The story of Pandora’s Amphora

3 02 2013

What an amazing design journey I’ve recently been on with two wonderfully passionate clients responsible for an innovative new wine product… and with a genuinely compelling story to back it all up.Jeremy DV Boyd, Pandora's Amphora, Wine Packaging Design, Wine Label Design, Vermentino Fiano Moscato Giallo - Detail

I was initially approached by Amanda and Glenn James-Pritchard, of Ducks In A Row Winemakers, with an intriguing new packaging project to consider. I met with the enthusiastic pair to discuss the brief over a few glasses of (very good) vino at one of Amanda’s pop-up wine events for Winemakers Without Borders. After some brief small-talk, we dived deeply into the story of how they’d come to this point in their wine making journey and how the idea of ‘Pandora’s Amphora’ (as it was to become known) had come about.

Glenn’s passion for winemaking was evident from the outset and his enthusiasm for this project was infectious. They recounted their own personal journey of coming together as life partners, as well as the evolution of the unique wine itself – the two stories being inextricably intertwined, as the amphora was the reason they met.

Glenn, an ex Penfolds and Hardys winemaker, had decided to break away from large scale commercial wine making to turn his well honed skills to hand-crafted small batch winemaking as a true expression of his personal winemaking beliefs. Glenn had recently managed to acquire a decrepit old clay wine vessel, complete with peeling decorative hand-painted fresco adorning the surface. Known as an ‘amphora’, the vessel was in the fashion of those used throughout the ages in Europe, though rarely used in Australia to date. Glenn told of his excitement for the possibilities the amphora presented and how he had been at work hand-crafting a small batch of naturally fermented wine made from hand picked vermentino, finao and moscato giallo grapes.

Jeremy DV Boyd_Pandoras Amphora_Glenn James-Pritchard

Amanda and Glenn revealed they had been toying with the name ‘Pandora’s Amphora’ as the brand name for the wine. They recounted the history of the Greek legend of Pandora as well as the origins of the amphora itself, and everything just seemed to click. Pandora was the first woman created according to Greek mythology – a gift to the first man. The story of ‘Pandora’s Box’ is widely known today, though maybe not so widely know is that the ‘box’ was actually an ‘amphora’. As the legend goes – when Pandora opened the amphora, gifted to her by Zeus, all the evils of the world escaped. All that remained inside was, Hope. I immediately agreed the name was perfect and had to stay.

By the time we wound up the meeting my head was spinning with creative ideas and the knowing that I must be involved in this project with these two energetic and creative souls. And that I had to see this amphora for myself.

Jeremy DV Boyd_Pandoras Amphora_Collage

The following week I visited the winemaking site. There, tucked away in a quiet back corner of a commercial winemaking facility with its towering modern steel vats, stood the single clay amphora holding its secrets within – perfectly in line with the legend. Something about seeing the amphora in this setting made me stop, be still and speak in hushed tones. The same feeling you get walking into a cathedral. It looked so small among the large steel vats, though quietly commanded respect and attention. I guess Pandora already had me under her spell.

The amphora itself quickly became inspiration for the packaging design. The unglazed natural clay was earthy and textural. The decorative fresco had been hand-painted long ago and was now cracked and peeling, something which only added to the overall character. The rim of the vessel coated in natural beeswax.

Glen explained the slow hands-on winemaking process and shared a sample of the precious wine. The wine is an expression of the pinnacle of Glenn’s 20 years of winemaking; a true representation of Glenn’s belief in a hands-on, artisan approach to the craft of winemaking and the creation of a whole new type of wine; one of the most technically experimental wine in Australia and to be the starting point for all Glenn’s future wines.

That’s it, I was hooked.

Amanda and Glenn proved to be a wonderful team to work with. They knew what they liked and what they wanted while respectfully leaving the creative direction open to my exploration and suggestions. Thankfully they liked my designs and Amanda has earned the esteemed title of being the first client to cry with joy at the unveiling of my design concept presentations!

The design process included much delving into the history of the legend of Pandora and further research on the origins of amphoras. The resulting design drew upon this rich past while presenting a unique and contemporary package.

