Ayres de Blends

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Agency: Jan Gallego
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Ayres de Blends
Location: Madrid, Spain
Packaging Contents: Tea
Packaging Materials: Plastic, aluminium, paper, rigid cardboard

The Problem
Create a premium brand, a complete line of packaging and an online store for Ayres de Blends, a company of artisan tea, events, and trends related with the world of tea. All with the budget of a small business that is just opening.

The Solution
Understand the essence of Ayres de Blends like their teas: a classical and Baroque luxury. Placing all of the emphasis on an expressive long-lasting graphic design allowed me to create a system of packaging that portrays luxury, and at the same time it’s affordable to produce.

The Result
Ayres de Blends now sells in Finca Cortesin, one of the most exclusive luxury clubs in Spain, and Beatriz, the person behind Ayres, is in conversation with El Rincon del Gourmet of El Corte Inglés and various other luxury hotels in Spain.

Work Process
I must confess that I love working with Beatriz. Her project attracted me since the beginning: the world of tea, the craft, the luxury… But also, we connected very well since the beginning, not only by sharing a last name and background (renegade architects), but because she seems like the ideal client to me: charming, she knows the value of design and trusting the designer to explore their limits and pull out the best of it.

For example, the first sketches of the brand were more static because they place emphasis in the use of color and modern typographic sobriety. Beatriz communicated with me that the essence of Ayres had more to do with the exuberance, the timeless, the classic. That’s why I was inspired by prints from the 19th century, by the classic Baroque oval, a classic and elegant font, etc.

Visual Identity: Stationery
Curiously, having come to a graphic solution expressive enough in logotype, it took very little to create from it a recognizable visual universe for Ayres: simply applying it with the sufficient “ayre”, with sobriety, in a monochromatic way relying on the spirals of air that are already present in the logo.

In the same way, printing was cheaper because it wasn’t necessary to use a lot of ink or expensive effects. Just one ink: Pantone Silver 877C, which appeared almost white on black paper with a certain special shine.

Packaging: Airtight Bags
The following challenge was to create a packaging system. It had to fit 16 blends (mixes she made herself, like a good sommelier of tea) and 18 pure teas, in various sizes, and also had to fit her production budget.

The solution was to create a common airtight bag for all of the flavors that would be personalized with different adhesive labels for each flavor.

The bags were printed with just one ink: black. The silver effect would be obtained the opposite way of the stationery, leaving it without printing the design so that the silver polyester that forms part of the bag could be seen. Economic yet luxurious.

Packaging: Aluminum tins and labels
For the size of 25 grams, we chose a small aluminum tin. It seemed like a very attractive thing to me, almost like high cosmetics, but it would be too expensive to print directly on the tin for the limited units we wanted to order in the first run. So we ordered the tins directly without print, and instead, I designed the labels to customize them so that they have a more premium touch stamped on silver.

Packaging: Tasting kits
The last great packaging challenge was the tasting kits. These kits, which Beatriz offers in her courses, have to accommodate very different elements like a fragile thermometer of 20 centimeters, a metal filter, a timer, a parchment of instructions, and small paper bags with samples of 10 grams.

Collaborating with my compact cardboard box suppliers, we achieved the ideal size to allocate all of the elements in a perfectly die cut foam and designed a type of “book” with a loop string closure.

What’s Unique?
It’s been designed to portray luxury (classic, baroque, luxury), and at the same time is affordable to produce and print.