BESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyBESbswyWWWWinefest Des Moines is a non-profit organization that puts on wine-tasting events throughout the year, culminating in a food and wine festival in early summer. Since the organization’s inception in 2003, the festival has grown from one weekend to 8 days and includes a number of additional events in the fall and winter. Starting with the 2013 festival, Winefest has worked with Happy Medium for social media coverage of their events. In 2014, the organization asked Happy Medium for a new website design and identity, including a logo, print and billboard advertisements, event signage and print collateral—everything from posters to business cards.

Graphic design example of Winefest Des Moines logosUpdates for a new year

Winefest had an established identity that was easily recognizable prior to working with Happy Medium and they weren’t looking for an entire overhaul. However, as an annual event organization, they wanted to update their look to be unique to 2015. Their festival has grown every year and they have become established as a fixture in the summer social calendar. They wanted their design to take a few risks and be discernibly different from previous years, while still remaining familiar. They were looking to increase attendance for their festival and brand their one-off fall and winter events to be folded into the rest of their identity. Lastly, they wanted their updated identity to happen in concert with the launch of their new website so that their look would be established well before the festival.

Graphic design example of Winefest Des Moines before and after logos

Happy Medium knew that when it came to graphic design, we had to maintain the familiar aspects of Winefest’s current look while creating a new identity. That meant taking what they already looked like and emphasizing new elements. First, we reworked the color scheme to incorporate more vibrant colors that were eye-catching and reminiscent of the colors of wines, wine bottles and wine grapes, tying their identity to their reason for being. We took their four established icons—wine glass, wine bottle, corkscrew and fork—and added a polygonal crystallized pattern to each. This pattern brought depth to otherwise flat icons, and also created a more modern look that captured the personality of Winefest, which is fun, sophisticated, unique but something different to every patron.

Then, we created a secondary set of icons, each unique and representative of the individual Winefest events but within the polygonal pattern theme we’d created for the entire system. Pink or magenta icons represented tasting events or events where the crowds and pours were smaller. Purple icons represented larger party events. Green icons represented educational events where guests would not only be tasting wines, but also learning all about them. Finally, yellow icons represented food-based events where the food being prepared was carefully chosen to complement the wine being poured.

Graphic design example of newly designed Winefest Des Moines logos

This identity and look was created for a large number of diverse print materials, including postcards, business cards, brochures, invitations, menus and booklets. In total, 44 different pieces of print collateral were created, all closely following the established graphic design system, so that whether seen alone or together, they firmly represented Winefest and reinforced one another.

Graphic design example of Winefest Des Moines print materials


The new responsive website design was created in concert with the new identity, not only to match the Winefest branding, but also to create a clearer, more cohesive overview of the entire slate of events. The website needed to be approachable. One way we achieved this was by adding a subtle parallax effect based on the position of the users’ mouse. This added depth and a sense of playful sophistication that makes a powerful first impression.


A timeline was created on the homepage that chronologically listed each Winefest event, giving users a full, one-page view of the entire Winefest year of events, with the option to dig deeper into each individual event. Event pages were branded using the color-coordinated identity system. The website also made the ticketing process more accessible.


Sales for the 2015 Winefest festival were up, with seven of the organization’s eight returning events outpacing 2014. The new website saw 31.7% new visitors, and their ticketing process received a 91% satisfaction rate. The new identity was seen across all of their marketing material, including social media where their fans and followers grew by 38% on Facebook, 15% on Twitter and 72% on Instagram compared to the previous year. The festival was a bubbly success. Cheers!