Vibrant Branding for New Tea Blends Has us Filling the Kettle IWANT is the creative branding and communications company focused on functional and beautiful work that bursts at the seams with exciting personality. Given this, their branding and packaging work for tea-come-lifestyle brand The Niche Co is in all respects a signature IWANT project. The East-London based studio’s work on a range of elements, from logo lock-ups and typography to packaging for six new boutique tea blends incorporates an impressively diverse explosion of pattern and colour. Ranging from paint splatter to precise triangle compositions, the vibrant identity suits the proudly independent tea company down to the ground. The patterns on each blend are loosely designed with its unique contents in mind, and the use of butt-jointed tubes gives a continuous canvas for each visual feast. Having won the attention and collaboration in the past from clients like London Jazz Festival and the National Trust, IWANT is here fighting back against the proliferation of high-street tea brands with this beautiful and interior-appropriate work. Watch this space for the second range of black teas that IWANT are working on packaging later this year, and watch the space below to read IWANT owner John Gilsenan’s thoughts on the the snappy new project. THE PLUS: What did you want this branding to say about Niche’s personality? John Gilsenan: We wanted impact – we agreed that we wanted to create a boutique tea range that would sit as comfortably on the pages of Wallpaper magazine as it would on the shelves of a stylish fashion store. The aim wasn’t to create a supermarket product, but rather to create buzz and demand for the product with a view to getting as much coverage for the brand as possible. TP: You’ve restricted the colour palette here – why is that? JG: The patterns are all very different, so we felt there should be a common thread that ensured the products felt they were part of a family – we limited the palette to six colours to represent the six varieties. TP: It’s a very geometric and contemporary design for a very natural product; was this contrast something you were looking to play with? JG: Some are geometric and some more organic – the intention was to loosely represent the variety, but ultimately we wanted them to feel vibrant, bold and different. Amanda and I spent a lot of time looking at tea on the shelves of a variety of stores, looking at what we felt was interesting and what was not. A lot of product has a formulaic approach, and we wanted to do the opposite. TP: You’re working on a second range of teas now – what are the challenges you face when developing a variation on such a strong visual branding? JG: We have a set of brand assets, logo lock-ups, typography, etc. that will hold together whatever we do. The main challenge will be when we choose to make a more mass market, supermarket product range, but we’ll have to wait and see what these will be. TP: If you were a product – what would you be, and how would you want to be packaged? JG: I’d be a vinyl record, and I would be in a classic gatefold sleeve. TP: Is there any brand you think could do with re-design? JG: I’d love IWANT to work on a huge brand – one that springs to mind is YouTube. A lot of companies overhaul their identities as soon as real money starts rolling in, but I don’t recall YouTube ever having updated. For a company worth near £40 billion they have an awful identity – I’d be more than happy to help.