TRAVERSE CITY — Chateau Chantal’s vines were so bountiful last year that Mark Johnson didn’t have enough space to store the season’s wine.
Until he rented two milk trucks.
“They were both full of wine all winter,” Johnson said.
Milk trucks solved the first part of the problem — where to store and age the wine. Johnson moved on to the next problem — what to do with it.
He decided to create a second label for the wine and sell it at a lower price, around $10 a bottle. The price was meant to attract young, frugal grocery shoppers, and it needed a label to do the same.
Johnson turned to the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Career-Tech Center’s graphic arts students for ideas. He asked students to create a series of labels for five wines that refer to northern Michigan, target a female audience and draw attention on crowded shelves.
“We really concentrated on combining image and text together, so that was kind of a challenge for them,” said Rebecca Kinnee, graphic arts instructor. “A lot of our assignments are more conservative, and I think they enjoyed being more wild with this project.”
Tristin Martin designed the winning labels, which feature a different, brightly colored, hand-drawn animal for each wine. Johnson awarded her $250 for first place.
“I knew the bright colors were eye-catching, so I tried to go all out with it,” Martin said. “When you first look you see the bright colors but you don’t see all the details. If you start to look at it more you’ll start to see facial features on the animals.”
Martin is 16 and in her first year of the two-year graphic arts program. She said the project gave her practice working on a deadline and showed students what real world art jobs are like.