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


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

Creative Director, Ecocreative

2 07 2011

Now 2 months into my new position as Creative Director of sustainable design and communications company Eco Creative, I’m finally catching my breath.

Hitting the ground running, I joined the team in their busiest season, the lead up to the end of financial year, and got stuck into the job at hand. I inherited a team of talented and hard working designers to lead, as well as a team of dedicated and skilful management staff to work alongside.

Coincidentally, the entire design team has colour references for names: Senior Designer Nigel Black, Illustrator/Multimedia Designer Robin Green (he wins in a sustainability company!), Graphic Designer Clare Andrews (Clare means ‘clear’) and the name Boyd means ‘yellow’. A colourful bunch indeed!

It is inspiring to be working within a company so deeply committed to environmental sustainability. It is no small feat that Director Matthew Wright-Simon has managed to stick true to his vision of sustainability in such an unwavering fashion. It certainly adds another dimension of time, effort and consideration to the work-flow of any project coming through the studio, though rather than be seen as a distraction or interference, the team at Ecocreative actively pursue clients and projects that fit the sustainability criteria and take on the unique problems as exciting challenges. I’ve never seen others get so excited about a new recycled printable plastic hitting the market or anyone actually bothered to care about what happens to end products after they’ve been used by the client. Reduce, reuse, recycle is certainly core to Ecocreative’s philosophy. The end result is projects that are often more creative, engaging and inspiring, while being produced at a lower cost to the client and without a compromise on quality.

Any stereotype of laid-back tree-hugger designers that may be conjured certainly doesn’t hold true (at least the laid-back part!). While the team compost kitchen waste and drink organic lattes, the feverish work pace, genuine care about project outcomes for clients and the commitment to quality are certainly second to none in my experience. There exists a strong set of personal values in each of the team members and a powerful self-belief that the company is an agent of positive change.

On the experiential side, I am enjoying working in a company where I have already had business meetings walking alongside giraffes and lions, regular organic pizza lunch meetings and Friday Dance-offs. I’m enjoying the neighbouring French patisserie and the city-village style of our Hutt Street location. Above all, I’m enjoying connecting the values of my personal life with my work life at much a deeper level.

Please visit Ecocreative’s website for a look at the kind of work we produce and to learn a little more about the company. You can also become a fan of our Facebook page.

Ecocreative is a leading sustainable communications consultancy dedicated to communicating messages that bring about positive change.
We provide communications, education and management support to many organisations at the national, state and local level.
We are devoted to creating and delivering print, electronic and constructed media of the highest quality, always with a deep commitment to sustainability.

 – Boydsta!

Farewell FULLER

2 05 2011

After three and a half fantastic years as Creative Director of integrated marketing communications company FULLER, I have now moved on to explore new challenges.

Reflecting on my time with FULLER, I feel very fortunate to have been involved with such a respected company and to have had the opportunity to be a part of the team. A good company comprised of good people.

I originally joined FULLER as the sole graphic designer, charged with the task of building a design department in a company previously focused on traditional PR and marketing communications. Over the following three and a half years I helped build a professional creative design team consisting of four designers: myself positioned in middle-management as Creative Director and hands-on graphic designer; Nicholle Christie as Senior Graphic Designer; Ivalyo (Ivo) Stamatov as Digital Designer and Adele Thompson as Graphic Designer, along with Kate Schlichting as Production Manager to support the team and over a dozen in-house freelancers to assist in times of peak work flow. Building the design team from the ground up was an exhaustive process (Ivo was one of 99 applicants!) though the insistence on quality paid off with each member proving to be a highly creative, considered and technical designer. A star team producing great work.

Highlights of my time with FULLER included winning our first AADC Award (and losing my voice, my shoe and the following morning due to the celebrations!), having work featured in multiple international design showcase publications and of course having the opportunity to work with a wide range of interesting clients such as Bathe Wines, d’Arenberg Wines, the Foodologist, Elderton Wines, University of Adelaide, Murray Street Wines, Korvest, Grant Burge Wines, Lidums Dental and Aay’s Fresh Herbs to name a few.

I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to help shape FULLER’s own brand image, redesigning the company’s brand identity logo and revamping FULLER’s website.

Working with FULLER provided me the opportunity to grow professionally as a creative designer, though an unexpected bonus of working in conjunction with FULLER’s highly skilled PR communications team on the other side of the business was the sharpening of my own copy writing, client communications and strategic marketing skills. An invaluable mix.

I take my hat off to owners Peter and Kathryn Fuller, along with Account Directors Will and Olivia Fuller (nee Jones) for building a successful and professional communications company with a solid work ethic and a fun and friendly culture.  Thanks for an amazing design adventure guys. As Kathryn would say, onwards and upwards!


