A ‘Fresh Legend’ for a wine label

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Laura Lopez

This week, Laura Lopez was announced as the winner of Finger Lakes Community College’s annual wine label competition with her brand design “Fresca Leyenda,” Spanish for “Fresh Legend.”

A second-semester graphic design student from Colombia, Lopez created the abstract design with connections to both the region’s natural beauty and the people who make up the area.

“(Fresca Leyenda) reflects our belief in inclusivity and diversity in the Finger Lakes; a place that welcomes people from around the world,” says Lopez. “Each bottle of Fresca Leyenda becomes a unique narrative enriched with the personal stories of the students who participated in its creation.

“The word ‘Fresca’ not only embodies the freshness and vitality of the wine, but also reflects the fresh ideas from each student involved in its creation,” she continues. “The second word ‘Leyenda,’ (or) ‘Legend,’ is not just a name. It’s a tale intertwined with fascinating and magical elements.”

Every fall, students from the FLCC graphic design and viticulture and wine technology program collaborate in the creation of wine labels. Graphic design students get real-world experience to try to understand the perspectives on the process of making wine and integrate them into a design.

Label concepts are presented at the FLCC Viticulture and Wine Center in Geneva with viticulture students discussing the entries and ultimately voting on the preferred label. Viticulture students were impressed with Lopez’s thoughtful choice of images and colors combined in a design that evokes both tradition and modernity.

“When I found out that my design had been selected, I experienced a mix of surprise and overwhelming happiness, validation that all the hard work, effort invested, and time spent had been rewarded,” she says.

Although abstract in its structure, Lopez’s design evokes a lake with an image of a boat in the middle. Other elements also pay homage to the region’s rich environment with shapes suggesting trees, grapes, and hills.

“The chosen blue tones seek to capture the beauty and serenity of the Finger Lakes, reflecting the changing nuances of water and sky,” Lopez says. “The gold on the label symbolizes the sun reflecting on the lake’s surface.”

Lopez also created an alternate label with an “autumn” theme, replacing the gold and lighter blue hues with silver, burnt orange, and forest green colors instead.

The patterns used in the label contain each of the school’s core values (vitality, inquiry, perseverance, and interconnectedness) through symbolic representation repeated throughout.

She will now work to fine tune her design and ensure it meets legal requirements for alcoholic beverage labels in time for bottling at the FLCC commercial winery in next spring. FLCC-made wines are for sale at Ryan’s Wine and Spirts in Canandaigua and Pedulla’s Wine and Liquor in Geneva.

“I think FLCC stands out for providing opportunities like this for students to showcase their work and talent,” says Lopez, who is also a fullback on the Lakers women’s soccer team. “I was impressed by the importance of wine in the region and the rich tradition of the vineyards, aspects that also captivated my family. The existence of a competition linked to these elements was a significant differential factor when choosing where to study.”

Jacob Schermerhorn is a Rochester Beacon contributing writer and data journalist. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

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