8 Things You Need From London Now
by Jenifer Tracy on 03/30/2015 | 7 Minute Read
Greetings! After six exhilarating months of living in London, I’ve crossed the pond back to the States and have plenty to show and tell. I saw some awesome packaging design, picked up a bit of Cockney slang, and decided that winters should be spent in L.A. London is an amazing city for so many reasons and it’s easy to fall in love with it. It was terribly difficult to keep the suitcases lean and not pack home the red & silver foil Tunnock’s wrappers that I found so charming. But I did come home with an iPhone full of inspiration and a list of my favorite British product packaging that I’d like to share with you. Cheers!
The first time I passed a Penhaligons Perfumery store I stopped in my tracks. The entire window was stacked with the most beautiful holiday tins imaginable. All jewel tones, each decorated with miniature portraits of Victorian ladies and embellished with flourish and patterns.
Founded in the 1860s, Penhaligons Perfumery is an iconic English perfume house, whose owner famously became the Perfumer to Queen Victoria. With such a royal history, it’s easy to see a narrative in the scent’s packaging designs. Ornamental, lavish and beautiful and it’s not just for the ladies, they feature grooming products for the blokes too.
Selfridge & Co.
Sweets from Selfridge Selections. Selfridge & Co. is a highend (fancy) department store that’s been on the scene in London since 1909. I found they had quite an artisanal food & drink selection and with some topnotch packaging design. While I’m not usually a fan of a soft, neutral color palette, this line of Fudge Bars & Caramels won me over. The patterns: stripes, polka dots, and paint splatters! Everything wrapped up in baker's twine and typography treated with gold foil love.
These aren’t in the same caliber as the can of baked beans your parents fed you as a kid. The English know how to do it right! A proper jar, a perishable product and some fantastic packaging design. The label proudly shows off the unique, and entertaining Proper Beans brand crest. Featuring two elephants on bicycles, one umbrella, a knife and fork battle and a stone tower. There’s obviously more to this story than I know, but even without it the design work alone made me a fan.
Hope & Greenwood
I call it a candy store, but the British refer to Hope & Greenwood’s as a “traditional confectionery business.” Let’s just say it’s an old fashioned sweet shop, full of whimsical candy packaging. The “candy stripes” are of course, are a big part of their brand signature. These combined with bright colors, patterns, fun diecut packaging and old fashioned glass jars create a really lively brand that will capture everyone’s attention.
Gordon’s London Dry Gin – the city is in the name! Green bottle, script font, simple and iconic. A classic since 1769. But there, sitting on the shelf alongside ‘the classic’ were new flavors with bright, contemporary designs.
Over the last couple years Gordon’s has released something new to the mix, Crisp Cucumber and Elderflower flavored gins. While I can’t attest to how they taste, I can tell you that the packaging design for them is really lovely. They are light and bright, the usual green bottle replaced with clear glass and imagery of the natural flavor ingredients decorating the labels. What a pretty family of spirits.
The Brits are notorious for their love affair with tea, and Twinings Tea is where it all started. With a brand history that is over 300 years old, these guys built an empire. And, also some very luxurious tea packaging for their “Signature Blends” line. Signature Blends is a gift range of tea, and opening a box of it is akin to unwrapping a present. A lid opens up, a door pulls aside, a drawer slides out it’s a slow reveal. You will find beautifully patterned vellum paper, foil, gold ribbons, matte black tins, a tea scoop, and an elegant little book to tell you about their master brewers. Perfect packaging.
All Gates Brewery
While there are hundreds of established British beer brands out there, it was the young guys at AllGates Brewery who’s packaging really stood out to me. Open since 2006, AllGates is a relatively new craft brewery that is creating a range of modern beers that are built on cask ale tradition.
They have a unique brand, and I love it! The beer labels feature some incredible illustrations, seemingly inspired by antique etchings. Each label has its own odd narrative, a kiwi bird sipping a brew or a Mexican candy skull. It’s the pairing of the illustrations with a color palette you'd never expect being used for a beer, which really made me smile.
Of course, this post wouldn’t be complete without featuring Liberty London, another highly recognizable brand that has been selling luxury goods since 1874. Liberty is known for their amazing floral and graphic prints which has been used on every imaginable product possible – purses, stationery, homeware, ties, children’s bloomers, you get the idea. But since this is a packaging blog, let me highlight the sweets and treats collection. Featuring the Flower of Liberty collection, they’re very lovely, a great gift idea for Mom AND you can buy a matching shirt if you’re ready to drop some serious quids. Everything’s pretty if you wrap it up in Liberty print packaging.
Written by Jenifer Tracy
Jenifer Tracy is the owner and Creative Director of JENCO CREATIVE, a boutique graphic design studio founded in 2007 in sunny Los Angeles. Jenifer’s work has been recognized as smart, effective and inspired and has won multiple awards. Having worked with a diverse range of clients from the Got MILK campaign to Mary J. Blige, Jenifer has a relentless desire to create quality work that expresses her client’s personality and vision.
On a personal note, Jenifer splits her time between Los Angeles and London, is a French Bulldog enthusiast and a “cute shit” collector. As a designer with a deep love for pretty packaging, Jenifer is thrilled to be blogging for The Dieline, a site she’s been a fan of for years. Jenifer spends her spare time dog walking her frenchie Pippin, getting her nails done and napping. She’s also known for being a big loud talker and laughing a lot.