Tea Trends In 2019

In the UK, 165 million cups of tea are consumed everyday by 51 million tea drinkers, and although speciality teas are bigger than ever, classic traditional teas are still well-loved. With wellness teas on the rise and new flavours and options popping up regularly, we want to know what types of teas are the most popular and on the rise this year.

Whether we’re opting for an English Breakfast or going for a herbal tea, there are so many choices. So, what are some of the major tea trends that we should be looking out for in 2019? We read through the Tetley Tea report, and here’s what we found:

Tea trends at work

Tea at work improves productivity
Having a tea break at work is actually a really good thing, and it actually outperforms coffee with 47% of people drinking tea every time they’re in the workplace. Whether you’re grabbing a green tea (the 2nd most popular blend in the workplace) in between meetings and calls, or enjoying a brew with colleagues, it’s no surprise that having a tea break can increase productivity, benefiting both businesses and employees. The tea trends for this year show that the top 3 factors for choosing tea in the workplace are:

  • 44% of people go for a cup of tea to break up the day
  • 30% enjoy a cuppa to quench thirst
  • 28% of people say it’s just out of habit

Tea trends fruit or hygge

The experience is key
Tea is now about more than just making a quick cup in the morning and drinking it in a hurry. It’s about the experience, enjoyment and finding a new way to take pleasure in something small. The idea of ‘hygge’ has become more and more popular with it being an act of self-care to enjoy small rituals everyday, and the idea of ‘comfort’ and ‘cosiness’. Plus, there’s the idea of sophistication – whether it’s visiting a renowned British place for a ‘high-tea’ or ‘afternoon tea’ experience, it’s a concept that’s appealing.

Yes to new flavours
An unlikely finding in the tea trends for 2019 is that black tea is still a clear favourite when it comes to popular choices. But fruit, herbal and green teas have definitely grown in popularity, particularly since the well-being trend has become more prominent with millennials. So, the idea of offering fruit and herbal infusions is a key way to attract a younger audience, by demonstrating the various benefits of different blends. The most popular blends for people to consume out of home (other than black tea) are Green Tea (18%), Speciality Black Tea (17%), Herbal Tea (15%), Fruit Tea (14%) and Matcha Tea (3%). Matcha and Green tea are the two blends that consumers are happy to pay a little more for. People also want new tastes and flavours – natural, more earthy flavours and variations from matcha tea and kombucha.

With the rise of cold brews and botanicals, there is no ‘one’ type of tea anymore.

Tea trends herbal

We’re more selective about our dietary choices and often choose healthier beverages
With the rise of the health and wellness trend, particularly amongst millennials, consumers are looking for healthier options, and ingredients with more nutritional benefits. There’s a much higher demand now for functional food and drink options with health benefits focused on self-care, and this is only expected to grow over the next few years. Since 1 in 2 people in the UK already take daily vitamins, it’s now more important than ever for the new generation of tea drinkers to choose drinks with functional ingredients to help maintain a healthy lifestyle – matcha, protein, turmeric and ginger to name a few.

A report by National Tea Day talked about the way different types of tea drinkers perceive tea and the difference in how they associate it. For example, when it comes to different generations, traditionalists look at tea more as a “builder’s brew,” whereas modern consumers and new tea drinkers see it more as an experience. Traditionalists tend to see tea as, “comforting, creamy and sweet”, whereas modernists tend to see tea as, “healthy, colourful and sensual.” So, the rise of speciality teas is definitely bigger than ever and there have been a number of key shifts in the premium tea market. But, one thing hasn’t changed. That we love tea.  Tetley’s report says, “Enjoying a cup of tea is a staple part of most people’s day.” We agree.

3 Book Cover Designs We Love

Whether we like to admit it or not, the cover of a book can strongly determine our decision to either pick it up and read it immediately, or leave it on the shelf to gather dust. Something with this amount of power to influence our opinion of a book we haven’t even read yet shouldn’t be overlooked, and because of this we believe book covers are works of art in their own right.

Whether it be adorned with elaborate illustrations or touched by simple typography, each design has to be a unique representation of the book inside, effectively conveying its themes, atmospheres and genre. We want to appreciate the time and effort that goes into getting this right, so below we share three examples of where we believe designers have done just that.

