Here at Powder Butterfly we occassionally get the opportunity to work on some really special projects and last year a very exciting request landed in our inbox.

We were asked to produce a retirement gift for the then Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink. This was a great opportunity to design something new and exciting and the brief was quite specific, but I was given quite a bit of creative freedom which was great.


The brief was to produce a full tea set as Mr Brink is a keen tea drinker. The tea set itself need to pull together a number of elements: the Newcastle University campus, bridges throughout Newcastle and elements of London and Singapore which were representative of the the campuses that Newcastle University has in other parts of the world.


In addition to all of the visual content that needed to be designed and adapted for this commission, a number of quotations from Mr Brink were also incorporated into the design. This added a personal detail to a very special gift for this much loved Vice Chancellor. The quotes reflect the ethos and vision that the Vice Chancellor has worked to make central to the culture of the university.


Packaging was also a major consideration when thinking about how the tea set would be presented to Mr Brink on behalf of the University. The tea set itself was set to be sent on a very long journey to South Africa as Mr Brink was returning there after his retirement from the university. So, I thought: what better way for a tea set to travel such a long journey than in a vintage style suitcase?




As you can see, the end result consists of six unique teacups and saucers and a one-of-a-kind tea pot, milk jug and sugar bowl.  I was lucky enough to meet Professor Brink at his retirement dinner and I know that he was delighted with his gift.

If you have any special members of staff that you would like to celebrate, or make feel truly appreciated, we would be happy to make the perfect bespoke gift for them.

Recommended Posts