Jeremy DV Boyd_Pandoras Amphora_Makers Mark

Firstly, a brand mark was created to represent Pandora’s Amphora. The mark features a monogram combining the overlapping letters P and A to form a jug-like vessel, inspired by a mysterious makers mark found pressed into the clay of the amphora itself which had been revealed to us when a portion of the ancient paint flaked away. Hand-crafted custom typography was developed, influenced by three single letters also found pressed into the clay of the amphora.

On the label, the brand name is cradled by a simplified rendition of the hand-painted fresco found on the amphora. This modern version is also hand-painted, though using a digital Wacom tablet rather than the traditional brushes of the original artisan.

Back label is simple and understated, letting the wine and the package speak for itself.

The glass bottle was an important consideration of the overall design. A premium heavy weight Saverglass bottle was selected with an extremely deep punt. Gentle curves provide Pandora a sense of femininity while the antique green colouring create a timeless feel. The bottle has been sealed with hand-dipped custom-coloured wax, coating a printed satin ribbon which acts as an opening device. The ribbon is exposed at one end, the wax concealing all but the start of a printed sentence, tempting the viewer to tear it open to read on and reveal the mystery.

We were anxious and excited as Pandora started to come together in production, then elated as it finally emerged as the finished item – completely true to the original design concept. A beautiful thing and a thrilling creative design journey.

My thanks go to Amanda and Glenn for being such great clients throughout the creative process and for having faith that I would do their precious Pandora justice. Thanks also to all involved in the production side of the design. This includes Saverglass; Kings Wax; Label Partners and Wineworks Australia.

The packaging has so far picked up a Print Industry Craftsmanship Award, and was coined as “one of the great wine packages” by Wine Business Magazine editor, Anthony Maddigan.

With only 576 precious bottles made, the remaining few are indeed a rare thing. You can find out more about Ducks In A Row Winemakers, and Pandora’s Amphora, at their website.

Photos of the final Pandora’s Amphora packaging can be seen here.

Jeremy DV Boyd_Pandora's Amphora_Logo_RGB


A journey into oils with Robin Eley

19 01 2013
Jeremy DV Boyd First Oil Painting Sm

My first oil painting in progress!

The portrait coming to life...

The portrait coming to life…

This past week I had the rare luxury of attending a week-long oil painting course run by my favourite Adelaide portrait artist, Robin Eley. What a great week!

Held at CDW Studios, this was the first course for Robin’s newly established school, The Art Academy. A highly professional course and very well set up, right down to the last detail. The week was a combination of keenly listening and watching as Robin generously shared his experiences and skills from the stage, as well as gaining practical hands-on painting experience from students’ own work stations under Robin’s guidance. The course was a very modern setup, with painting demonstrations projected as live video footage up on large screens so students could watch both Robin’s canvas and palette as the painting came to life, allowing us to gain valuable insight on brush technique and colour mixing. Each student had their own desk, easel and still-life light box to work from.

Jeremy DV Boyd Robin Eley Oil Painting 2

Jeremy DV Boyd Robin Eley Oil Painting 6

Being my very first foray into oil painting I definitely had my L-Plates on, though quickly learnt an amazing amount from both Robin and other established artists in the room. All very giving of their knowledge, skills and feedback. The week had a very collaborative atmosphere amongst many friendly new artist friends.

Not having used the medium before, my main challenge was getting a handle on the physical properties of oil paint. They didn’t react at all as I was expecting! In fact, quite the opposite to other mediums I’d used. Surrendering myself as a complete beginner, I became a sponge to all that was said and tried to put painstakingly it into practice. To say oils are complex is an understatement! By a few days in I was feeling more confident and really enjoying the process. We did a few painting exercises before moving on to a more complex portrait. I didn’t get through to a finished painting, though thoroughly enjoyed the learning process and was happy with the result of my progress. It has ignited a real interest in oils for me and I’m keen to continue on with the journey. Watch this space…

The Business of Art - Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Sam Hill Smith, Michael Zavros

The Business of Art – Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Sam Hill Smith, Michael Zavros

The week was rounded off with a full day lecture on The Business of Art, where artists Robin Eley, Kim Buck, Michael Zavros and Hill Smith Gallery owner, Sam Hill Smith, providing thoughtful insights and advice on making a living from art.

