24/02/17: Whittard Research.

I am now moving onto looking at three different tea companies in order to compare the criteria their packaging designs. I hope to find some commonalities that would suggest what makes for a practical package.


The second company I am exploring is Whittard. Their website contains a beautifully laid out timeline, providing the tale of its beginnings. Walter Whittard was the son in a family of ‘successful leather merchants’, yet his passion lay in that of the exotic brews of coffee, tea and cocoa. in the year 1886, Whittard opened a store on Fleet Street: ‘It proved to be one of the busiest years yet for the British tea industry: just two years later imports of tea grown by the British in India reached 86 million lbs, eventually exceeding imports from China.’ As Walters business grew due to his unique quality blends, he ended up moving onto an area known as the ‘street of tea’ – Mincing Lane.

This excerpt demonstrates the ethos that the company hold onto as they have evolved throughout the ages:  ‘Today we remain true to our founder’s philosophy: to buy the best and blend the brightest. From brave new brews and innovative equipment to classic chinaware and old-time favourites, our constantly expanding collection has been over a century in the making. Then again, a truly excellent cup of tea, coffee or cocoa is well worth taking a little time over…’


These are a series of tins that I have found whilst searching for packing from Whittard.


These tins are quite different to that of the Harney and Sons brand. Their form is more curvilinear, opting for a rounded cylindrical shape. The material used here is a soft metal and plastic. Some consistent elements across this series of tins would be the placement of their logo and type; the font and sizing of this also remain consistent. Pattern is achieved through their more illustrative imagery of flora and fauna, which create a playful sense of exoticism. Their bold illustrations draw the eye directly into this focal point, which in turn allows for the eye to be draw immediately into the subtractive area where the ‘Whittard’ logo rests. Although each container has varying illustrative content, their stylisation is what matches them together and unites them as a set.

Whittard also sell caddies. Their forms still remain the curvilinear cylindrical shape. Two of the tins continue the illustrative elements which help to establish a framework for the logo and type to rest within. One tin is plain, using only one pastel colour as well as a contrasting box to subtract space and add an area for type to rest within. The breaking up the space through these elements create balance

Some common elements and principles to the designs would be:

Movement is celebrated through the use of bright, illustrative pattern – yet it is confined to the framed space that it is given. A plain creme strip and the plain creme box that the logo rests within are what break up the space and allow for a clear readable contrast for all elements (type and image) to be easily read/distinguished. This creates an overall balance and sense of unity across the design. Their contrasting use of a soft creme against the brighter colours also create a harmonious breathability – nothing is too bright or dull. Their common cylindrical form develop a consistent look that communicates they are under one branded entity – Whittard.


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