National Tea Day: How packaging works for an iconic product

* 4 min read

There is nothing like tea. It soothes the soul, brings warmth to a cold or difficult day, and brings people closer together. Its inspired art has become an ingrained part of our culture. George Orwell even devoted a full article in the Evening Standard on the perfect cup of tea back in 1946.



Perhaps most crucially, it is a social anchor in our culture. The cup of tea is there for you when you welcome guests, chat with friends, go to work, or relax in the evening.

In honour of National Tea Day today, we’re taking a look at how this core part of our culture relates to what we do at Sun Branding Solutions. And we look at how the process of bringing a tea brand to the market reaches into every part of our organisation.

Parker Williams

Tea is a beautiful product. Its image speaks for itself, the steam showing its warmth and the colour reflecting its flavour. But the best packaging goes beyond this, cultivating desire for the product in more imaginative ways. Calming and warm shapes with smooth illustrations can convey a more mellow taste. Or a brighter, sharper, and more colourful design can indicate fruitier, livelier flavours.

Good design depends on a good understanding of the product and how people feel when they consume it. Combine this understanding with creative thinking, and you can produce a wonderfully fitting representation of what you are selling.

Selfridges tea min

Pack science

Packaging isn’t just about clever designs and marketing – it’s also about transporting the product. Making it storable, stackable, and preserving its contents throughout the product’s journey are key components of the packaging design process.

For tea, pack science means coming up with clever, creative and practical ways of packaging it to ensure that you get the perfect brew on every occasion. Whether it’s the standard box of tea, the traditional tea tin, the on-the-go sachet or even abandoning tea bags altogether with the quirky tea stick, preserving flavour from manufacturer to cup is essential.


Of course, there are laws around tea. And not just laws like “never put the milk in first!” Labelling requirements and regulations exist to make sure that the tea you are selling contains accurate information about its contents.

It’s a problem for the whole industry if herbal tea brands can say that it “helps you relax” if the health claim isn’t backed by evidence and is dubious at best. Our legal team at Sun Branding plays a crucial role in the packaging design process, making sure that you don’t put anything on the label that you can’t substantiate, and that you include all the information that a customer needs to make an informed choice about the product.


Tea is a complicated product with a highly competitive market. Getting the branding and packaging right means more customers will be happy to try out your blend. And you can only get this right if you have a proper process for sharing ideas and assets amongst your creative team.

At Sun Branding Solutions, we use SUNrise, which is our very own product and artwork management software. In the same way that friends and families turn to tea to communicate with each other and share their thoughts, we use our design software help our clients bring their products to market. Check out how we helped Twinings with their packaging process.



Much ink has been spilled over what is the best (or the “right”) colour of tea. Where you stand on the “tea chart” is often not just a case of personal preference, but also a sign of prestige.

For packaging, having the best colours absolutely matters. Consistent, effective and engaging colours can be the difference between brand recognition and brand confusion. When developing artwork for tea, we always pay close attention to what consumers want i.e. what colour should green tea packaging be and how can we ensure this is consistent across all substrates? And that informed our decisions when it came to packaging the product and making an impact on the shelves.