CreativiTEA and (design) Consent


(meaning): To agree to something

Cup of Tea

(meaning): Something one prefers, desires, enjoys, or cares about.  Often used in the negative to mean the opposite


WATCH ME! – Consent: It’s Simple as Tea

Case In Point: DIY Suzie is a tea drinker…

Suzie loves tea, Suzie loves tea so much in fact that she assumes everyone “enjoys” tea, “wants” tea and “needs” her secret tea recipe.  Sure, there are countless tea drinkers… some take it with milk, others prefer it with honey, but there are only so many approved “additives” for tea.  Suzie serves tea episode after episode on HGTeaV.  No matter what the clients’ tastes are, they are forced to drink her tea.  Tea is common not creative.  Tea is “safe”.

In design/architectural branding we, like Suzie, could assume everyone likes tea and we do (commonly) invite them to tea.  If they know they are coming for tea, then it is ok to serve tea… HOWEVER, there are times we need to serve something other than tea.  As designers, asking for a deviation from tea (a metaphor for “approved/common” corporate design branding standards) requires additional operator “consent” – CONSENT to proceed based on CONCEPT buy off!


(photo credit: pinterest)

Sooo.. let’s forget the (insert adjective) tea and talk about what we really want permission to serve: bourbon.

As design professionals, we are often tasked with designing for an operator/brand.  Brand has an established following, it has proven fundamental customer expectations.  It is recognizable if there is end-user familiarity not only of product standard, but architecturally as well.   For franchises, an established architectural “tea” recipe has already been approved by the CEO(s) as far as brand design.  Let’s look at two familiar brands architecturally (that in fact serve “tea”) to get your buy in on this thought process (see, I’m in search of a second date too!):


McDonald’s “tea” brand concept:

(photo credit: media4)

McDonald’s “shot of bourbon” concept – AKA McCafe:


(photo credit: static)

Starbucks “tea” brand concept:


(photo credit: tucker)

Starbucks “shot of bourbon” concept:


(photo credit: firstwefeast)

Design/architectural branding can and should deviate based on the market (or individual client for that matter) – hence the need for bourbon.  The request from the operator was to have a seemingly understood “pretentious” (bourbon) brand seem “approachable” (safe – like tea).  This was, in a sense (for me), like being a newly “impregnated” whiskey drinker giving up alcohol for (obvious) selfless reasons.  I needed a new recipe… Was it be possible to infuse tea (somehow) with bourbon, but burn off the “risky” alcohol content?

Too late for contraception, it was time to Refurbish Bourbon… So began my search for creativiTEA.

It’s nearly “tea” time… ‘enjoy’ a cup! (or perhaps you will join me next time because bourbon is worth your wait?)



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