Smoked Iguana BBQ packaging design

food label design for barbeque sauce

Smoked Iguana is a small batch Barbeque sauce company located in Trenton, Missouri. We worked with this food brand on logo, illustration, and packaging design.

They have two sauces out right now, Original BBQ Sauce, and Mango Habanero.

To achieve the metallic shine, we worked together with their printer, Curtis 1000. The labels were printed on Metallized Film using 4 color process (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, & Black),  plus white ink.

Follow their brand on the Smoked Iguana Facebook page. They also sell it at Hy Vee stores in Liberty, Trenton, Chillicothe, Unionville, and Chariton, IA.  You can also order online from Hawgeyes Bbq.

Bingham Family Vineyard: A Wine Brand and Family in Perfect Harmony

“When you have a product, you’d better really like the label,” says Betty Bingham of Bingham Family Vineyards, “because you’re going to see a whole lot of it for a very long time. Every time I look at a bottle of our wine, I’m thankful that we spent the time and money and worked with Bauerhaus Design.”

The Bingham family has been farming in Meadow, Texas for generations. Current owners Cliff and Betty began when they married in 1981. In 1992 the farm became certified organic with the Texas Department of Agriculture. They grew mostly cotton and peanuts, rotating in black-eyed peas, sesame seeds, or whatever the market called for. In 2003 they planted five acres of grapes.

The decision started out as a practical one. As Betty explains, the water tables were dropping in the area and grapes need a lot less water than peanuts. Plus, there was a growing market for them with local wineries.


Growing grapes was new to them but it was still farming. When they established a winery to make their own wine in 2014, however, they were in unfamiliar territory. “We had no idea what we were doing when it came to branding or marketing a product,” explains Betty.

They found guidance at the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association Conference. Rebecca Ritz, owner of Bauerhaus Design was speaking there. They hired her right away.

“I was apprehensive of the entire process of working on our brand,” remembers Betty. “I had no idea what to expect, but it really flowed smoothly. Rebecca walked us through the steps and gave us the answers we needed when we didn’t even know what questions to ask.”

winery logo and label design
winery logo and label design


By learning as much as she can about a client, Becca is able to zero in on what sets them apart. Her process always begins with an extensive questionnaire asking clients about themselves, their wine and winery, and what makes them unique. It’s an essential part of designing a brand that will represent the winery’s distinct personality.

The Binghams knew they wanted to communicate a joyful customer experience with their brand. In their initial conversations with Becca, the family focused on their love of art, music, wine, and food. It was around these aspects that they built their brand position.

wine label design with music
wine label design with music


First, winemaking is truly a family venture. Betty and Cliff have eleven children ranging from age 34 to 15. They’ve always encouraged them to choose their own paths but they’ve all worked in in the business at some point. “From the vineyard to retail sales, there’s such a wide variety of jobs and opportunities,” says Betty. “they each find the aspect they enjoy doing and find their niche.” Some have studied Oenology and Viticulture and plan to make a career at the vineyard.

Music plays an integral part in the Bingham family. “With eleven kids, people sometimes asked Cliff if he was hoping for a baseball or football team,” says Betty. “He’d say ‘actually, I wanted an orchestra.’” Each member plays at least one instrument and they can often be found entertaining the crowd at the winery or one of the tasting rooms. It sets the wine brand apart from others – a winery with a musical family.

Last but definitely not least, is the distinctiveness of the wine. “We produce 100% authentic, estate wine. In Texas, that’s somewhat unique,” explains Betty. “Our 100% Texas grown grapes reassure our customers that they’re exploring and enjoying the true taste of Texas High Plains wine.”

Texas wine label design
Texas wine label design


Becca was able to incorporate the family’s passions into their logo and label. She transformed a musical note into a stylized capital “B,” with the family name in a sophisticated font beneath it. On the label, a drawing penned by Cliff’s mother Peggy Bingham is beneath the logo. Finally, a banner at the bottom of the label reads “100% Texas Grown / Texas High Plains.”

