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About Tea is a series of interactive visual narrative packaging designs for a fictional tea company. I created the project as my final honours work. The research behind the project was based on Patrick Jordan's theory of the four pleasures - socio, ideo, physio and ideo. The research I understood influenced the final design, as I included touch points to attract my target audience.

About Tea has four packaging designs, which are based around the four seasons. The idea is for the user to be able to manipulate the timeline of events; for example, does the main character's story begin in autumn or spring?



The target audience for About Tea is women, aged 20 - 30. Market research showed that this group were the most receptive to narratives in packaging, as it allowed them to display their individuality. While tea is less popular among the younger generation in Australia, thanks to trends such as healthy living, and trendy products such as kombucha, interest is on the rise. There is also a growing market of luxury teas, designed for drinkers after a tailored experience.

Before beginning my project, I mapped out my aims, objectives and skills as a designer in order to find a project that suited my personal practice.




It took me a lot of brainstorming and sketching to get to packaging. My first encounter with interactive narrative packaging was Glico and Kirin's Sweet Love Story, an ongoing collaboration between two companies.

After conducting research, I realised, that as a recent trend, there had been little papers written on the subject, and none in regards to narrative theory combined with Pleasure Theory. I collected a series of narrative packaging and conducted my own analysis to determine the effectiveness of using visual narrative in packaging design. My chosen exemplars included (naturally) Sweet Love Story and Sabadì – I Torroni (Sicilian Nougat).  I used a visual thematic method of analysis and divided the recurring categories into Jordan's four pleasures (see below).


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The following are examples of what my analysis looked like. I used colour coding highlight my findings. I used these findings to influence my own work and practice.


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I started by sketching out possible designs and set-ups on paper. Around this time, I also conducted my research on packaging and pleasure theory, to determine what design elements would elicit a positive response from my chosen audience.


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Next, I determined the colour palette and style of my packaging, and began working on my logo, both of which would change throughout the design process.  I then moved on to illustrator to construct my vector imagery. Below are some examples of old designs.


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I constructed the box with laser cut MDF, black spray paint, matte coating, and wood glue. I had to be very precise with my measurements to obtain a smooth, straight finish.




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