MANUJA WALDIA – Pelican Shakespeare Series, published by Penguin Random House

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Our first example isn’t a single book cover, but a new series of designs for Shakespeare’s works illustrated by Manuja Waldia, in collaboration with Penguin Random House. One of the things that drew us to the project is that something as well-known as Shakespeare’s stories have been given such a fresh new identity. As Manuja tells us, “it’s hard to escape Shakespeare as his stories are so deeply embedded in popular culture, even if they are diluted to a point where you don’t realise it’s his stuff.”

Some of the more subtle hints to themes within the books keeps the whole series interesting and it’s nice to see some of Manuja’s personal interpretations, who carried out a lot of research prior to the project. Manuja gives us an insight into the positive collaboration with publishers Penguin and it’s clear this was a key contributor to the success of the project, which won a Gold Medal at the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition.

I start by reading and researching the material. Sometimes the editorial team provides me with some initial ideas of their own, which are helpful insights about which directions would work better over others. I explore those along with a few ideas of my own as wordlists, or quick pencil thumbnails. From these I blow out 6-8 enlarged pencil sketches, the art team selects one for the front and another for the verso. I digitize them on Adobe Illustrator along with a couple of icons for the spine. Next comes final thoughts from the Penguin team, selecting a spine icon, and polishing up artwork. I get complete creative freedom, and the inputs from Penguin just push the work to the next level (thanks Paul Buckley!)

When choosing our favourites from the (pretty large) series, we gravitated toward the comedies which are grouped by a consistent light blue background. Histories are grouped by maroon, and tragedies by black. When asked about her personal favourite covers in the series, Manuja replied “The Tempest, and The Merchant of Venice are my favourites as I took risks with both the concept and drawing, and the Penguin team were awesome enough to let me do it.

Manuja’s approach to illustration is very personal and she has allowed her style to develop organically. When asked what her favourite book cover designed by any other artist, she answered “believe it or not, I don’t follow book cover design as it dilutes originality while I work… As most self taught artists, initially I was learning by copying a lot of both classical masters (Indian and Persian miniature paintings, Matisse, etc) and also contemporary successful illustrators (Jessica Hische, Lotta Nieminen). But thankfully overtime I had the good sense to stop consuming illustration for inspiration.”

She insists this is how her personal style was born, and advises others to embrace the kooks and imperfections in illustration. In the future she hopes to design cover artwork for authors from the Indian subcontinent, intersectional artist M.I.A, and feminist poet Nikita Gill.

MARIE-LAURE CRUSCHI (AKA CRUSCHIFORM) – Cabins by Philip Jodidio, published by Taschen

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This is a beautiful hardback book published by Taschen that caught our eye when it was released in 2014. It’s no secret that we at Bookblock are fans of illustration, and French illustrator and art director Marie-Laure Cruschi’s artworks played no small part in our attraction to the book, as one of many beautiful illustrations of a cabin in the forest adorns the entire cover, uninterrupted (just like the landscape that many of the cabins inside fit so perfectly into).

Marie-Laure tells us she worked closely with Taschen for 6 months and over this time created over 60 illustrations, drawings and symbols, but it was an early trial drawing that Taschen immediately chose as the front cover image. We find this illustration particularly atmospheric which may be why it was such a clear choice for the cover. The size of the book, (measuring just over 24 by 30cm with almost 500 pages) and this full bleed illustration complement each other wonderfully, creating an impression of the cabins and their environments being tangible when you hold the book.

The feeling of being able to engage with the environments was also important for Marie-Laure, telling us that “each illustration represents a contemporary cabin celebrated in it’s nature’s jewel box. I wanted to create dreamlike pictures between realism and fantasy. So I tried to make a glorified vision, to inspire, to invite in a virtual journey, while trying to convey each cabin’s unique character, and remaining faithful to the original cabin architecture.

In that sense, this project seems to strike a nice balance between her work in children’s books, cultural magazines and graphic design, as she combines the feeling of child-like fantasy with accurate and faithful representations of the cabins which is key to the nonfiction book.

She also recounts a positive collaboration between illustrator and publisher and how creative freedom paired with guidance produced a result and experience they both enjoyed, “once I had a good grasp of Taschen’s requests and their goals, I had a lot of freedom on creating the illustrations. It was like a Carte blanche. Of course I shared with them my work in progress, showing them my sketches, pictures references, colour moods… and it went very well.

JENNIFER CARROW – Against Happiness by Eric G Wilson, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Our final choice is this cover designed by Jennifer Carrow, a prolific designer of book covers. Her portfolio spans various styles and genres, each of her many cover designs appearing unique to the book in question. Against Happiness is an example of her more minimal approaches to design, and we think this was the perfect direction to go in for this nonfiction book exploring the advantages of melancholia, particularly in relation to creativity and expression.