“We’re all so pleased with it,” says Betty. “Rebecca was very patient with us. She’s good about listening and adding little details while keeping to what was necessary from a design standpoint.”

Logo design on wine capsule
Logo design on wine capsule


In addition to the vineyard and tasting room in Meadow, the Binghams have a tasting room in Grapevine, Texas that is part of the Urban Wine Trail. In fall 2018, they will open their third location in Fredericksburg, Texas. They are partnering with Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters, a retailer that wanted to include an authentic tasting room at its new location.

It’s important that Bingham’s branding and image remain consistent across all venues. Each location – and a wine club – brings different customers and sometimes even different price points. Bauerhaus provides a Brand Standards Guide to its clients. It has all the information needed, such as colors, fonts, and specs, to use the logo for marketing purposes without having to call Becca every time.

music wine label design
music wine label design


The Bingham’s original five acres of grapes have expanded to more than 160 with ten varieties each of red and white grapes. Their production has increased steadily in the four years since opening. They use 10-20% of their grape yield for their own wine and grape juice and distribute the remainder to other wineries in the state. They still farm an additional 2000 acres of other crops.

Betty sees her children’s range of ages as an asset for keeping in tune with the market as their target demographic changes. She once would have described their target market as baby boomers, but her thoughts on that has evolved. She’s finding that Generation X and Millennials have an appreciation for their wine’s authenticity and they enjoy interacting with the grape growers and winemakers.

The Binghams have learned that a strong brand strategy is essential to their success. They’re confident that the recognizable logo and brand identity orchestrated by Bauerhaus Design will help their wine brand flourish for generations to come.

Wine brand logo and packaging
Wine brand logo and packaging

Leonard Wine Company: Creating an American Wine Brand with European Flair

When Tom Leonard and his son Chris established Leonard Wine Company in 2014, they agreed that nothing but the best would do. “Our wine was going to be high-end,” says Tom. “Not just our wine, but everything about our wine brand was going to be first class. We were going to find the best bottles we could get, the best corks, and the best labels.”

They wanted the best for their logo and brand identity too. They enlisted Becca Ritz or Bauerhaus Design to help transform their vision into reality.

Before contracting with Bauerhaus, the Leonards hired another designer. “We explained what we wanted. He came back to us with a very professional, very polished presentation. It was very cool, but it was the total opposite of what we were trying to do.” Instead of listening to their feedback, the designer kept trying to steer them toward his designs. “It was frustrating,” says Tom.

Finding the Right Match

An online search led them to Bauerhaus Design. Becca invited Tom to be her guest at the Midwest Wine & Beverage Conference. He liked that she specialized in the wine industry and hired her. “She understood what we were trying to convey,” says Tom. “She was very easy to work with and came up with some very creative stuff that worked. People comment on our labels all the time. The design matches our personality. She gets it.”

Becca created all of Leonard Wine Company’s packaging, including their labels and capsule design (the foil sleeve on the top of the bottle.) She also designed their website, letterhead, business cards, and tech sheets, which provide buyers with important details about the wine’s characteristics.

Partnering Across the Miles

Leonard Wine Company was founded when Chris Leonard approached his dad about starting his own wine label. “I was about to retire after 40 years in the family manufacturer’s rep business and was ready for something new,” says Tom.

The two are from St. Louis, Missouri, where Tom still lives. The plan was for Tom to manage operations from St. Louis. Chris would make the wine in Napa, California, where he had worked in the industry for the past ten years.

Wine is in their Veins

Fine wine and cuisine figured prominently in the Leonard family for generations. Tom’s grandmother had a catering business, and later a high-end French restaurant. He spent summers as a teenager working there and learning about wine and pairing food with wine. He worked in restaurants throughout college in the 1970s. “When everyone else was drinking beer,” he recalls, “I was drinking wine.”

After college, he spent nearly a year traveling around Europe with friends. “Experiencing the differences in wine from country to country, I developed an even deeper appreciation.”

