Founded in 1853 by Thomas Hardy, Hardy’s is one of Australia’s powerhouse wine brands: in the UK, a glass of Hardy’s wine is drunk every thirty seconds. With a porfolio spanning from entry level wines to super-premium, iconic wines, the complexity and breath of the Hardy’s portfolio is unparalleled among wine brands. However, the huge array of sub-brands meant Hardy’s had become fractured in consumer’s minds – in many cases the sub-branding was overpowering the parent brand. After nearly 150 years, the Hardy’s story had become lost: people were unsure what Hardy’s stood for – or where the brand originated. The brand needed to re-establish itself as a trustworthy and well-respected Australian winemaker with a proud heritage.

We were briefed to create a new branding system for Hardy’s that would hero the Hardy’s name but allow each sub-brand to have its own personality. We had to emphasise the brand’s heritage and wine credentials and ensure that on-shelf, a wine from the Hardy’s stable was instantly recognisable. With a portfolio spanning over 45 sub-brands – with traditional but also contemporary wines – this was indeed a challenge.

The Hardy’s archive and winery was a treasure trove of the brand’s past. Old winery equipment, letters, old labels and invoices told an incredibly rich story of the brand’s past. We wanted to capture this somehow in the identity and give consumers a sense of this amazing history. We finally found what we were looking for on a vintage vermouth label: a beautiful monogram with letters entwined representing Thomas Hardy and Sons surrounded by a barrel and vines.

We developed the monogram to work as an icon flanked by Hardy’s founding dates as well as ‘Thomas Hardy & Sons’, which reinforces the brand’s authenticity and heritage. Instead of placing the icon in the expected position above the Hardy’s wordmark, we put it as a sign-off a distinctive and unique die-cut shape.

The monogramme and die-cut, consistently positioned at the base of every Hardy’s label, adds immediate premium cues as well as being highly visible on shelf. Meanwhile, the Hardy’s brand block sits intersecting the top of every label, drawing the eye to the brand name. The space in the middle of the label can be used in a multitude of ways, allowing each sub-brand its own expression but ensuring Hardy’s is always the hero.

Another of our challenges was to inject more modernity and premium cues into some of Hardy’s best-known sub-brands whilst still keeping them recognisable. For Stamps of Australia we created postage stamps based on early Australian stamps, adding authenticity to the sub-brand and individuality to each of the varietals.

“The choice of which agency to use for the global packaging redesign for one of the most powerful wine brands in the world, Hardys, was easy. We needed a team who are brilliant designers, with excellent category understanding, with their finger on the pulse as to what is going on in wine and alcohol packaging across the world, are true partners and are a joy to work with. The results speak for themselves”.

Sandy Mayo, Chief Marketing Officer, Accolade Wines.