A study of the winning London on Tap carafe

Drinking tap water has never been so stylish – that’s the message Thames Water’s London on Tap campaign aims to send. Anna Richardson hails the winning carafe, which will entice London’s foodies to ditch the bottled water come spring

Gusto Design’s Neil Barron has won Thames Water’s London on Tap competition, wowing the judges with the simplicity and elegance of his Tap Top water carafe. Barron beat eight other shortlisted designers in the competition that aims to promote the drinking of tap water in London’s restaurants.

His tall, tapered design is derived from a stylised water tap, which produces four drip-free pouring spouts and ‘subtly reinforces the tap water message’, says Barron. The judges liked the way the four spouts allow anyone around the table to pour water with ease.

Tap Top features an embossed logo and is cost-effective to produce, with different colour options. Its narrow base fits easily into domestic fridge doors.

‘We knew that it would pour well and that it would feel good in the hand, because there’s a natural neck,’ adds Barron. ‘I try to balance the way products look and the way they work, but ultimately working towards simplicity and elegance.’

One of the deciding factors behind the choice of Tap Top was that it was deemed appropriate for the restaurant market, where the campaign is likely to have most immediate impact.

The judges recognised the high standard of some of the other designs, particularly Jonny Freeman’s Element flask, but felt it was more suited to use in the home.

Others in the running included: Factory Design’s Adam White, who incorporated a brass tape shape into his design; Dan Bramham of Greenwich Design, whose two-part Droplet design aimed to invite philosophical reflection on London’s traditional divides; and freelance product designer Ines Sanchez Calatrava, whose Drop incorporates the concept of a drop perpetually falling in water.

Barron wins £5000, and Thames Water intends to produce an initial run of 10 000 carafes based on his design, available from this spring.

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