The book explores two polar opposite themes; happiness and sadness. Jennifer Carrow presents this brilliantly and simply; the bright yellow background instantly connotes themes of happiness, while the simple shape of a down turned smile, formed here by the typography, is equally as recognisable as a symbol of sadness.

Illustrated Beer Labels We Love – Partizan

Partizan is a South Bermondsey micro brewery, formed in 2012 by Andy Smith. Initially brewing hoppy American beers that weren’t available fresh in the UK, Partizan are now known for their ever evolving recipes, and their equally inventive label designs. If you’re not familiar with Partizan but feel the labels faintly ring a bell, it’s probably because they were designed by one of our great Editions collaborators, Alec Doherty. Andy and Alec have kindly shared some insight with us into their brewing and design process…

ANDY

How much input do you have in the design of the labels? Or do you just leave Alec to it?

Usually just leave Al to it. I know what I’m good at and I know what he is good at. It’s incredibly rare I ask even for changes. I think it’s happened maybe 2-3 times in the 5 years we have been working together. We do meet up quite often and discuss “the brand” over a few beers so I think he just understands us as a company very well. In all honesty he’s helped shape our company a lot too so definitely doesn’t need any directing, it’s just a very natural partnership.

What sort of reaction have you had to your unique labels?

All very positive. There’s a fairly common thing we’ve had where people will tell us the illustrations remind them of something, like a book they had when they were a kid. If we don’t know the reference obviously the phone comes out and they start googling whatever it is. Quite often the pictures they pull up are actually nothing like Al’s. The pictures just seem to have this strange reminiscing trigger for people.

Why do you think Alec’s illustrations work so well with Partizan beer?

I think because Partizan is quite happy to change and wake up every day a new company we suit each other a lot. We’re both focused on challenging ourselves and evolving and getting better every day by trying new things and not being tied into a regimented aesthetic or ethos. It’s not quite anti-brand but a sort of brand apathy maybe? Neither of us are interested in creating something that is static and repeatable. We change our beer offering weekly to push ourselves to do better and also to engage people with something new, it’s really easy to disengage with an experience if you have been through it multiple times,  so it really suits us perfectly that Al changes not only the labels but the style in which he puts the labels together, challenging himself and changing in the same way.

There’s some really nice detailed synergy that I doubt anyone’s even noticing too, like on the stout labels. We never really changed the stout recipe since day one as we really like it how it is. As a result, it’s the only label that doesn’t really change. Except it actually does, but just the hat of the guy who forms the T. I doubt anyone ever noticed his hat was changing… It actually got to the point where we’d just tell Al what we had been listening to and the hat would come from that. The R Kelly stout label is a personal favourite. 🙂

What’s your favourite out of the many fantastic label designs?

A tricky one. We were actually digging out some old recipes last week as we wanted to look at putting something new together for the end of summer based on something we had previously done. I don’t write the brewing logs myself anymore as the team has grown a bit now, but when I did I used to stick his labels on the backs of the fermentation records. We were flicking back through and looking at all the old labels as well and everyone was just like, ‘let’s brew that one again, the label’s so nice, I wanna get that label back on a bottle again’.

One that really stood out for me though was the Big Red Saison. It was just like these very electric colours on a black background with this pink horse that made it kind of look like neon lights somewhere in the dark, and it was at the time where Al would tell the story through building up lots of smaller detailed illustrations. I really liked that one. The recentish lemon and thyme one which was sort of again bold colours on black and quite surreal shapes defining characters and reminded me of what I think is a Miles Davis album cover that I’ve never been able to find (that memory trigger thing again) was a strong favourite too. The one he did with Keith Shore is a classic as well. Every time he sends the email through with the new artworks there’s a new favourite. Al knows I’m a big fan of the film Four Rooms with Tim Roth so did a rework on the Porter bottle based on that, that should be out very soon.

Are there any other breweries whose labels you admire?

