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Our new packaging...

August 17, 2020

Our new packaging...

Hello. If you don't know me already, I'm Emma and I set up Cupsmith with my husband George. We are very much a family-run, hands-on business and if you place an order with us, chances are either George or I will have both made your product and packed it!  

Emma Crawford Cupsmith

Recently we set about redesigning our organic tea and hot chocolate packaging. We wanted to switch to an eco-friendly solution that works for the environment, but also works for our customers (and indeed supermarkets who demand a 12+ months shelf life). So to meet all those needs, we changed to boxes made from sustainable sources and that are also fully recyclable, and inside we use plastic-free bags made from plant sources and that can be composted at home. And the design of the boxes? Well I decided to do them all myself! I love drawing so I sat at both our kitchen table and the one in our roastery and I spent literally days and days drawing and painting! 

Emma Crawford at Cupsmith drawing

I based all the boxes on the idea of 'home' and the places that people love to enjoy a cup of tea or hot chocolate: from greenhouses and sheds, to Cornish cottages by the sea and quintessentially English cottages with thatched roofs. If you peek inside each open door, you'll see a little scene - often the kitchen - of a table with a cup of tea or hot chocolate. Each box design takes me about 8 hours to draw and paint by hand. I do each as a continuous, flat layout and then Andy - our Cupsmith Secret Weapon - takes my artwork, moves a few things around ( I always have plant pots in inconvenient places) and adds the text. Then after several proofs, it's off to print and 6 weeks later I nervously wait for a pallet of 'my' boxes to arrive at our factory!

Emma in the Cupsmith roastery

I dread seeing an illustration error and so far I've only seen two: on one box I forgot to paint the front door, and on another the little kitchen scene shows a table set for breakfast with a cafetiere of coffee ready to be poured. I remember at the time thinking happily 'Ooh, I've nailed that cafetiere, it looks very lifelike and the coffee is perfect', only to realise that when I unwrapped the pallet of boxes, they are in fact tea boxes, not coffee! But I've tried to embrace my errors (if I shut my eyes and squint I don't notice them as much!) and hope that they too are part of our story. 

Emma drawing in the roastery at Cupsmith

Emma drawing Cupsmith Green Tea box