David Schuemann


For nearly 50 years, CF Napa Brand Design has set the standard for alcohol beverage branding. We focus on translating brand ethos visually, never using a one size fits all approach for projects. The result is a bespoke solution rooted in strategy and, most importantly, a design that sells.

With the dream to marry his passions for wine, beer, and spirits with brand design, David Schuemann joined CF Napa as Creative Director in 2001. A year later in 2002 he purchased the firm and has since led CF Napa to become one of the world’s preeminent brand agencies specializing in the alcohol beverage industry, creating some of the fastest growing and most successful brands in the world.

The firm’s work has earned recognition from nearly every major design competition, has been showcased in the Museum of Modern Art, is part of the permanent collection at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum at the Smithsonian in New York City and at the permanent collection of the American Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum.

Schuemann authored “99 Bottles of Wine, The Making of the Contemporary Wine Label,” writes for numerous periodicals, and is a regular industry speaker.


As we pivot into a post-pandemic era marked by societal challenge and change, are you optimistic about the future of Graphic Design to support and shape commerce, culture and causes? Are you optimistic about the future of your own firm?


Strategic thinking combined with graphic design will always play an integral role in shaping the landscape of thinking and the future of commerce, culture, and causes. Graphic designers have the unique ability to harness the power of, and shift with, technologies to improve communication for their clients. Rather than technology replacing graphic designers I see us shaping and effectively communicating ideas through sophisticated and educated filters to produce communications that continue to drive thought leadership. My firm, CF Napa, has grown from a corner shop to a firm working with clients globally. Despite our very niche positioning I continue to be excited about the opportunity to grow sustainably by growing our client offerings in the years to come.


We are seeing an increased focus on Package Design to advance the brand, tell the story, amplify the experience, forge an emotional connection. Do you agree and, if so, what advantages does packaging have over other graphic communications?


Packaging is a crucial driver of initial trial, perception of quality and repurchase decisions. Exceptional packaging backed by evocative storytelling is one of the keys to cutting through the noise and standing out from the crowd and is certainly a trend that is here to stay. Packaging has the huge advantage of interacting with your target consumer at the point of purchase. Additionally, it is far more engaging than other forms of graphic communication, the customer is actively interacting with the product and considering spending money in the retail market when they come across your package. Other forms of communication, such as advertising, are interrupting your activity.