FULLER’s Design team

The finish line!

My Path as a Designer – A Biographical Interview

28 04 2011

I am chuffed to have been recently approached by first year Graphic Design student Sherree Oates, from Latrobe University in Mildura, to be the subject of her case study assignment on ‘a designer who inspires her’.

Sheree commented, “I like how you have such a wide range of work, especially your illustrations. I love the fact that you incorporate illustrations within your designs, that’s what really inspires me. I also like how you create illustrations with different mediums. I’m really interested in what inspires you to create your designs and what you base your illustrations on. When I found your work it really inspired me to try different things, it gave me a further understanding about the industry and how a designer can be so diverse”.

Below is a transcript of the lengthy interview which formed the basis of Sheree’s assignment, which she compiled with visual imagery into a designed publication for submission. A good opportunity for me to delve into my background and to reflect on how I arrived at this point in time as a designer.

I’m happy to report Sherree received 87% and very positive feedback for her assignment. Great work Sherree! All the best for what lies ahead with your career as a designer.

How you got into designing and how you got to where you are now?:

Short answer:
Kid who loved drawing > School > Uni > Graphic Designer > Freelancer > International/Interstate experience – Senior designer & Freelancer > Own design business > Freelancer > Creative Director

Long answer:
I was one of those kids who was always drawing. While my friends were out playing football I was lying on the lounge-room floor with a pencil in hand filling endless sketchbooks with all manner of mythical creatures, superheros, sexy goddesses, portraits, figure studies and anything else that came to mind. A ‘vivid imagination’ I was told. Art was my favourite subject at school and I always knew I wanted to ‘draw pictures’ for a job when I grew up. I quickly realised that becoming an illustrator as I’d always imagined, would most likely mean long hours in solitude working from home (which wasn’t my idea of fun) and that in my home town of Perth there wasn’t too many jobs around for pure illustrators at the time. I studied art history, technical drawing, photography and visual art to guide me in the right direction for a university course in Graphic Design. I had an interest in branding and felt I would be able to bring illustration into my design along the way. A degree at John Curtin University of Technology followed, majoring in Illustration and supported with Advertising, Branding and Photography units. At that time, 1993, Macintosh computers were still fairly new to the design industry and we only had one hour’s tuition behind a computer a week. A handful of fellow students and I could see what was coming and realised if we didn’t know this Mac thing that we’d have little chance of making it out in the real design world. For the next few years we worked together though the night in the Mac lab, teaching each other what we could and ploughing through the manuals to work it out for ourselves. That was when a whole design project could fit on a 1.4MB floppy disk!

The commitment seemed to pay off as I was one of the fortunate students in my course who graduated and found a job opening a few weeks later. I started with Calder Design as a Junior Graphic Designer and learned more in the first year out than my entire three years at uni. There, under the tutelage of Rick Calder, I learned about real-world deadlines, fussy clients, the importance of attention to detail and of being particular on press checks. Exciting times with a fast learning curve and plenty of hard slog.

I had a loose 5-year plan to see inside as many design studios as I could to glean the best practices of each with the idea of starting my own business, fusing what I’d learned with my own lofty ideas. Three years into Calder’s I realised my 5 years was quickly running out on a single studio so bid them farewell and ventured out as a professional in-house freelancer. Freelancing worked out great for me in Perth. I was booked solid for months in advance at multiple agencies around town. I was networking like crazy, running from one side of town to the other – servicing ad agencies, design studios and marketing firms. There was little competition at the time. No specialist creative services recruitment agencies existed and few designers were working as full-time freelancers. A sweet spot.

New Year’s 2000 was fast approaching and there was no way I was going to be stuck in Perth for the millennium’s biggest party night, so with a one-way ticket I headed to London calling out “I’ll be back in a year”. That was 11 years ago. London was a little more daunting in the freelance scene. Confronted with mega recruitment companies like Aquent who had hundreds of ‘me’s on their books fighting for a gig. Luckily there was also hundreds of creative studios looking for freelancers so it wasn’t long before I was doing the rounds again, working hard designing by day and playing hard by night, gaining experience on international projects and clients. London was sensory overload and the best single source of inspiration and creative stimulation I’ve ever had. Just mad.

I worked for a few years in London as an in-house freelance which let me explore the vast city on my way to and from work at various creative studios ranging from the basement of Saatchi & Saatchi’s TFG to high-rise advertising agencies, funky little design studios and everything in between. I worked full-time as a visualiser with innovation company Wowco for a time before heading for Sydney – another big crazy city, just less cold and smog. In Sydney I picked up freelancing again, working for a few of the reputable names such as LKS Landor and WDM before finally starting my own two man graphic design business, Lure Creative. After a year or so we uprooted Lure Creative and moved to Adelaide where we continued to grow our client base, specialising in strategic branding and design.  6 years of solid creative passed before I drew Lure Creative to a close and returned to my previous profession of freelancer.

