ITO EN New York Artisans of Tea canisters

ITO EN New York Artisans of Tea canisters

McDevitt Youmans, New York, New York, 2003


We were asked by our client, ITO EN of Japan, the world’s largest maker of green tea, to create a design and packaging program for their New York flagship store, ITO EN New York. One of the elements for the program was a line of loose-leaf tea canisters. The intended audience for the flagship store on New York’s prestigious Madison Avenue was an upscale clientele heavily skewed toward health-conscious women between the ages of 35 and 65.

Our challenge was to create tea packaging that didn’t rely on the American perception of what “tea” or “Japanese” is or should be, all while using a standard, if not typical, tea canister.

We tried to capture the essence of tea and Japan within a contemporary design language that would speak of elegance, purity and quality without relying on traditional tea and Japanese iconography and design elements. Our design came from simple research and inspirational influence. The undulating horizontal stripes come from the rows of tea fields, as well as ripples of water in a tea pots or cups. Tea leaves, tea flavors, as well as pictures from tea growing regions or Asian decorative arts influence the label colors. The logo and its color are reminiscent of the Asian “chop” stamp that is used by individuals to mark documents or artwork. The font’s vertical format is a subtle play on ancient scrolls, but the font itself is elegant and classic in nature.

Juror Notes

Beautiful design, Asian but not too Asian. The brand system really makes sense. The typography and color are very well executed.

Collections: AIGA 365: 25 (2004)
Discipline: Package design
Format: Package


Design firm
McDevitt Youmans
Creative director
Michael McDevitt
Art director
Rob Kimmel
Michael McDevitt
Michael McDevitt
Production director
Luis Faust
Rona Tison
Curcio Printing
Printing method
Offset Lithography
Sappi Lustro Dull Cream 100 lb. text
Quadraat Regular Sans
ITO EN (North America Inc.)