Chris considered culinary school before opting for a degree in Hospitality Management. He began his winemaking career while in college, studying under a Master Sommelier. He worked in vineyards during summer breaks. He also traveled abroad, working grape harvests in New Zealand and Italy. When he settled in Napa, he applied the valuable hands-on knowledge of his European experience to work at prestigious vineyards. He learned the industry and was mentored by renowned winemakers.

Taking a Novel Approach

“Our goal was to do something different,” says Tom. “Chris wanted to make wine using California grapes, and European techniques. That’s what makes us unique – we’re a couple of guys from Missouri, making California wine in a European style.”

The Leonards decided to specialize in two varietal grapes: Zinfandel which is native to California, and Roussanne, which is less well-known in the United States and typically used for blending. “Very few people make 100% Roussanne wine,” says Tom.

Rather than grow their own grapes, they buy them from vineyards around Napa. Despite not having their own acreage, Chris is very hands-on, working the vines himself. He prunes and shapes them by hand, cultivating the crop exactly how he wants it. The result is a unique grape with a more concentrated flavor.

The winemaking and fermentation takes place at a custom crush facility. These production sites, which are common in California, can be rented by independent winemakers.

Two Distinct Branding Strategies

Leonard Wine Company’s brand is actually two branding strategies, mirroring the two different grapes. The Zinfandel is bottled using the Leonard label. It features a lion, like those found on European family crests. “There are a lot of lions in logos,” says Tom, “but Becca made ours distinctive.” She turned the lion’s paws and tail into fleur-de-lis as a nod to St. Louis. The lion is holding a wine glass.

The Roussanne brand pays homage to their Midwest roots. “St. Louis is all about the Gateway Arch and the Muddy Mississippi,” says Tom. “Becca understood our vision for the Muddy Arch brand.” The logo features an outline of the iconic landmark and the river flowing at its feet.

Elegant, Vineyard Designate Wines

The Leonards’ wine distinguishes itself as a luxury wine brand. It has a higher price point and is targeted to older baby boomers. They find that the older demographic is willing to pay more for a classically structured wine than younger generations. Becca’s design expertise helps them steer their marketing efforts in that direction.

In its first year, Leonard Wine Company produced 300 cases, increasing by about 200-300 cases per year. “For 2018, we’re at about 1000 cases per year,” says Tom. “We’re starting to get more of the market share. We have the resources and connections to get more grapes as we grow.”

The Leonards plan to open a traditional tasting room soon, but currently sell their wine to restaurants, wine stores, and online. Their sales breakdown is approximately one third each in California and the St. Louis area. The final third comes from members of their wine club throughout the country, many of whom joined before even tasting the wine. The wine’s reputation and news of their old-world techniques fueled word of mouth sales.

Private dinners comprise another sales stream. Staying true to the family’s culinary background, they host farm to table dinners. Guests enjoy special menus created by a professional chef, designed specifically to pair with Leonard wines.

Nothing but the Best

Tom and Chris recognize that building a wine brand can be time-consuming and expensive, so it’s important to find someone who understands what you’re trying to do. “Wineries are Becca’s niche,” says Tom. “It’s what she specializes in, and it shows. She knew what was best for our brand. The value is definitely worth it.”

KC Wineworks: branding for Kansas City, Missouri winery

What happens when Baby Boomers and Millennials come together to create a wine brand? KC Wineworks just opened in the Crossroads Arts district of Kansas City, Missouri, and a few brand elements from our recent collaboration are highlighted below.

If you were at the Annual Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association conference in February and saw my presentation “Case Study: How Six Brands Target Six Different Wine Consumers” this may sound familiar to you!


We created KC Wineworks logo as two separate pieces that can be combined in various ways. The gear represents the modern focused Millennials and how their winery is in an urban setting. We played with several different type styles and ultimately went with a more classic serif font with a swash that is very typical of a font that appeals to Baby Boomers.



