Stockwell Cellars

Revamping a Community-Focused Urban Winery

Art Direction, Post Production, Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, Messaging & Positioning, Market & Landscape Research, Icons & Illustrations, Brand Style Guide, Messaging Guidelines

The Project

Stockwell Cellars was gearing up to reposition themselves from being an established local brand to become a recognized regional brand. Aiming to get their products into more stores and restaurants, they were looking for new branding and messaging to reflect the evolution of their business.

We started broadly, discussing options that were extremely far from their initial branding, to elevated variations on their current branding that would be easily recognizable to their existing customers. We did initial explorations of the most promising directions until a clear direction emerged.

Stockwell Sign

The final wordmark is a balanced update of their previous mark.

Stockwell Cork

Their existing ‘SC’ monogram had brand recognition and implied a double meaning: Stockwell Cellars and Santa Cruz (the California coastal city where they’re based). We created a new version that tied in more closely to the primary branding.

Stockwell Monogram Square
Stockwell Monogram Portrait

Their winemaker’s first career was as a metal worker. In fact, their tasting room is located in his former shop, and an anvil that belonged to his father sits proudly next to the bar. We wanted to incorporate this important symbol into the branding, so we created an original illustration that ties in the new tagline we also developed for them—Forged in Santa Cruz.

Stockwell Anvil


We designed label elements and guidelines that keep the branding consistent while giving them flexibility between varietals and vintages. In an additional homage to their Santa Cruz wine region origins, we included a background map element of the area.

Stockwell Bottles
Stockwell Label Variations


Brand Story

We helped the Stockwell Cellars team clearly define who they are: “...a family owned and operated boutique urban winery and gathering place, making handcrafted unmanipulated single varietal wines and blends using Old World techniques and New World technology.”

Tying into the metal worker theme of the brand we developed the idea that the experience of visiting their community-based tasting room, “ a little like gathering around a modern version of the village smithy.”

We developed their Brand Story going “From Welding To Wine” and concluding with the family-owned and community aspects of their business.


Developing taglines is a challenging process, but once we started working with the anvil elements of the brand, the ‘Forged’ idea became a clear direction. We also developed a secondary tagline for swag that’s light-hearted and played off of their name. It felt silly at first, but it really fit the messaging of friendly owners who don’t take themselves or winemaking too seriously.

Forged in Santa Cruz

Drink Well. Live Well. Stockwell.

Stockwell Anvil Alt