Loads yeah. So many in fact. Keith Shore who I’ve already mentioned is doing a great job for Mikkel. Omnipollo is basically a big art project, beer included, Karl Grandin is doing some crazy good stuff there. Nick continues to kill it at Beavertown, very much enjoyed the recent reload. You get this vibe from speaking to any of the team there, that it is a constant discussion and something they are all very mindful and proud of too. Another one where the art maybe has influenced the brewery a little even as well. Actually I quite like the very old school Beavertown labels that Jona (one of the brewers at the Kernel and amazing illustrator) used to do too, really nice detailed line drawings with a macabre sort of edge. Brasserie de la Senne always have super pretty stuff going on which really suits them and where they are from.The Flying Dog stuff is really great as well with Ralph Steadman of course and Pressure drops labels are always varied, thoughtful and pretty. Too many to mention really. As long as it’s not contrived and designy and trying too hard to look artisanal but stay safe and have mass appeal then I’m in, anything with personality I guess.

ALEC

How did you first get involved with Partizan?

Andy has been a good friend for years, he’s a Leeds boy and I met him when I was living up there. About 5 years ago when he was starting up the brewery he asked me to help him out with a little bit of artwork and we’ve been working together on it ever since.

Where do your ideas for the beer labels spark from? What is the process like?

I get ideas from all sorts of places, sometimes they’re inspired by the beer itself; the ingredients, the style or history of the beer. Other times it might be a significant date like a birthday or there’s been a new member of staff joining like the brewery cat Adina. I like to keep things interesting for myself and others so it’s a little all over the place.

Do you have any other favourite illustrated beer labels?

Yeah there’s loads of great beer art out there, my favourites at the moment would be Keith Shore’s work for Mikkeller and Jay Cover’s work with Camden Town.

What’s your favourite piece of work?

Partizan is my favourite bit of work. I like it because it’s very free. Beer bottle labels are kind of a similar to record labels – when I started out I wanted to design record sleeves – in that it’s a really simple format. The fact that it’s an indie brewery and run by mates also means I basically get to do whatever I want; sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better.

If you want to see more of the Partizan labels, look no further than the Partizan Brewing Archive.

 

Artists that inspire us – David Shrigley

Continuing our series on artists that inspire the Bookblock team, Designer Nicola shares her love of David Shrigley.


It’s hard to talk about who inspires me as I find it hard to be inspired without feeling some sort of ‘artistic guilt’ if it influences my own thinking too much, but of course it naturally happens, and when I am truly inspired (which is rare) it is usually because it has sparked a new idea or encouraged me to be more confident in my own thinking. Or in this case, my style of drawing – which is what David Shrigley has done for me. I started as an artist with two drawing styles, one that can take me days to complete and is structured, neat and often trying to represent reality in its true physical form. My other style exists similarly to Shrigley’s, bringing personality and humour to the work through confident lines and conviction in what my hand naturally wants to do. To some this style could be thought to be the opposite to what is classically considered beautiful or skilful, but to me Shrigley’s work is relatable, characterful and charming. I often remind myself ‘If you want to see an accurate portrayal of something then take a photo.’

I first fell under his charm back in 2012 during my foundation year at MMU, when he exhibited ‘How are you feeling?’ at the former Cornerhouse. Described as ‘art-therapy to help you cope with “an increasingly crazy and poorly signposted world”, the exhibition poster has followed me from home to home, doing exactly that. Reminding me that art needn’t take itself so seriously, and indeed neither should I.

His work seems to curiously pop up in many places, as though it seems to follow me around, with every occasional familiar glimpse of his black on white drawings appearing like a friendly face in a crowd. Once in the form of a recent collaboration with Tiger on a range of stationery, another as a piece of ‘Art on the Underground’, and most recently in the form of a large thumbs up on the 4th plinth.

It would be hard to pick a favourite piece of work by Shrigley, as there are just so many to choose from. But I could probably pick my top 5, though if you were to ask me again tomorrow it would likely be a completely different 5. I like to think that though Shrigley and I originate from, according to Wikipedia, the same ‘small market town’ of Macclesfield, or perhaps more notably the Times 2004 most uncultured town in Britain, something managed to slip through the cold grey cracks.

3 Chocolate Packaging Designs We Love

We feel this particular post encapsulates a combination of two of our favourite things at Bookblock; design and food. Chocolate, specifically. We love seeing other brands that put time and thought into their design so wanted to share three of our favourite chocolate packaging designs. It may be a cliché, but these really are a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

Love Cocoa

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Speaking of gifting, Love Cocoa is a chocolate company specifically tailored to ordering chocolate straight to your door to brighten the day of a loved one (or yourself). The packaging follows a consistent design across all the flavours which makes the chocolates look lovely both as a bundle and individually. Each bar is wrapped up in a small pattern on a white background which corresponds to its particular ingredients or flavour, for example the repeated cow motif signifies classic milk chocolate which is simple but striking. We were also drawn to the bright green bottle design for the gin and tonic flavour, which creates a vision of drinking a refreshing G&T on a sunny day.