Not long into the Adelaide freelancing scene I was invited to join my client, integrated marketing communications company FULLER, as Creative Director. I initially worked as their sole designer with the directive to build a design team from the bottom up as. I grew the design team over three and a half years to comprise of four Graphic Designers and a Production Manager, the team working in conjunction with FULLER’s communications team specialising in PR, copy writing and marketing strategy.

So that’s how I got here, in a rather large nutshell.


Lürzer’s Archive – 200 Best Packaging Design Worldwide 2010
LogoLounge – Volume 6
Finalist – Packaging Design – AADC Awards 2009
Award – Packaging Design – AADC Awards 2008

Professional Development:

AGDA SA council member – 5 years
Design Student Mentor – AGDA Mentor program, 2009 and 2010

Your approach to problem solving / creative process?:

I always start the design process by asking a lot of questions to deeply get to know the client, their business, the problem at hand and the desired project outcomes. This creates a mutual understanding of the project and helps build a solid brief to check back on throughout the course of the project.

After the briefing I tend to think in words initially, creating mind maps of different streams of thought – anything that comes to mind that may result in a creative concept. It might be themes, colours, styles, historic eras, specific ideas etc. At this point no idea is a bad idea and I try to just let it flow.

From here I narrow my focus on the areas that seem to have the most merit and start to sketch up initial design concepts. I like to do this in pencil still as I find it keeps the idea flowing quickly and I don’t get caught up in trying to make things perfect yet, which helps with self-filtering of what’s working or not. If the concept can’t be expressed in a quick pencil sketch then it’s usually not a strong concept worth pursuing.

Only once I’ve got the concept clear then do I move to the computer screen to start production.

Your main inspiration?:

My inspiration comes from everywhere. All of life’s experiences tend to contribute in one way or another, though these days much of it comes from online. I research designs in the same category as well as completely unrelated areas. This is not to find something to mimic or replicate, rather it is to discover what is out there and to immerse myself in what I consider to be high level and enviable work in order to set my sights high for the outcome of my own designs.

I still love illustration and drink in visual imagery every chance I get. I don’t always get the opportunity to use illustration in my design but the projects that I do are the ones I enjoy the most.

Parting notes:

If you love design, keep focused and enjoy the journey. It can be a very creatively rewarding career. Try to follow the areas of design that you enjoy the most to stay true to yourself rather than just going for what jobs are available at the time. The best designers are always the ones who bring their own unique vision to life.

Remain inspired and aim to inspire.


AGDA Mentor Program – Emily Chapman

29 12 2009

AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) runs a mentor program to assist emerging graphic designers make the transition from student to the ‘real world’ of employment.

Taking part as a Mentor for the first time this year, I have been fortunate enough to have a talented and enthusiastic design student by the name of Emily Chapman as my Mentee.

‘I’ve hit everything’ – a different take on Aussie postcards by Emily Chapman

During the final stages of her honours degree at Uni SA, Emily has shown focus and dedication, honing her design skills and preparing her portfolio.  Her hard work brought her across the finish line a few weeks ago at a successful graduate exhibition set to a horse race theme and attended by a good crowd of punters.  Thanks for the lucky horse shoe Emily!

Detail from ‘Origami Whale’ poster by Emily Chapman

If anyone is looking for an enthusiastic and talented young graphic designer, Emily is currently seeking work and a break into the design industry.  Give her a call while she’s still available!

Ph: +61 (0)437 119 652


Winner! Best Packaging Design AADC Awards

18 04 2009

What a buzz. Against some huge competition from Adelaide’s creative industry big guns, I managed to take out the top award for Packaging Design at the recent Adelaide Advertising & Design Club Awards for Vertigo – a creative wine label design produced with Fuller for Vina La Linea.

The prestigious award was presented at a gala black tie awards ceremony, the theme of the night being ‘Wrestling with ideas‘ which had me climbing into a real-life wrestling ring on centre stage to receive the award from AADC’s president, flanked by two wrestlers who were providing half-time entertainment for the night and the ever-beaming Kellie Campbell from Parallax who also received an award.

The celebrations kicked on to The Gov hotel to party into the wee small hours with fellow awards night revelers. Half the next day was lost (as were my shoes!?) but the prestigious glass trophy and smile was still firmly in place.


The AADC Awards are Australia’s longest running creative industry award, recognising creative excellence in Advertising and Design.

Photography ©


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