Interview with designer Valerii Sumilov (VS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Kvint Series of Moldovan Brandies.

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Interview with Valerii Sumilov at Tuesday 15th of April 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
VS : The project required a unique, individual bottle shape that would make the product stand out on the shelf, grab the buyer’s attention and make him want to take the bottle into his hands. It had to look both modern and recognizable because there's a very strong following for this particular brand and the design had to correspond to the audience's expectations.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
VS : The KVINT factory is a very large wine and brandy making company with over a hundred years of history. The products are all made in large quantities. And there’s already a devoted group of buyers, who are following the brand for decades, spread all around the globe. Carrying out a successful redesign and development of a completely new product design that would correspond to the global trends – this is definitely a wide-scale and expensive project both for the producer and the design agency.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
VS : We hope to see the product in as many shops and markets as possible with impressive sales generated by the new design.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
VS : The project started in August 2012 and was concluded in August 2013. The product appeared on Russian market shelves in November 2013. Currently the product is available for purchase in Moldova, Russia, Ukraine

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
VS : The KVINT brandy design project is a complex and large-scale project. It includes the development of product positioning, trademark design, bottle and label design, gift and transportation tube design, organization and execution of photo-shoot, P.O.S. development and advertising materials. It is one of those projects that posed a great challenge and we just had to find the best solution possible.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
VS : This design was developed exclusively for the KVINT factory.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
VS : We wanted to create a bottle and label design that would make the famous KVINT brandy look modern and stylish while retaining the overall feel of the company's identity. So we went for a unique bottle shape that looked rather innovative when compared to the company's other products.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
VS : Both the design and the product itself are aimed at a specific audience. First of all, it is very important to understand that a brandy consumer is a very conservative and highly loyal consumer. With respect to this, this brand is mainly targeted at a Moldovan brandy connoisseur from CIS countries. In this product category spontaneous purchases are virtually inexistent. Our task, when working on this complex design, was to increase the sales share of the client by renewing the product’s appearance.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
VS : The process of creating a unique bottle is a wide-scale and lengthy process. It all starts with a detailed brief that provides all the details the client needs in this project. Then there's a lot of research and concept development on our part, which is reviewed by the client. When the final concept is selected it is shifted over to the production stage, which comprises several steps on its own and involves a collaboration with both the client and the factory producing the bottles.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
VS : The bottle was produced in Moldova using locally-produced glass. The cap isn’t only shrinking. We’ve chosen a polilaminate material, which looks much better and richer. The paper for the label is by Fedrigoni, from their Wine & spirit label collection SOMMELIER & GOURMET catalogue, Constellation Jade Raster.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
VS : We had to delicately grasp the essence of the task, listen to the client’s requests, understand the market, tendencies, and consumer expectations. That’s why we have devoted our attention to in-depth analysis of the competition.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
VS : In the beginning, on the brief development stage, there were constricting factors imposed on the future development of the project. They all referred to the bottle design. First of all, we had to create a bottle that would correspond to strict measurements such as height, width and girth. Second, there was an initial demand to make the bottle symmetrical along the vertical axis. Respectively, the left and right sides of the bottle had to be identical, like the front and the back sides. Third, we had strict measurement and form requirements not only for the bottle’s neck but also for its top. Fourth, the bottle’s personalization – it was made mandatory for the bottle to carry the factory’s coat of arms and its year of foundation.