Sweet Virtues

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Sweet Virtues are London based chocolatiers who produce truffles and thins which are free from things such as dairy, gluten, and added sugar. They’re designed to include restorative ingredients and make you feel better for having eaten them, rather than queasy and slightly regretful (just me?). We chose the packaging of one of their boxes of thins, which is a delightfully small box which it’s clear has been thought about thoroughly. Each product’s packaging is adorned with nature-inspired illustrations reflecting the flavours, and different colours depending on the ingredients. For example, we chose the Himalayan pink salt thins, housed in a padded pink box which makes sure the chocolate is well packed and looked after (this is very important to us). We also like the use of typography alongside the illustration.

 

Coco Chocolatier

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Coco is an Artisan Chocolatier based in Edinburgh that “specialises in making ethically traded, organic and most importantly delicious chocolate.” It’s clear the same level of attention goes into the packaging design as goes into the hand crafting of their chocolate. Each flavour bar has a unique design, and the collection of 14 available to buy online spans various colours and styles. Some, such as the date and ginger dark chocolate, have more geometric patterns, and some are more expressive, as is the case with the gorgeous red and pink packaging we were drawn to which houses an equally enticing Artisan Roast Espresso flavour. It goes without saying that these make lovely gifts, and with this variety of designs, if you can’t decide on a flavour you can definitely pick a design that will suit your giftee.

Artists that inspire us – Carl Kleiner

Over the next few month, five creative members of the Bookblock team will be sharing one person that inspires them and their work. Keep an eye out for posts from Creative Director Stefan, Designers Sophie & Nicola and Product Designer Fran, but first photographer Sarah explains how Carl Kleiner inspires her.


When I was asked to write a blog on who inspired me and my work, one photographer sprang to mind straight away. Carl Kleiner is a prolific still life photographer based in Stockholm, who has produced advertising work for high profile clients including H&M, Ikea and Google, as well as editorial series for international publications.

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As a relatively young photographer, his influence on still life photography and styling over the past decade has been prodigious, pioneering the bright, graphic aesthetic that’s become so popular in contemporary still life photography. I don’t at all hesitate to include myself in the long list of photographers he’s inspired.

Although his compositions are controlled and clean, his imagination and sense of humour also come through clearly in his work which is often styled in collaboration with Evelina Kleiner. I find that when browsing through his many projects and commissions, you can see his ability to communicate different messages and brand identities while maintaining his own recognisable style.

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Carl shares behind the scenes videos, photos and sketches along with each series on his website, and these give a little insight into his shooting process. At a time when CGI is so prevalent in commercial still life photography, I admire the efforts Carl and his collaborators go through to physically produce the perfect photo, manufacturing their own props from various materials to fit the particular project. Due to the level of detail and the cleanliness of the finish, it would be easy to assume many of his images were completely computer generated at first glance.

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This particularly applies to two of his recent series; a collection of 50 photographs showcasing Italian lighting company Flos, and a series of backgrounds produced for Google. Both of these projects encapsulate Kleiner’s signature abstract style, while still emphasising the minute and beautiful detail of Flos’ products, and creating paperscapes that are recognisably Google. This behind the scenes video and photos from the Flos shoot show how these images were created without the use of CGI.

It’s impressive to think that despite the quantity of photographs in the Flos series, not only is each image fresh and unique, and each product clearly tailored to, there’s still a degree of experimentation during the shoots, with consistency maintained through the carefully prepared and curated backgrounds and props. In terms of Bookblock photography, this is particularly inspiring to see, as we’re faced with the challenge of maintaining fresh imagery with many products of generally the same size and shape. It’s also reassuring to know that the best images can sometimes come to you during the shoot, and not every image has to be meticulously planned:

I tried to do sketches first, but found these got in the way of the process. I knew what I wanted to achieve in terms of composition, and the best way of getting there was to let the images come to me during the process of making them.” (Carl Kleiner talking to the British Journal of Photography about his personal project ‘There Will be Blood’ which was a development of his work for Google)

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The final project I want to share had me transfixed by the behind the scenes page for about half an hour. This project, commissioned by Lärabar, involved a very fiddly–looking and painstaking setup which created a great effect without excessive post production. Overall I think this clever and practical use of materials and objects is what inspires me most about Carl Kleiner’s work, as it proves that planning, imagination and patience can produce a result to be proud of.

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