Marilyn is a creative agency in Melbourne. For over 15 years, we’ve used strategy and great design to help brands tell their stories and solve businesses’ stickiest problems.
We like to become a part of the furniture – if your furniture was really clever and went home at the end of every day. We ask a million questions, explore heaps of weird left-turns and float dozens of ideas until we settle on whatever will get your message seen and heard in crowded and noisy markets.
It sounds like a bit of a cliché to say, ‘No two jobs are the same’, but there’s truth to it. We go in fresh to every project, get tactical when deadlines are tight, and dive even deeper when long-term projects are put in front of us. We want you to trust us to get it right, and sometimes that also means trusting us to wander into the edges of your brief and come back with something a bit left-of-centre. Structure and processes get stuff done, and bravery and flexibility make it fun.
When we first met the Chalmers family to chat about rebranding their nursery, vineyards and winemaking operation, Bruce Chalmers explained their achievements by telling us “You have to think like a plant.”
As we got to know the family, their business and their many partners and supporters in the wine industry, anecdotes like these helped us to shape their new identity, labels and packaging that have helped them increase sales and distribution, clearly communicate the different facets of their business and seamlessly expand their range.
Some would say Chalmers have taken the hard road, painstakingly importing and propagating once little-known varieties like Nero d’Avola, Greco and Fiano – whether or not our wine lists and palettes were ready for them. But the whole Chalmers family would say there was no other way to do it. Passionate about sustainability and mitigating climate change impacts in the vineyard – it only made sense to them to grow the right variety in the right place, experiment until they make a wine perfectly suited to Australian lifestyles and willingly share their knowledge along the way.
The focus on growing the right plant in the right place that’s made Chalmers so successful ultimately drove the brand idea. “Viniculture before wine” became central to the new identity and packaging.
The wordmark is simple, clean and strong; easily able to flex across its varied applications, while the icon differentiates between the three areas of the business, vineyard, nursery and wine, and reflects a focus on the business zone: what’s underneath the ground.
The labels are a single-minded and crystal-clear representation of the brand and what’s in the bottle. In keeping with the core brand idea, the brief was to convey the unique personality of each wine while keeping the expanding range cohesive and distinctly Chalmers.
Those big personalities, weird varieties and connection to land and process are represented by colour and texture on the labels and corresponding packaging. Each variety has a texture and a foil colour related to how the grapes are grown, the process of making that particular wine or a more abstract story.
“Success for us is being able to convince others that they can convince consumers to buy this wine. Without question these labels have fulfilled that brief.”
– CellarHand Wine Distributors
We’ve continued on working with the brand, refreshing their website, developing various pieces of print collateral and continuously trying to convince them that printing a book is a really great idea.