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Teachers' notes, discussion and activity ideas

Vintage designs for modern products

M&S has sold biscuits from the very early days of the business, so there are lots of empty biscuit tins in the M&S Company Archive collection. Some tins follow traditional designs, whereas others are more unusual.

The design of the 2012 biscuit tin evokes 1950s family life; past TV programmes, games like Dominoes and the very British custom of 'tea time'. It also uses the words 'compendium of biscuits' which relates to the games theme.

For the 2012 Queen's Diamond Jubilee M&S produced several new biscuit tin designs to celebrate a great British occasion. 

The 2011 tin is decorated with images of classic books. Titles such as Boys' Own Stories, A Christmas Carol, Christmas Classic and writers such as Lewis Carrol and John Keats are all familiar favourites.

The 2010 tin in the shape of a book uses a collage of images from the M&S Company Archive suggesting travel, landscapes, fairy stories and having fun.

The 2006 tin uses a font and style very similar to the original M&S Penny Bazaars.


Collage - collection, sometimes an art style

Compendium - an example of different types of one thing (in this case biscuits)
Custom - a particular traditional practice
Corgi - breed of dog that the Queen owns

Evokes - reminds you of something

Product - goods made for sale
Penny Bazaar - name given to the first M&S shops in 1884

Tradition - a way of doing things that is passed from person to person or generation to generation

Vintage - of a particular time or period in the past

See teachers' notes page for discussion and activity ideas.