sun wine

Wine In a Can That Doesn't Suck


The Task

Everybody loves wine. Some say wine is slowly squeezing into beer territory as a casual alcoholic drink. According to Time's report from 2013, beer is preferred by 36% of Americans above legal age and wine is at 35%. Only two decades ago, in 1992, beer had a steady advantage of 20%. It's obvious that people's perception of wine is changing rapidly. Unfortunately, the market is not changing fast enough. A quick trip to the nearby liquor store is enough to realize that most wine brands are targeted towards more conservative audiences. Even the cheaper, casual brands are trying to look as premium as possible, which is straight up dishonest.


One of our client's key insights is what started the whole process: people are drinking wine in more and more different places and on diversifying occasions, but wine makers still target the dinner table. Drinking wine out of the bottle or even from plastic cups at a public place is perfectly okay, but most people find it disturbing. Our friends at SUN wanted to try offering a new kind of wine. A premium wine at the higher end of the price range which remains approachable. Just like beer.


Japan is not among the most well-known wine countries. At first we thought this might be a problem, but it turned out to work for us. Creating an international brand with a pinch of traditional Japanese values was a rock-solid requirement from the start. Our client wanted to target the North American market with a limited test of four types of wine: red, white, rosé and a special bonus — fortified.

Japan is often referred to as "the land of the rising sun". Our star is stylized on the flag and Japan's love for beautiful simplicity and timeless design fell inline with out intentions.
Unlike most wines, our client's product is meant to be enjoyed anytime, anywhere and with anybody. Why wait for the sun to go down to enjoy a can of amazing wine? The name is perfectly international, but preserves Japan's unique spirit. When we had the name, the logo was already there.


We went trough a few iterations, all based on a simple circle. We ended up designing a flexible system which allows to use the logo with or without the wordmark.

The dot's color changes according to the type of wine.


The typefaces we use portray SUN's essence. Akzidenz Grotesk, a neo-grotesk sans-serif and one of the main reasons for Helvetica to exist, makes the brand look approachable, modern and friendly. Neutraface Slab adds a dash of class. SUN had to feel affordable, but definitely not cheap.


Creating the right colors took much longer than we expected. We tested a number of variations, starting from a much dimmer palette. Changing the format of the label allowed us to push much bolder colors without making it too intense. We were satisfied when we found the ultimate balance between soft drinks, wine and beer.


Crafting the right package design is probably the most important part of our work. The minimalist aesthetic and bright colors of the can are hard to miss on a shelf full of bottles, but the risks of feeling cheap or too hip are definitely there.

Our first idea involved using the brand name in four combinations: RedSUN, WhiteSUN, RoséSUN and GoldenSUN, helping distinguish the four types of wine. The lack of a symbol made the packaging look too generic. The answer turned out to be in front of us from the very beginning, we just had to go back to the birthplaces of the four wines. Using stylized maps of the four Japanese islands is honest, informative and really… Japanese. A thing our client was super passionate about.

Business Cards

SUN doesn't have a specific brand color, so we decided to design four variations of each business card, all based on the wine's packaging.

What We Learned

“Wine in a can is still a hard sell”

Our client's research shows that people are still far too skeptical about wines in a can. The inner lining of the can preserves both taste and smell perfectly, but cold hard science is not persuasive enough. We need more canned wines on the market for the category to make the jump into the mainstream.

“Packaging can change people's perspective”

Drinking a can of wine looks just like drinking a can of beer or a soft drink. It might put off some, but a lot of younger people feel even more inclined to try a new sort of wine after they are attracted by the packaging.

We’d love to make something awesome with you too. Want to work with us?


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