Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 25 August 2014
Daebeté is a floral infused tea range that uses a high-grade Taiwanese oolong variety, made using a unique process of withering, oxidation, curling and twisting, that has then been given a floral hint using ancient baking methods. This process creates a subtle yet sweet flavour profile that carefully balances the aroma of flowers with the flavour of tea. The packaging for the Daebeté range, developed by Victor Design, was inspired by the natural beauty and ecology of the flower growing regions of each infusion, conveys the craft of production, the tradition of tea preparation, quality and delicate flavour, through a good combination of illustration, typography, print finish and structural choice.
The ecology of the flower and tea growing regions from which the ingredients of Daebeté are sourced provides a solid foundation to work from and is effectively delivered through an illustrative approach that mixes a variety of flowers and insets. These are individually distinctive and collectively reductive in their rendering, avoid simplicity and strike a good balance between botanical accuracy and embellishment across the insects. There is a great contrast between the lightness of the flowers, darker leaves and brighter colour of the backgrounds and an appropriate use of watercolour to emphasises the hand painted sensibilities of each illustration and reflect both the craft of tea making and natural flavour.
The variety of teapots, drawn as simple silhouettes, neatly convey the diversity of blends and the ancient traditions associated with tea making and preparation while a gold foil print finish layers these with a perceived high quality without undermining the aesthetic of the illustrations with their abstraction and shine. The slim structural design reflects Victor Design’s desire to establish a degree of femininity through physical form as well as colour and illustration. This also resonates through the finer serif detail of the type but tempered slightly by haphazard execution, appearing either very loose or too tightly tracked in places.