May 13, 2022

Beyond red, white and blue

Design Bridge creates intricate imagery for Fortnum & Mason's product range celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, setting out to celebrate the "woman behind the crown".
Elisabeth Skoda

In 2022, Queen Elizabeth II will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee following 70 years of service. Design Bridge was approached to create the packaging for a product range for Fortnum & Mason.

“We are immensely proud to have launched a beautiful range of products to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. In a long tradition of creating celebratory ranges for royal occasions and Jubilees, we commissioned a design that not only had to reflect the occasion – the pageant and ceremony – but also be rich in storytelling with a touch of the unexpected. The result is a beautiful design executed in eau de nil and creams – that rewards visiting again and again.”  said Yvonne Isherwood, Design Manager, Fortnum & Mason.

Fortnum & Mason boasts a long-standing history with the British monarchy, from founder William Fortnum holding post as a Footman in Queen Anne’s royal household, to creating the iconic ‘Royal Blend’ tea at the request of King Edward VII in 1902. Fortnum & Mason has launched a celebratory product range to reflect the monumental jubilee. The design is utilised across a range of Fortnum & Mason products, including collectible Afternoon Tea ceramics and grocery items, such as marmalade and preserves through to celebratory Champagne and Sparkling Wine.

Claire Robertshaw, ECD London, Design Bridge said: “Almost a decade ago, as we marked The Queen's Diamond jubilee, brands were celebrating by dressing their packs up in the expected and formulaic manner - silhouettes, red, white, and blue. Carriages and crowns. For the UK’s first-ever platinum Jubilee, we wanted to help Fortnum & Mason share something special and celebrate the woman behind the crown.” Robertshaw added: “Who is the person behind the silhouette? We wanted to focus on the woman behind the crown; bringing to light little known facts and points of intrigue that can create opportunities for storytelling. A cabinet of curiosities that open the palace gates and offer us a rarely seen glimpse inside.”

The range pays homage to the crown and the woman behind it, intricately detailed with illustrations that relate to little-known facts, details, and histories of Queen Elizabeth II. The range tells a story in every aspect of the design. Central to the design is the emblem of the crown, which holds within it delicately drawn features which each hold their own meaning tell the story of the person that is Queen Elizabeth II.

The design includes: a cabbage, placed front and centre within the crown, representative of the affectionate nickname used by the late Prince Philip for The Queen, whom he married in 1947; mementoes from their marriage are used throughout the design, including the Lily of the Valley flower, which appeared on The Queen’s wedding bouquet; the Nizam of Hyderabad Rose brooch, positioned underneath the cabbage, was a wedding gift from her marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh and the details in the canopy of the crown are inspired by the patterns from The Queen’s beautiful wedding dress.

In addition, the work features aspects of the Queen’s life which are well known, a corgi, sits proudly in the middle of the crown - well known to be her majesty’s favourite breed, the monarch currently owns four dogs, including two corgis and one ‘dorgi’ - a dachshund-corgi mix. Adorning the sides of the crown are racing horses and pigeons, both of which are two of the Queen’s favourite hobbies. Swans elegantly decorate the middle of the design; as monarch, the Queen owns all the swans in the UK. The Queen’s legacy and contribution to the world is represented within the design; the Queen’s Canopy is a hint towards the Commonwealth, and the truck wheel celebrates the Queen’s time in the Army in 1944, where she worked as a truck driver and mechanic.

The Platinum Jubilee product line is available to purchase from Fortnum & Mason stores and online.

Elisabeth Skoda

Editor of Touchpoints magazine, writer for Packaging Europe magazine and design enthusiast!
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