Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

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.

M&S Family Biscuits tin
M&S Family Biscuits

The design of the 2012 biscuit tin above 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. 

M&S Biscuit Tin Design for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012
M&S Biscuit Tin Design

M&S biscuit tin designed for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee 2012
M&S Biscuit Tin for Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee

The 2011 tin below 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.

M&S Archive Inspired Christmas Biscuit Tin
M&S Archive Inspired Christmas Biscuit Tin

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.

M&S biscuit tin 2010 in the style of an open book
M&S Biscuit Tin Open Book Design

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

M&S Archive-inspired Christmas biscuit tin 2006
M&S Archive-inspired Christmas Biscuit Tin


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