined with brand story based on historical facts of the notorious Borgia family during the Renaissance. Giacosa Fratelli winery, located in the Piedmont province of Italy, dates back hundreds of years—a family history, steeped in values, handed down from father to son. To celebrate 130 years of producing great wine, the owner wanted to release a special edition line of their most high-quality, rare wines: Barolo and Arneis.

Making a Typeface

To match the nobility of the wine, I crafted a custom typeface inspired by Roman capitals. The fonts, used in display sizes on the labels, make the packaging unique. Unlike other Roman capitals letters used widely on other wine labels, the Borgias typeface possesses calligraphic, organic details influenced by a calligrapher’s flat brush. Each letter is carefully drawn and designed with the same ratio and calculation that was used by David Lance Goines in A Constructed Roman Alphabet.

Label Design

To enhance the storytelling, the label and the box were designed to reminisce the title page and the spine of a Renaissance book. The use of materials, ragged paper, and wax seal, also magnify the Old World personality of the packaging. Cesare Borgia was portrayed on the label for the Barolo wine and Lucrezia Borgia was portrayed for the Arneis wine. These selections relate to the complicated relationship between Lucrezia and Cesare—the Arneis grape is often used by wine maker to soften the tannins and harshness of Nebbiolo grape in Barolo.