Australia’s iconic tea company has gone international with a new retail space in London and an evolved brand concept, writes Ola Bednarczuk.
June 20th, 2014
Following its sale to Unilever late last year, Australian tea brand T2 looks set to take on the world – first stop east London, with a new flagship international store in the city’s trendy Shoreditch area.
The London store was designed by Sydney-based interiors firm and consultancy Landini Associates, led by founder Mark Landini. Having previously designed the brand’s studio headquarters and T2B concept brew bar, for their first T2 retail space the design team was interested in “evolving the brand, toughening it up and taking out the polish,” Landini explains.
T2’s trademark orange identity is offset by a simple colour palette and a raw aesthetic; black walls, oxidised steel surfaces and display counters made from interwoven welded steel add to the industrial feel of the space. The interior is dark and moody, placing the visitor’s focus on experiencing the fragrance and flavour of the store’s products.
“We wanted to create an intelligible space full of dark corners of intrigue, places to stop and smell and taste and chat and marvel at the world of senses that T2 has collected from around the globe,” Landini says.
Key to the design’s success was understanding the personality of the T2 brand, whilst creating a design that would allow it to evolve and grow.
“We have added a bit of rigour into the way the tea is displayed,” Landini explains. “We’ve also added some graphic communications, cataloguing the different types of teas together and explaining how to brew. I think this unfolding of the ‘mysteries and magic’ of tea will be an important part in the store’s evolution. Like so many brands, they already do this very well online, but the retail channel is lagging behind this a bit.
“T2 customers tend to be younger in spirit than a traditional tea drinker, predominantly female, confident and prepared to try new things,” Landini says. “Our work was evolutionary for a brand that trusts its instincts and often goes the opposite way to the pack.”
Landini Associates will continue T2’s global expansion with an upcoming store design for New York City.
Photography: Andrew Meredith
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