Wine label design

For this design we again focused on balancing the two different age groups. This label has a very unique gear die-cut that shows off the cutting edge Millennial winemaker. Since this design has lots of edges, we worked together with the printer to make sure that the label could easily be printed and applied to the bottle. We adjusted the initial gear teeth to be a little rounder in the process. The Baby Boomer part of the label comes with the layout. The layout is a very traditional layout with an illustration as the main eye candy and the rest of the wine information in a easy to process hierarchy.


Cider label design

This label was a little more of a challenge, because the client requested that it not have a back label. This meant that all the TTB information needed to go on the front, too. We had to strike a balance between making sure you first read “Crossroads Apfel” but still able to read the government warnings. Since ciders are mostly consumed by younger generation, we used a sans serif font for the “Crossroads Apfel” and added a fun wood texture.


Plus, letterhead and business card design:


Click here to see the KC Wineworks website design and development case study.

Join me at the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association Conference and Trade Show

Join me February 18 – 20, 2016 at booth # 316 during the Annual Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association Conference and Trade Show  in  Frisco, TX. Check out a sneak peak below of two projects we will be showcasing at our booth. Stop by and sign up for our free 7 week email series or go here: Sell More Wine

Plus, join me as I present a Case Study: How Six Brands Target Six Different Wine Consumers.  Who is your target market? This session will explore why “all wine drinkers” isn’t a good answer. We will discuss the 6 different types of wine drinkers and provide real world examples of how 6 different wine brands reach and motivate each market segment. You will learn which aspects of wine labels, websites, and social media appeal to each group. The primary objective is to help you identify which segment of wine drinkers is your ideal consumer, and provide inspiration for strategies that could appeal to your niche.

Muddy Arch: Wine logo, Label & Package Design


Muddy Arch has officially launched! Bauerhaus Design a full service branding, packaging and web development agency located in the Midwest, created the packaging for Leonard Wine Company. This wine company is made up of Tom Leonard, who is located in St. Louis, and his son, Chris Leonard, a winemaker in Napa, California.

This father and son duo wanted to pay homage to their hometown St. Louis with the idea of the “Muddy Arch” for their Roussane wine. Muddy Arch is currently at several restaurants in Sonoma and Napa, California and Chris and Tom are in talks with several St. Louis, Missouri distributors.

Part of the packaging process was also suggesting paper, foil, printing methods, plus designing the corks, capsules and front and back wine label design. Above left is the final approved design Bauerhaus created and on the right is the final printed label. Below are photos of the cork, label and capsules on the bottling line:


Often the best re-cap of what it was like to work on a project comes directly from my client:


Muddy Arch Roussanne labels have arrived fresh off the press!

I have been working with Tapp Label Company for many years at Napa wineries. Having confidence in their fine product we have enlisted their services to effectively communicate what lies within our bottles of wine. We are using a fine-grain textured paper with a flash of matte silver foil to capture an elegant presentation.



This goes without saying. Thank you very much to our Illinois based designer, Becca Ritz of Bauerhaus Design, for sending Tapp a beautiful design to print.


What Tom and I loved about working with Becca on this label is that she had a real interest in correlating her vision of powerful design with the creation inside the bottle. We dropped our first designer, based out of Napa, as we quickly realized the brand image our consumers would see was simply a gorgeous picture, but lacked continuity with what you would be drinking. We are thrilled to have gone back to our Midwestern roots to discover this great designer who understands both beauty and the need for consistency in brand identity.

We love producing these elegant, vineyard designate wines and feel that Tapp and Becca have done a beautiful job for us, capturing what lies inside the bottle.

-Chris Leonard

Bauerhaus Design is currently working on their website design and development. Want to know when you can purchase Muddy Arch near your location? Follow all the Leonard updates on their Facebook here.

Texas Winery Logo & wine label design: Bingham Family Vineyards

Winery logo design

Earlier this year, we worked with Bingham Family Vineyards, an adventure of music, children, grapes, and organic crops on the High Plains of Texas. They are opening their doors on April 24, 2015 in Grapevine, Texas.

