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El Desperado

Portfolio Categories: Boutique, Conventional Print, and Label of the Week.

This boutique Adelaide Hills wine company has a reputation for being slightly unconventional and perhaps a little bit outrageous! In chess, El Desperado is a doomed pawn determined to sacrifice itself to bring about a stalemate when captured, setting out to do as much damage as possible. The brief for the El Desperado label refresh was unique and exciting reflecting the winery’s philosophy about wine, chess and the infamous pawn.


Collotype Labels worked closely with the design team at Brighter, researching, developing and trialling the use of Thermographic ink to deliver a dynamic “living label”. The clever design changes with the temperature of the wine, displaying a skull when the wine is at room temperature; when chilled a beautiful rose appears over the skull while the leaves turn from brown to green.


The El Desperado is an eye-catching label that gets everyone talking. Winemaker Tom Keelan and the design team at Brighter were thrilled with the results and will look at taking Thermographic inks to further heights on future projects.


The Pawn Wine Co wanted to change the direction of El Desperado packaging, and the team at Collotype had the perfect solution. We moved away from the original lenticular design to the thermal label which changes from evil too good to indicate the ideal consumption temperature. For a wine which does not take itself too seriously, this packaging solution has a sophisticated edge which the everyday wine lover has embraced- a wine which sort of communicates in real time.
– Tom Keelan, Co-Founder & Winemaker, The Pawn Wine Co.

Producer/Brand – The Pawn Wine Co
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Designer – Brighter
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Label Information

Varietal – Rose
Region -Adelaide Hills
Printing Press – Conventional
Stock – Mirrorkote
Embellishments – Thermographic inks, High Build Screen