Open Studio Creates The Perfect Combo of Tea & Books With Dear Tea Society


By: Casha Doemland

Why sip any regular Earl Grey or black tea, when you can sip a tea that allows you to bring the flavor to life with a little backstory and some imagination?

Dear Tea Society lets you do just that.

Of course, when Open Studio accepted the assignment, they had the daunting task of developing a name. “As the founders and employees are total tea geeks and extremely knowledgeable in their field, the name ‘Dear Tea Society’ became a playful yet sophisticated brand name,” says Karin Ahgren, designer at Open Studio.


Once the name was nailed down, the team sought inspiration from the paintings often found in classic tea salons and British member clubs – think anything from Renaissance women sipping tea to Neoclassical paintings of a man on a horse – and the rest is history.

“Artists were hired to do the paintings, Emi Gunér, our copywriter wrote the stories, and we did the artwork on the cover,” states Ahgren, “The goal was to create something contemporary that makes tea drinking as urban and modern as the barista culture.”

To see that goal was attained, the typography and interior design feature a modern contrast on classical elements.

The tea packages embody the design and aesthetic of books because once placed on a shelf with the spine of the box facing outwards, there’s a great view of the title, sort and flavor, whether it’s on the shelf in a store or at your home.

Each tea comes packaged in recyclable cardboard, with one biodegradable cellophane bag housing 20 cups worth of tea, instead of packaging all of the teas individually.



“The book design was a nice and easy way to give all the teas their distinct personalities and enhance the character and flavor,” shares Ahgren. “Every blend and infusion is personalized with a portrait and a charming personal description. We wanted each tea to feel as interesting as the character you’d like to meet over a cup.”    

For instance, there’s Earnest Earl, a black tea with added flavors of pineapple, peach and licorice root. For Earl, Gunér wrote, “When the grief of all things lost to history come over him, Earnest reaches for a pot of classic black tea with bergamot oil, the kind of tea that bears his name. He’s thankful some things stay the same.”


A Van Gogh-esque painting of a man contemplating life, with the brand name and title centered in a bright yellow font graces the front of the box, while the back displays the clever backstory Gunér wrote to help bring the character to life.


Additional flavors include green tea with mango & sea buckthorn with Miss Green, a white and green tea with cornflowers & cherry flavors from Witty Cheries, rooibos with strawberries, blueberries & marigold flowers from Mellow Mr. Bloom and black tea with a hint of pineapple, peach & licorice root with Daring Dorothy.

Curling up with a good novel and piping hot cup of tea had always been a magical combination, but Open Studio has successfully married the two into one, perfect package.



Casha Doemland

LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Crunchy Rocks Chocolates Come With an Eye-Catching Look


This chocolate product stands out with its use of muted colors and playful typography. Jorge Espinoza designed the packaging for “Crunchy Rocks.”



“Due to the need to expand the range of products and the worldwide appeal in the chocolate market, Go Artisan launched its ‘original crispy almonds’ with three different types of chocolate. In a different presentation that resembles decorative rocks, they’re asymmetric with different sizes that resemble the artisan and ‘handmade’ side on which the brand is inspired.”






“Graphically the handmade essence of the brand was still used, creating a very rustic logo and illustration elements allusive to chocolate, differentiated by colors.”






Designer: Jorge Espinoza
Client: Go Artisan
Location: Costa Rica

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

This Wine Stands Out With Its Stunning Black and Gold Label


With an elegant color palette consisting of black and gold, this wine takes the cake with its sophisticated look. Agence-S & Saguez designed the stunning packaging for winery Calmel & Joseph’s new offering.

“The Maison de négoce Calmel & Joseph has been founded in 1995. It’s a historical client for Agence-S & saguez. Twenty years after their first wines, Laurent Calmel and Jerôme Joseph aquired a domain in the Languedoc-Roussillon area, near Carcassone. The place was then characterized by the love of good authentic products, showing the way of the creators’ philosophy, which is to offer a qualitative range of wines, olives, olive oils and honeys, in agreement with nature and traditions.”


“Recently, Calmel & Joseph launched a new ‘cuvée rare’, the Madone 2016, bringing up again their standards of wine. It’s the result of two years of work including the selection of parcels and the wine-making process. 4,214 bottles have been produced, so according to the very rare features of the cuvée, the design of the packaging had to reflect the quality of the product, its uniqueness, and the story of men surrounding this brand.”