A little more about their family:

“Cliff Bingham, a fourth generation farmer in Terry County, began full time farming in 1982. Since 1992, Cliff and his wife, Betty have served as pioneers in the Texas organic cotton and peanut markets. They diversified their farming operations in 2003 by planting grape vines. Together with their children, the Binghams currently own or manage over 200 acres of wine grapes in the Texas High Plains AVA. They are now pleased to be moving forward in the Texas wine industry by starting a winery. They plan to continue selling grapes to their winery friends across the state who are producing award winning wines as well as producing wine of their own under the Bingham Family Vineyards label. They are an ordinary family that has eleven children, homeschools, plays music, loves art, loves life, wants to take care of God’s earth, and loves the Lord. They make a lot of mistakes, but they keep turning to God for inspiration, encouragement, and strength.”

For inspiration of the Bingham Family Vineyards, one facet of their story really kept presenting itself over and over: Their love of music.

Bingham Family Vineyards defined their brand position as:

Bingham Family Vineyards is a multigenerational wine grower that promises the curious wine explorer a joyful experience through hand crafted wines, the fullest expression of the Texas High Plains.

Inspired by their love of music and their grape growing history I presented 3 different winery logo design options. From those three, they picked one and then spent time tweaking till we were both 100% happy.

The final winery logo design that was chosen is:

Bingham Family Vineyard logo

Next up, we worked on the Bingham Family Vineyards wine label design. Since we focused on the musical story of Bingham for the logo design, we really wanted to incorporate the farming history as well as promote “100% Texas grown.” I again presented three options, with the family ultimately loving this option the best:

Wine label design for Texas winery

After this wine label design was chosen as the final direction, we set about to tweak small things. For example, Bingham provided me with a drawing similar to the label design drawn by Grandma Peggy Bingham, plus we changed the Texas wording in the brown bar. The final label design:

Chardonnay Bingham wine label design

Many package design companies are all about showing off the front label design, but the back label is a great place to continue to tell your brand story along with details about each wine. Here is the Bingham back label:

Back of Bingham Chardonnay


Next I designed their email newsletter header and a brand standards guide. A brand standards guide has really helped many of my clients know how to layout the day to day marketing and design for their winery. This answers questions like – can I use my logo this way? How much space around my logo should I have? What type families and colors should I use on my marketing collateral?


Here is a sneak peak into what is inside:


Are you starting a winery or need a brand re-fresh? Fill out my contact form with your project details and I’ll get you an estimate.

To check out the hours, directions and read more about Bingham Family Vineyards wines go their website here.


New website design & wine label design for St. Louis County winery

Boenker Hill Vineyard and Winery is a new winery that will open in Bridgeton, St. Louis, Missouri later in 2015. We first met owners Matthew & Jolynn Boenker a few years ago and spoke to them about their vision for a new winery. One of the last Missouri Centennial Farms in St. Louis County, Boenker Hill Vineyard & Winery has a Butterfly Garden, Manicured Grounds, a State Hill Top View, and convenience to all in St. Louis and St. Charles. Due to its long history, the property is loaded with vintage charm and 2 barns – one red barn that houses the new winery and a second rustic white barn that you see from the road.

Boenker Hill came to Bauerhaus Design, a full service wine marketing firm, to create a brand across both their WordPress website design and wine label design that were classic, yet showed off one of their barns where they plan to host many barn weddings.

Owner, Rebecca Ritz, a wine label designer and website designer, spearheaded the design portion. She presented three different wine label designs and barn illustrations to the Boenkers.  They ultimately chose this very traditional wine label design for their 8 wines:







Often we talk about the front of wine labels, but often forget about the back. In the presentation I have given to several different wine associations, “How wine label design can increase your retail sales,” I talk about how important the back is to communicate your brand message. For Boenker Hill, one of their major goals for their winery is to have a booming wedding business, so we included the text “perfect hill top views and location for your next special event.”

Also on the back label, I created a “Missouri Centennial Farm” stamp to show their long farming history. We played up their focus on Missouri wines, by showing the Missouri Wine Sweetness scale and mentioning “Wines of Missouri” in the text.


