ApolloWine.com is a Bulgarian wine culture web site with dedicated e-shop. The man behind the site is Dimitar Nikolov. He has more than eight years of experience in the wine industry as a wine buyer, sommelier and wine judge, holds qualifications from the ISG Chicago, the WSET Advanced Certificate, and is currently preparing for his WSET Diploma. Starting his career as a sommelier for a major hotel chain in Bulgaria, and at a restaurant in Chicago, Dimitar then returned to his native Bulgaria to work for Metro Cash & Carry, firstly as the Wine Buyer for Bulgaria, and then as Wine Buyer for Metro Cash & Carry’s entire Russian Federation operations, which saw him move to Russia. He and his wife own the ApolloWine e-shop and blog. They select the best Bulgarian and international wines and wineries to write about and to offer at a great price.
Recently, after evaluating their growth rate, they decided the site requires some redesign. We were highly recommended by another client of ours. After contacting us we had a heavy verdict to announce – the site in its current form suffers from a lot of visual disharmony because of the lack consistency of element slyles and also low ergonomics of the user interface. That, combined with the fact they required new functionalities, made it obvious that a completely new design was needed.
But before we get there we had other work to start with…
The logo redesign
The symbol that the ApolloWine brand is based upon is the beautiful and elegant APOLLO butterfly. It has distinctive (quite outstanding) wine spots on its wings and inhabits all of Europe. The problem comes from the typeface used for the apollowine.com text as it is too “edgy” and “technical” which are not the words one would want to associate with wine, or butterflies for that matter. So we looked for an appropriate font to change that. We also voted for ditching the .com part of the logo because the brand has so much more value offline that it has online, and the .com was a contextual limitation. Of course, removing the extension led to a composition imbalance, which then forced us to do a small finishing touch by continuing the butterfly contour to the inside.
The wine society is all about elegance and good taste. Which is why ApolloWine asked us to also design a stationery set and some presentational materials to use at wine events and business meetings. We are happy to show you the brand new ApolloWine business cards, featuring the refreshed logo and some sophisticated simplicity. We wanted the cards, most of the time being the first impression, to carry that load of tastes that a good wine should have. Yet we also wanted to keep them simple and light. So to achieve that contrasting feeling we decided to go for a 3 layered combination of natural paper texture with lots of free space for the face, an enigmatic accent colour for the back, all wrapped over the rich wine-red core.
The Web Site
Two years after the launch of the ApolloWine.com store we were contacted to audit the website’s usability and possibly do some retouch here and there. Unfortunately, as it turned out – retouch wasn’t going to do it. The audit resulted in few pages issues report, the optimal solution to which was actually building a new site, rather than redesigning the old one.