“The initial idea of Calmel & Joseph was to create a wine representing their know-how. The codes of the label had to highlight the upsell of the range of products but also need to  underline the meticulousness and the authentic value of the work. This is why the Agence-S & Saguez decided to relate the wine-making process of the domain, in order to convey the values of the brand on the label of the new ‘cuvée rare.’ The agency chose to guide the brand toward a premium and authentic territory, showing its respect of traditions through the work and the relation between the Earth, the animals and the men.”




Designed By: Agence-S & Saguez
Location; Paris, France

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Never Take Your Children To A Shoe Store Again With Speedsmith


By: Casha Doemland

Parents are keenly aware of the deep frustration that comes with buying children’s shoes. Not only does it require schlepping to the local mall or shoe boutique with a stroller and kids in tow, but it requires the hope that he or she does not throw a tantrum (they will) and lose patience before you do (you will).

And here’s the other thing! You’re going to have to do this a lot. Based on age and growth spurts, the time for new shoes can vary between 3 1/2 to 6 months, which directly translates to one too many trips.


Thanks to technology and the power of smartphones, shopping for shoes has become a whole lot easier with Speedsmith, an app that genuinely makes purchasing kids’ shoes a seamless experience.

Founded by husband and wife team Vivian Chiang and Jo Hei, they’ve created yet another venture devoted to children. Prior to launching Speedsmith, the company spearheaded Orbit Baby, a premium car seat and stroller brand that gained popularity among top-tier celebs like Queen Bey.

“After selling Orbit Baby, we knew we wanted to bring that same sense of dedication to design and innovation to the new venture,” begins Hei. “We’re also excited to share another family experience where our daughters are our product testers and design critics.”

Since Speedsmith focuses solely on kids’ shoes and understands the need for speedy results, their app is designed to get the essential dimensions in the fastest way possible, unlike other foot measuring apps that require time and absolute stillness to complete the 3D mapping.



“We’ve worked long and hard on our foot measurement app, a design and journey that involved many false starts and big challenges,” states Hei. “We approached the process by embracing a constant series of prototypes and testing, and in the end achieved a patent pending and unique approach that involves sophisticated edge detecting and other computer vision techniques.”

The work wasn’t done alone, Hei and Chiang hired a team of app developers at Roam & Wander and long-time friends and designers at Daylight Design to help get Speedsmith into fighting shape.


“We’ve known the partners at Daylight for a long time” adds Hei. “We had total trust that the Seoul office under brand director JuneHyeong Lee would give our brand an identity and a character that would best express the qualities we wanted.”

By supplying the aesthetic of the app and packaging with the vibrant energy of youth and a unique color palette, Daniel Ki, partner at Daylight, believes their design breaks through the typical gender stereotypes commonly associated with children’s products.  On top of that, “the minimalist logo expresses the brand’s modern, fresh and youthful vibe with the dynamic energy that nods to zigzagging footsteps,” chimes in Kim.

Aside from developing a lifeline technology for frazzled parents across the globe, they’ve also partnered with Soles4Souls, a social enterprise and shoe non-profit.




“We knew from the start that we wanted to partner with a non-profit as a core part of Speedsmith’s identity and mission,” says Hei. “In talking to parents, we discovered many are wracked with a sense of unease over their need to replace their kid’s shoes so quickly – not just because of the money spent, but because sometimes, the shoes aren’t even worn out.”

To combat the wastefulness, with every purchase of Speedsmiths comes a complimentary return label so the moment the kid needs a new pair, the old one can be sent to Soles4Soles and donated to a child in need.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

So no more stressing about your kids’ kicks, because Speedsmith has done all of the hard work for you. All you have to do is download the app, click a button and bam, the Forge 1.0s are on their way to your door, free of shipping and directly from the manufacturer.  


Casha Doemland

LA-based and Georgia-bred, Casha Doemland spends her days crafting poetry and freelance writing. Over the last two years, she’s been published in a variety of publications and zines around the world. When she’s not nerding out with words, you can catch her watching a classic film, trekking around the globe or hanging out with a four-pound Pomeranian.

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

Up Front Takes a Bold Brand Position with Illustrations Inspired By Moby Dick


Using graphics by illustrator Stanley Donwood, Freytag Anderson created assertive packaging for flourishing independent brewer Up Front. Striking black and white contrasts on matte paper labels give Up Front’s nautical theme an unmistakable twist.

Project in Detail

Glasgow studio Freytag Anderson has created a packaging line for independent brewer Up Front. Highly-regarded brewer Jake Griffin is currently establishing his own range of beers under the Up Front label. His craft-perfected, small-batch offering is a confident manifesto for quality and attention to detail. An unexpected collaboration Jake’s other passion – exceptional design – has drawn him to illustrator Stanley Donwood. To the core range, whose names are drawn from Moby Dick, Donwood lent a range of linocut images suggestive of seaborne adventure.


