Turning the Table on Bryony Merick


May 29, 2024

Turning the Table on Bryony Merick


Bryony Meyrick, Partner and Creative Director, Together Design London, London, UK and 2024 Applied Arts Design Awards judge, when asked to share one of her most prized design campaign with us she presented Haws Watering Cans, Redefining a Gardening Icon. A project Together Design London worked on for over a year resulting in much brand appeal and careful attention to the effects of the branding on the environment. 

As the world’s oldest and best loved watering can manufacturer, Haws and their innovative patents boasts an esteemed history stretching back to 1886. With increased competition and the explosion of the houseplant market, Haws needed to refresh their brand and reframe their unique story.  

Our work focused on repositioning Haws at the top of the market and engaging a new generation of gardeners as well as seasoned horticulturalists.  We’ve considered every touchpoint for a digital and sustainable world, turning Haws into a competitive and relevant e-commerce brand.

Not only are Haws the world’s oldest watering can manufacturer, every single metal can is still expertly hand crafted taking more than 200 steps to complete. It’s traditional British engineering at its finest, and all manufacturing still happens in their workshop in Smethwick, West Midlands. It was important for us to capture this incredible attention to detail and it is here that we found inspiration for the illustrations we created. They are inspired by early patent drawings and are full scale so the illustrations outside of the pack perfectly reflect the product within the box. 

The boxes themselves have been reengineered. Whilst simple and utilitarian they are also environmentally friendly – 100% recyclable. The tessellated design echoes the shape of the can which reduces storage and also postage costs. We’ve also been able to drive desirability through the packaging as the shapes create interesting patterns for display in store and the illustrations bring the products to life. 

From research, insight and workshops to naming, messaging and a complete design overhaul, we’ve been working with the new management team for over a year to refresh the Haws brand, making more of its ‘British made’ credentials whilst creating a brand and tone of voice relevant for the gardening enthusiast of today.

We identified a ‘sweet spot’ for the brand’s repositioning – a place where traditional craftsmanship meets the style conscious Instagram generation. We skilfully redrew the logo and seal to reflect their early heritage and have reframed their story by breathing new energy into the brand.

Our brand refresh transformed every aspect of Haws’ brand. We instigated new range segmentation and product naming inspired by types of watering such as The Smethwick Spritzer and The Rowley Ripple. 

In addition to expanding the assets of the brand’s visual identity and comprehensive guidance for these, we developed new packaging, art directed and built an image library with brilliant photographer Catherine Falls, and designed marketing and sales materials including their stand at the Glee trade fair in Birmingham.

Whilst steeped in heritage and used for nearly 175 years, the watering can speaks to the concerns of our current age and is essential for the future. Quirky elements, such as the seeded cards found in every box, remind customers of Haws personality and complete dedication to all things green.

‘Using a watering can means much less water is wasted than with a garden hose and because our watering cans are designed to last a long time, (or a lifetime), we help avoid the need for landfill. Using a watering can also does good things for your health and wellbeing – fresh air, physical activity and food for your soul’. Andy Pennock,  Director Haws Watering Cans.

Haws watering can packaging

Successes following the rebrand:

It was a goal discussed early on in the process, and a dream for Rich and Andy, that Haws be invited to take part in an RHS show. They knew that the brand refresh had the potential to help them achieve this and Haws are over the moon to have been given a stand at the Chelsea Flower Show this season.

The brand launch at the Glee show was a huge success resulting in a sales uplift across the range as well as increased interest, and now confirmed market extension, into homeware retailers and garden centres. These additional channels will be significant for Haws in building their brand and achieving their growth targets.

The new packaging format we’ve created has focused on gaining efficiencies and reducing environmental impact. Our tessellated design reduces unused space and air for shipping and storage. Overall, it is estimated that new packaging enables Haws to store at least 20% more products in their warehouse than with the previous packaging. This positive impact can also be seen in efficiencies gained in shipping.

The overall design of the packaging has created iconic shapes that are highly visible in-store and the boxes are on display were they previously were not. This was another stated goal of the project. Haws were expecting to have to market the new concept to their retail partners but retailers have responded so well to the new concepts that they have picked it up and run with it themselves. Feedback to date has been incredibly positive and the new packaging is believed to have helped showcase their products to new markets.

“The level of care, engagement and attention to detail that Together show is above and beyond. Following a full rebrand Haws is stronger than ever and something we are truly proud of. Because of the trust and great relationship we have with Together, they continue to work with us side-by-side as our brand guardians.” Richard Pennock, Managing Director, Haws

Haws Watering Cans

Beautiful clean eye catching design, congratulations!