Capsules Part Two – Custom Capsules

So we covered ‘Stock Capsules’ in Part One, but as you will see, Custom capsules are a whole different animal.

It all started when Mia and I wanted to design custom capsules for the Selene Dead Fred Cabernet Sauvignon, and (if we were successful) the Selene Chesler Wine.

We were faced with a similarity problem with the Dead Fred Cabernet package. How could you tell the difference between the 2005 Selene Napa Valley Cabernet and the 2006 Selene Dead Fred Cabernet? They both have a red capsule and the Selene label.

DF 06 Label

The only difference was on the label, below the vintage, Mia has always put the vineyard designation. So from any distance, or even in a poorly lit cellar, how would you know?

We thought the best place to start was with a new capsule.

dead fred back

We tried some green ‘foil like’ capsules to match the green cat eyes on the back label, but it looked awful!


We liked the logo that the Dead Fred Vineyard owners used, and asked them if we could use it, and work with their designer, Scott Idleman of Blink Design, to make a cool capsule that would make the package different.

Scott was great to work with and sent us 16 mock ups in no time. We saved a few old Cab bottles and used some two-sided tape to put the mock ups on bottles. Then we stared at them for a few days.

mock-up capsules

We kept the stash of mock ups on the kitchen cabinet, to grab and compare and make new bottles at will.

Dead Fred Capsule Mockup

After a few revisions, Mia and I agreed on this one as our final Capsule designed by Scott. He prepared a final draft with the specs for us to take to the capsule company.

Up Next: What you want is not what you get! – Skippy