Building the Identity

Up Front’s existing brand identity was refined in line with these signature illustrations (and vice versa). The beer names are presented in a simple letterpress-inspired font which ties in visually with the linocuts. 

Making Space

Freytag Anderson created maximum real estate for Donwood’s striking prints, reserving a small clean area for mandatory information. The rest of the can became a canvas.This template will underpin wildly varying label content for new ranges. 





Working with Contrast

The monochrome prints are perfectly suited for shelf standout. So the monotone contrasts of the labelling had to be complete. Many conversations were had with the printers before we selected the production method, finally using a matte varnish overprint for a high-contrast, cost-effective, yet pleasantly tactile finish.

Creating a Visual Language

Jake’s eye for fresh new art injects energy into his packaging and reflects the adventurous nature of his product. His creative tie-ups lock together the varied Up Front offer with their distinctiveness. Freytag Anderson will be partnering with Up Front on labelling for special ranges – look out for new releases!



Bringing the Cans to Life

Freytag Anderson partnered with regular collaborators Render Studio ( to create a series of HD quality 3D visualisations and animations which bring the artwork to life on the products. We are also working on an augmented reality experience which will allow people to view the animated cans in real-time using a mobile application.






Designed By: Freytag Anderson
Original Artwork By: Stanley Donwood
Client: Up Front Brewing
Design: Freytag Anderson
Visualisation/Animations: Render Studio
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

from Blog – The Dieline | Packaging & Branding Design & Innovation News

roast broccoli & freekeh salad

serves 6

It feels like it’s been a wee while ‘between drinks’ as I’ve been running around like a mad woman just lately – but finally I have a new recipe for you! I have been wanting to post a roast broccoli salad for ages now, since Henry and I enjoyed many versions of it while he was here before jetting off to Italy. I found the perfect prompt last week while  at Smith & Caughey’s Queen St store poking around the gorgeous homewares department looking for my next collab item to feature. Check out the stunning Rosenthal Junto stoneware plate in the pic above, in a beautiful rich, matt coppery black which seems to change colour depending on the way the light catches it. Obviously in my job I am always on the lookout for prop plates to shoot food on which will bring the recipes to life, but the same is true for serving guests at dinner parties. Sometimes I find coloured plates distracting, but not these. They are both rich and subtle, showcasing the food rather than dominating it – just bloody stunning really, and an easy to way to go from every-night dinner to dinner-party-fancy! To check out the full range pop in here and while you’re about it I would totally recommend the Riedel O wine glassware – I use tumblers like this all the time, not just for wine, but for serving Negronis or other cocktails (like gin and tonics garnished with lemon slices, and herbs) in a modern way. They’re also the perfect vessel for a sophisticated moussey dessert if you fill them about a third of the way, then top with beautiful fresh or roasted fruit. The glasses are grape varietal specific in their design, pictured is the Cabernet/Merlot style, so if you are using them for their designed purpose you will be optimising the bouquet and flavour of your favourite drop – excellent!

Meanwhile the roasty broccoli salad is the perfect winter side – with the pleasing texture of nubbly freekeh, earthy cumin-seed-roasted brassicas (you could add in cauliflower here too if you felt inclined), some fresh greens, little surprise pops of sweetness from currants, salty feta and crunchy pumpkin seeds drizzled in an addictive dressing of lemon, Greek yoghurt and tahini. If you come here often you’ll know I love it when food that looks and tastes so good is also good for you – bonus points.

Aaaand in other news – I had my darling nephew Rupert staying last week while my sister and her hubby were sunning themselves in Fiji. Poor old Rue had a chest infection for most of the time so was been fussed over by his aunty in typical fashion (I make him sound like a toddler, but he’s almost 18). Meanwhile Henry had an amazing time with his first wwoof family in Ostunia, less of an amazing time in Palermo with the second hosts, (long story involving tantrum performing children and stressful family dynamics), and is now filling in time drinking Negronis and lying on the beach which sounds pretty damned perfect to me) before heading to Naples. Poor old Hoob has a lurgy now too, and tells me it is basically snowing in Welly (well on the hills any way) – which of course makes me want to rush down-country, laden with thermoses full of vegetable soup and a suitcase full of hand-knitted jumpers…but actually I have a bit of a lurgy myself! Last Saturday night I had a fab time out at Cottos (in Ponsonby) for dinner with great friends, but since then have succumbed to a rotten energy-sapping cold which has me longing for a hot bath and bed at midday…ah well I suspect some medicinal whisky may be on the cards tonight…

from Stuck in the kitchen