Responsive WordPress Website Design

We also created their responsive WordPress website design, so their website would be easily viewable across iphones, tablets and desktops computers. Another words, no pinching and zooming in to try and read text or press links!




Three original designs were created and presented and they ultimately chose the design with a rustic wood background. They had their first outdoor wedding at their winery last fall and were able to get some great wedding photos that we used both on the home page and in their gallery. We incorporated the same barn illustration and colors from their wine labels, so their website would be immediately identifiable with Boenker Hill. Check out the new design and development at:


Wordpress Winery Website Design

Case study: Creating the wine brand of Nelson Hill Winery

I’m excited to show off a large project I’ve been working on this year: Nelson Hill Winery’s logo design, wine label design and website design. Nelson Hill Winery is a boutique winery specializing in single vineyard Pinto Noir and are located in Anderson Valley, California. I first met owner Barbara Hill, through a partnership with Bruce at Digital Wine Marketing. I provided website designs and Digital Wine Marketing programmed the website in the Drupal Content Mangement System (CMS). The e-commerce section is integrated with Nexternal eCommerce Platform.


Once the website design process started, we realized that Nelson Hill Winery did not have a strong logo design. All they really had was the below wine label design:

Before wine label redesign

I talked to Barbara about their winery, their goals and target audience and where their name “Nelson Hill Winery” came from.

A little more about Nelson Hill Winery from Proprietors Barbara and Greg Hill:

Our Deep End Vineyard is planted on a rocky, south-facing slope, nestled in the elbow of an ancient spring-fed creek in the heart of the Anderson Valley, a few miles from the Mendocino coast. We produce small lots of premium pinot noir in the Burgundian style: delicate, subtle, with flavors of black cherry and spice, uniquely crafted to enhance your dining experience. We hope you’ll enjoy the fruit of our passion for old-world pinot noir!

Where did the name “Nelson Hill Winery” come from?

Barbara’s maiden name is Nelson. It was always meant to be a “total family” venture to pass on to generations in the future. Everyone loves to come and help do whatever they can, or just camp in our backyard. We had over 50 people for Thanksgiving one year.

Logo Design

The final logo design is a custom illustration I drew from their old world negociant’s French scale that they have at their winery in Mendocino County, California. Barbara and Greg love that it is “very recognizable, almost unique, symbolizes our love of old French things, and our preference for old world wine making, more Burgundian techniques, etc.”

And while I presented several different type options, they ended up choosing the same fonts they had on their original wine label. I added in spacing between letters to give it some breathing room and have the ability to easily scale down. I also simplified the color scheme to black and a deep red.


Nelson Hills Winery logo design

Wine Label Design

For their wine label design we focused on creating a classic design to target the high end consumers that purchase their wine at their boutique winery or at Pinot Noir events in California. I chose a textured paper to help give it the feel of fine stationary.


I think it’s important for wine labels to work on three levels. One, catch your attention across the aisle or room. Secondly, once you pick up a wine bottle, it needs to catch your interest. In this case, we wanted the focus to be on the French scale. The last level, is once you have the bottle home let the consumer read a little about your brand story. Another words, what is unique about your winery?


Winery website Design

For the website, I provided Nelson Hill Winery with two different website design options and they chose to have a large image gallery with three main boxes:


See the live website at


Thousand Oaks Wine & Rack Card

Rack card design:

We continued our work with Thousand Oaks Winery, located in Marble Hill, MO and designed this Rack Card for  to hand out at various trade booths. The goal was to keep with their classically designed wine labels and promote their view, location and contact info.

4x9 Rack Card design

Design of the back of a Rack Card

Wine label designs:

We were also excited to hear that they named a special edition wine, Willow, after our daughter.

Wine label design for Willow

The family business label design was inspired by the owner’s family history – he was the first one in his family NOT to be in the train industry.

Family Business wine label design

This wine label follows their traditional wine labels – logo and label are the same, except for the name & grape.

Thousand Oaks Harvest Moon

This label was created from a photo of the winery owner’s parents wedding day.

Thousand Oaks Hope label design

You can see more Thousand Oaks wine label designs here.