Dunhill is a British luxurious cigarette owned and manufactured by Dunhill and British American Tobacco. The brand name commemorates the English tobacconist and inventor Alfred Dunhill. In the United Kingdom, the brand is registered and manufactured in Westminster, City of Westminster, London.


Dunhill was founded in London on 10 March 1907. When tobacconist and inventor Alfred opened a small tobacconist’s shop on Duke Street in the St James’s area. He offered tobacco blends tailored for the individual customer. The brand was introduced in 1908 and was, less than glamorously, called the Absorbal. It was designed to counter any perceived health risk and had a world-first – cotton wool filter tip. Its slogan was “Hygienic Cigarette”. The cigarette brand had a royal warrant from 1927 until 1995.

When discussing the history of design in the tobacco industry, one must remark on the special place of this brand. Ever since the beginning of this brand, Dunhill was different. In fact, most of the design solutions they advertised were not only using a completely different pack, but they were at the same time innovative and ground-breaking.

In 1939 the brand was introduced in the United States by Philip Morris USA who leased the marketing rights for the U.S. and in 1962, “Dunhill International” was introduced.


From the Far-Eastern Dunhill Nanocut to the white version of the Lights, to the English classic De Luxe, variations have never been more intuitive. Even so, one can determine a list with the visual constants used to remind you that you’re dealing with a pack of Dunhill Cigarettes:

These cigarettes are usually priced above the average for cigarettes in the region where they are sold, due to the use of higher-quality tobacco.

  • They use the same font for the name. There are a few exceptions to this rule.
  • The color palette or color scheme is quite stable: crimson red, dark black, pearl white, and light blue. The only type of this cigarette that doesn’t fit in this strategy is Menthol, which must be green, to follow the general pattern. But even here the other constants apply.
  • Dunhill advertises squared-shaped packs as a distinct sign of their identity. These packs are almost identical in terms of secondary design to the others.
  • There’s no general tagline associated with Dunhill cigarettes (even if there are cases and local varieties which may display a tagline). This suggests that the identity of this brand is in design, not in a specific message.
  • Wherever you buy Dunhill, the cigarettes look exactly the same. This global consistency ensures the stability of the brand all across the world.

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