25th March 2020

Tea test special: War of the brews

Mike Bailey

Mike Bailey Senior Art Director

Reading time 10 mins

This light-hearted blog features two of my favourite past times: enjoying a good cup of tea and a nice bit of design. It’s likely to be a contentious issue, as I will be renewing old rivalries between Lancashire and Yorkshire - the ‘War of the Roses’.

The idea came about because I couldn’t find any Yorkshire for love nor money, so had to plump for the red rose variety instead. So, after a week of trialling the lesser-known from Lancashire, I’ve decided to put the two up against one another in a taste and in good taste debate in terms of packaging design.

Not everyone’s cup of tea

First up is brand and packaging design: As you would expect due to its prominence in the marketplace for 47 years, Yorkshire Tea stands* out like a beacon amongst the pretenders from fellow Yorkshire-rivals Tetley and PG Tips.

The quintessential Yorkshire Dales sets the backdrop of the packaging with the red band vertically around its middle and the infamous condensed logotype punched out of a black tea is easily recognisable. On closer inspection, the typography has been crafted to incorporate subtle curves to some of the characters to give it a bespoke signature that sits just under the royal warrant coat of arms.

Lancashire’s on the other hand features a beautifully hand-drawn map of the region by Dave Draws, which depicts local landmarks, trivia and cultural reference points punctuated with red rose decals. The unfamiliar arched branding sits within a large red T which contrasts nicely with the illustration. After a little bit of digging I noticed the brand and packaging had been created by our neighbours at Wash. A nice bit of nostalgia for what could for some be a mundane subject to visualise - also, Burscough, the promised land is referenced as well!

At the end of this round the points are staying this side of the Pennies; not everyone’s cup of tea, but the judge’s decision is final.

Next up taglines: Again, strong offerings by both here. ‘Let’s have a proper brew’ from Yorkshire Team and ‘The winning cuppa’ from Lancashire Teas — think there’s only one way we can decide this…

Next up, the all-important taste test: whether or not it has something to do with being the lesser known brand, but the maiden delivery from Lancashire gets knocked for six here - I could leave it brewing for a week and it still couldn’t compete with the full flavoured all-rounder we’re familiar with from the white rose county.

Next question: what would be your biscuit of choice to partner your brew… now that’s asking for trouble, isn’t it!

Series drawn.

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