Fortnum & Mason Famous Tea Range Re-design

Derrick Lin


Agency: DECIDE.
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Fortnum & Mason
Location: London, UK
Packaging Content: Tea
Packaging Materials: Tin, Card, Paper

DECIDE’s design task for Fortnum & Mason’s Famous Tea re-design was three-fold;
• to reinforce Fortnums’ authority in premium speciality tea
• to reflect the brand’s ‘Quintessentially English’ proposition
• to inject provenance, improve range differentiation and enhance navigation

Reinforcing Authority:
Core to re-establishing Fortnum & Mason’s authority in speciality tea was to take confident ownership of the category.
We took the range from a sea of grey muted metallics featuring small, difficult-to-read stickered labels, to a colourful, elegant and quirky design that elevates ownership, provenance and range communication.

We elevated the distinctive Fortnum & Mason brand marque within the design hierarchy to create a confident, consistent canopy for the entire range. We created clear differentiation between each range via fully printed tins and the introduction of distinctive colour-coding which is empathetic with the vibrancy of
other complimentary F&M product categories.

All designs reflect the brands’ renowned attention to detail.

Finishing touches were added, including: the use of metallic inks on individual tea bag envelopes; a “time for tea” statement embossed inside the base of each caddy (a prompt to encourage repeat purchase), decorative print on the inside of cartons; and each individual tea bag carrying branded tags – ensuring the positive brand experience continues for consumers, post purchase. QR codes were also included on pack for the first time to further reinforce brand authority – by allowing consumers to access value-added information and advice on making “the perfect cup of tea”.

Quintessential Englishness:
The flagship Famous Teas range is now proudly clothed in Fortnum’s iconic eau-de-nil colour, with other sub ranges defined by their own unique colour palettes. Authentic decoration, respectfully contemporised (inspired by the Georgian Drawing Room and renowned artists of the time, such as Chippendale) along with iconic text panels – individual to each range – and the inclusion of the Fortnum’s heritage story for provenance, combined with range naming and product descriptors (communicated via clear, legible typography) has resulted in an eclectic, quirky and ‘very Fortnum’s’ selection of irresistibly beautiful and fundamentally collectible tin caddies, cartons and drums.

Embossing and a variety of print finishes – reproducing the look and feel of classic Georgian designs on satin, are consistently applied across the wide variety of substrates, injecting preciousness into the designs. This ensures the packaging is not only beautiful to look at, but a delight to hold and unwrap – a “little piece of Fortnum’s to take home” – the perfect gift for you or a loved one and part of the cachet and reward for making such an excellent retail choice.

Provenance, Differentiation & Navigation:
Conscious that communication of provenance, differentiation and navigation must be improved both in store and online, we first approached the typographic hierarchy, placing greater emphasis on the blend descriptor, whilst developing a wider design architecture to communicate the brand and the range.
We then framed key information on-pack within a central panel – each sub range defined by its own decorative style. For example, the Famous Teas range features a delicate bamboo frame, subliminally signalling provenance. High levels of colour contrast between typography and background further enhance legibility in the subdued lighting of the Piccadilly Store and the challenging online environment. A clear, colour-coded, graphic ribbon wrapped around each product in the Famous Teas range denotes the type of blend, clearly demonstrating the impressive extent of the varieties available. The combination of vibrant colour, clear typographical styling and improved hierarchy of information ensures that the Fortnum & Mason shopper, be they from around the corner, out of town or an
overseas visitor, can quickly and easily find their range, blend and flavour of choice. This at-a-glance communication of choice encourages cross-trial between blends and ranges, increasing shoppers propensity to purchase additional sku’s – both in store and online.

“We designed the ranges to be visually engaging and highly tactile as this epitomises the luxuriousness and spirit of the brand, and allows customers from all over the world to take a little piece of Fortnum & Mason Piccadilly home with them” says Grant Marshall, Creative Director of DECIDE.

“The result was an increase in the communication of brand ownership – demonstrating real authority in tea, as well as a huge uplift in store theatre and shop-ability through communication of range choice with colour, design and pack format” says Michael Pagan, Strategy & Planning Director of DECIDE.