Blog Archive Oct 18, 2011

Packaging redesign for Messmer Teas

Last time we went shopping I’ve noticed the new packaging design of Meßmer Teas. Last night, as I was boiling water for my green tea, I’ve discovered a couple of old packages and thought, that it might be interesting to actually compare the two. So here we go.

Our Bureau has nothing to do with the design – this post is just documenting the facts. I also beg for mercy when it comes to the image quality – it was late and I was tired (ok, I am bad at excuses).

top – old
bottom - new

The first prominent change is the typography. The Florens typeface has been replaced with ITC Slimbach, in italics. The old typographic treatment, as I see it, had more character, although ITC Slimbach is certainly a very good typeface. To put it differently – the legibility has definitely won, the character not.

The strategy was most probably to enhance the typography and clean up the imagery. This is my guess only, I don’t know for sure. At least, it looks like it – the front and top sides now have less distractive details, better articulated product names, cleaner graphic design. Some details, like tea bag icon instead of three lines of text, also contribute to the overall look.

In regard to the functionality of the packaging, it seems like Meßmer marketing team has had their own plan: the back side hosts a long text about Messmer’s tea-house in Hamburg. Just a month ago the same text was feeling well on the left side. And I think this was not the best decision to take – the eyes see the sides more often, then the back side, where normally something “usable” is written. Like, product description in 8 languages. Marketing blah? Really?..
On the other hand, the bottom was left almost as it was. Probably good so.

I can only be happy to see that mass market brands, like Meßmer Teas, take some time and review their design. It is still important, though, to keep one thing in mind before doing a redesign of any kind – the New Design should be better than the old one. Seems obvious, and yet not always it is so.