All in all, an inspiring week and my first steps taken for a journey in oils.

You can check out Robin Eley’s stunning body of work here.
And scope out upcoming courses at The Art Academy.

New gig at the Fig

5 06 2012

I have recently taken on a new role as Creative Director of Fig Tree Marketing. Sweet!

“At Fig Tree Marketing, we assist brands to connect and engage with their customers. Our team of specialists build campaigns with a clear strategy and execute through creative design and copywriting for high impact in digital and offline environments.”

Director and Business Owner, Maria De Conno, says the appointment will enable Fig Tree Marketing to provide a new level of creative output to its rapidly expanding client base and will enhance Fig Tree’s in-house service capabilities.

It’s an exciting time to join the Fig Tree Marketing team as the business grows and takes its services to the next level. I’m looking forward to contributing to the team’s already strong reputation for high quality creative output, developing a large and diverse client base and … eating lots of figs.

Client projects have already included print and online promotional material for Harbour Town National Shopping Centres and STAX cafés.

My new office view peers out through the treetops down onto Norwood Parade. Certainly no shortage of great spots to meet for a coffee for those wanting to pay a visit!


AADC Lawn Bowls 2012

19 02 2012

Great to see so many turn out for a stroll on the green the recent Adelaide Advertising and Design Club’s Lawn bowls 2012, held at Unley Park Bowls Club and sponsored by KWP!

A top night all round (even if a nip of port was needed to keep the chill away!). Good to catch up with some old and new heads for a game of big kids’ marbles.

The new AADC Awards theme, “For the love of ideas”, was announced along with the newly revamped awards format. Entries for the awards open on 30 March 2012.


AADC Lawn Bowls 2012, Jeremy Boyd

Grab your balls lads! – with Andrew Beveridge of asbCreative Photography and Damian Hamilton of Sage Visual Solutions

AADC Lawn Bowls 2012, Kojo Digital

Squaring up against the Kojo Digital crew.

AADC Lawn Bowls 2012, Andrew BeveridgeAndrew Beveridge – that’s just how he rolls.

AADC Lawn Bowls 2012, Damian HamiltonDamian Hamilton – measuring in feet.

How to Feed Your Design Monster Vol. 1

11 01 2012

I was recently approached by UWS design student Andrew Evans and asked “What is the most important thing a Designer has to learn?”.

Along with other designers from across the country, my response informed Andrew’s 4th Year Major Design Project, a hardcover book titled “How to Feed Your Design Monster Vol. 1”. The book features a collection of answers to his question, as well as a showcase of his own photographic work.

Andrew feels the resulting publication contains a very genuine sense of positivity and care. The book aims to inform and inspire design students, providing valuable advice from many Australian design industry professionals.

You can order a hardcopy of the book or check it out online via the website.

Boydsta!Photo by Andrew Evans

The end (of the year) is nigh

20 12 2011

2011 is nearly at an end!

It’s been a a bustling and creative past few months of freelancing in the lead up to the end of the year. I’ve enjoyed working with a variety of design and ad agencies, both on-site and remotely, alongside some super-inspirational creatives.

Recent projects keeping me busy include graphic design for brand identities, restaurant interior and exterior signage, menus, brochures, flyers, press ads and wine packaging.

A constant stream of illustration projects have also been coming through, including cartoon illustrations for corporate greeting cards, bucket loads of ad campaign scamps and a hand-painted special anniversary poster – soon to be released.

Many thanks to those agencies I’ve worked with in 2011. I look forward to helping them, and others, creatively kick-start the new year in 2012. Please feel free to drop me a line if I can be of assistance to your studio.

Christmas Cheers,

– Jeremy DV Boyd

Greeting card concept and illustration for Support Staff recruitment agency.
Studio:  Flux Visual Communications

Freelance Creative | Designer | Illustrator

26 10 2011

After recently completing a six month contract as Creative Director with the team at Ecocreative, I am now back on the freelance scene servicing Adelaide’s advertising and design studios.

I’m currently available to assist across all levels of the creative process including creative/art direction, design, finished art, illustration and production management. Both on-premise and remote service available for short or long-term contracts.

If your studio could benefit from my experience, I’d love to hear from you.

Contact: emailjeremy(at)


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