Date: 2020
Client: Nine O’Clock Wines
Work: Brand strategy, logo design, business card design


Nine O’Clock Wines was co-founded with love by two friends, (and two friends of mine) Celine Roberts and Christie Kliewer.

In their own words (really, go read it, it’s SO GOOD):

After meeting on the job at Bar Marco in 2018, we both fell in love with natural wine and began imagining a future in which this passion would be the central focus of our work.

Using our backgrounds in library science, food journalism and the service industry, we dug into the world of natural wine, tasting everything we could get our hands on, and learning from our colleagues.

Over the next few years, while we folded napkins, sipped wines with our coworkers and encouraged guests to taste new wild and wonderful bottles, we always came back to the same idea: wine should be fun and approachable. There are no wrong answers when it comes to what people enjoy in their glass, whether it’s a sweet white, a funky, skin contact sparkler or a savory red.

Celine, Christie, and I got together over Zoom (during the height of pandemic lockdown) to chat about their new business as well as their goals, their passions, their vision, and how to turn all of that into a brand and a logo. We wanted to create a visual environment and set of loose (but clear) brand guidelines that would act as a guiding light; to steer their decisions, sculpt their visual identity, and allow them to grow their business organically and authentically, together.

Then we did the Most Fun Part of design; dreamed, dreamed some more, sketched, planned, and got to work.

In our explorations of the theme, these keywords came to the fore:

organic  lush  handmade  femme
illustrative textured passionate
open authentic friendly
unexpected joyful

With these ideas in mind, we built a brand together that reflected the joy and passion of both the business and its owners.

This was one of the first — and by far most enjoyable — client projects I worked on as a brand-new freelancer, and I am overjoyed to have had a hand in bringing their vision to life. Their continued success has been one of the few shining moments of an otherwise heavy year.

I am so proud of them! If you’re in Pittsburgh, treat yourself!


Nine O'Clock Wines logo

Nine O'Clock Wines brand guide

Nine O'Clock Wines brand guide

Nine O'Clock Wines brand guide

Nine O'Clock Wines stylescape

I really love stylescapes. They are such a great way to show all the brand elements together IRL. This one was fun (click to embiggen).


Nine O'Clock Wines: bottle carrier and note

Nine O'Clock Wines: stamp and wax seal

Ink and wax: the tactile details these two came up with just take it all to the next level!

Nine O'Clock Wines: bottle and logo


Nine O'Clock Wines business cards

Nine O’Clock Wines business cards with gorgeous portrait illustrations by Sophie Marie Pappas.


Nine O'Clock Wines in action!

Christie illustrated all these hand-drawn elements! They are so cool and just *chef’s kiss*