Chá Tea Company is an upmarket retailer, looking to re-fresh their branding and packaging. The origin of the word Chá refers back to the late sixteenth century Chinese word “char”, which simply means “tea”.
The origin of tea can be dated back almost 5,000 years ago. According to legend, in 2732 B.C. Chinese Emperor Shen Nung discovered tea when leaves from a wild tree blew into his pot of boiling water. He found the aroma pleasant and experienced a warming sensation when he drank it, as if it was reaching every part of his body. He named the liquid “ch’a” meaning to investigate (referring back to the tea hitting every part of him). In 200 B.C. a Han Dynasty Emperor ruled that when referring to tea, a special written character must be used, illustrating wooden branches, grass, and a man between the two. This written character, also pronounced “ch’a” symbolized the way tea brought humankind into balance with nature for the Chinese culture.
Design a logo to be shown on a stationery collection. Create takeaway tea packaging that can stand out against competitors, which enhances the updated branding.
From researching the origin of tea, I knew that it was only right that the branding of this company should symbolise nature, greenery and Chinese history. It should look organic but modern and fresh. I researched into Chinese tea ceremonies and came across the beautiful architecture of the pagoda, which is a recognisable temple – due to the shape of its’ roof – that often holds tea ceremonies. I also looked into hand drawn Chinese characters and took that into consideration for the aesthetic of the branding, to create depth with history. From this work, a circular logo was designed that uses the three letters of Cha, the architectural design of the pagoda and the style of Chinese brush lettering. The weight of the strokes changes to give the logo dimension, and one leg of the design hangs outside of the circle (where the remainder of the logo is contained) to further this.
For packaging, again I was inspired by the architecture of Chinese tea ceremony temples. Therefore, the takeaway tea cups are octagonal, to reflect on the body of the buildings. This also allows a more comfortable hold and is a more dynamic approach to an aspect that is usually rather dull. It gives Chá more of an impact against competitors because of this individuality created.
The colours of the packaging and branding are shades of green and a hint of grey. In Chinese culture, the colour green reflects hope, harmony and growth, purity and nature. Automatically, you associate this colour with the outdoors and nature, so it was the best choice for upmarket tea. Grey is used as the secondary colour in the typography of the logo (and in the cup holder) to balance well with the green.
The patterns created are manipulations of the logo that expand the branding. They are visually appealing and give the overall look a little more exciting, while the logo has a more relaxed feel.
Information on the history of tea taken from http://www.coffeeteawarehouse.com/tea-history.html