Raba Studio & Drood pours a glass of rebellion

By Rasmus Vestergaard
Published 02/11/2022
Category: Project
Featuring: Raba Studio

For nearly 7,000 years, Iran (back then, Persia) has been making wine. Until 1979, when the Islamic Revolution happened, the government prohibited this alcoholic beverage. Still, wine was made in secrecy among fearless Iranians. Now, an Iranian winemaker living in Sweden has taken up the noble craft of producing Persian wine in his new home, importing grapes directly from his mother country.

In Gemla, just outside of Växjö, Drood presses grapes, ferments and bottles their wine. They are the first Persian winery since the revolution of the world. The Swedish-Iranian winery teamed up with Raba Studio on a packaging design for the wine bottles that tells a story of wine and Iranian culture.

The whole brand aims to give a feeling of oriental elements, modern structure, nostalgic colour themes and an overall visually appealing look.

Rabea Holzfurtner, Graphic Designer

A peak into Persian culture

Drood’s quest has two sides, tells Rabea Holzfurtner. She is the founder of Raba Studio, a German graphic designer living and working in Sweden. “To Iranians, the project means a lot because it gives them back a nostalgic product that had been part of their culture for thousands of years. To non-Iranians, it opens the mind on the perspective of wine, origin, varieties and history.”

“I wanted to create a timeless yet contemporary design piece that is attracting both the attention of Iranians and non-Iranians.”

Rabea Holzfurtner, Graphic Designer

From the beginning, it was essential to showcase the class and beauty of the Middle East. Rabea and Drood drew inspiration from architecture, arts and handicrafts. E.g. the design reflects Persian tile work, which comes in vibrant colours of blue shades and greens. Also, the graphic shapes are inspired by the buildings and markets in Iran, which are meeting points for society. Finally, the pattern used on the labels is typically local patterns often seen around Iranian homes.

The typeface also reflects the wine’s Persian origins. The thick brushstroke-like yet geometric shapes draw inspiration from Farsi typography. However, for Rabea, it had to be balanced. “Since Persian wine dates back many centuries, I wanted to find a font that gives an ancient feel to the project. At the same time, I wanted to consider that the project is quite contemporary since the wine is made in Sweden and processed here.”

On the backside of the bottle, there are illustrations of the person that gave the wine the name. One of them is “Irdamaba – The Merchant”. She used to be a great Persian businesswoman who dealt with the wine trade across the Middle East in the past.

And if you’re wondering what Drood means, it is “cheers” in Farsi.

Drood’s wine is soon to be released on Systembolaget and is already available in Swedish restaurants.

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