Words by Ioana Păunescu
Photos by Be Happy in Lisbon, Ioana Păunescu
One of the most appreciated features of Portugal is its use of ceramic tiles or azulejos. These historical patterns are also the source of inspiration for a creative team that has just launched its bio tea collection.
Be Happy in Lisbon is actually the name of the brand, though I would have very much liked to be the author of such a positive title, and it is a platform to sell, promote and produce Portuguese contemporary design. In order to illustrate this statement in their packaging for the tea collection of Be Happy in Lisbon, they decided to turn to a pattern that is quintessential to Portugal: that of the ceramic tiles designs.
The word azulejo is derived from the Arabic zellige, meaning ‘polished stone’ as the first idea was inspired from the shiny Roman mosaics. Since the 15th century, Portugal started to use several techniques, shapes, sizes and designs, and even created 3-d patterns, the famous Cuenca tiles, to cover entire walls with geometrical delight and dissipate the ‘fear of empty space’ adopted from the Moorish culture.
Getting back to present, Cláudia Correia and Teresa Rodrigues, the two graphic designers of Be Happy in Lisbon, documented for special patterns of azulejos and translated them into their own patters, some of them very tile-like and even including the gap between real tiles, some of them stylized and others – rich floral kaleidoscopes spreading all over the cylindrical tea containers.
Each design illustrates a certain tea so that hypericum, melissa, eucalyptus, lemon verbena, oregano, fennel, rosemary, mint, salva brava (a plant specific to Iberian Peninsula and South of France), oregano, basil or lemon thyme have their own graphic translation into the pattern.