My final senior projects allowed me the opportunity to create and define my own brand from scratch. For this project, I developed a series of pieces for a tea house I named, The Herbalist. As an avid tea drinker, my goal was to highlight some of the important aspects of the culture of tea, especially the ways of which tea is consumed in the eastern half of the world. Please enjoy!
Plants are the original healers. For millennia, humans have relied on plants to supply them with nutrients, remedies for ailments, and simple visual pleasure. The Herbalist believes that the preparation of tea can teach us how to reconnect with the equilibrium we once had with nature; nurturing ourselves both physically and mentally. Tea counters the fast pace of society today. In slowing down, we are able to connect in a more meaningful way with the time and space in which we occupy.
The logo and wordmark I developed for this project are both inspired by the idea of a natural, homeopathic apothecary, like something out of a Grimm’s fairytale. I used a rough, typeset font to communicate the aesthetic I was going for; somewhere where you’d walk in and the walls and shelves would be covered with bottles of tinctures and herbs.
The menu was designed to highlight the details of each tea, its flavor as well as its healing properties. As the customer reads the menu, they are able to learn more about how each tea has been used throughout history. I used illustrations of specific herbs brewed in the tea, as well as different color profiles, to communicate the flavor and experience that accompanies each tea.
This first variation of packaging is intended for in-store use. The front of the bag allows employees to package and edit the information on the bag as necessary. I also included useful information on the packaging itself, allowing customers to continue their enlightened experience at home: caffeine level, tea type (black, green, etc.), proper water temperature, and the length of time that the tea should steep.
The second variation of packaging focuses toward a retail or online sales experience. Durable packaging is essential to maintaining freshness in this environment, so I designed custom tins for each tea flavor. Mirroring the menu, the individual colors refer to the flavor profile and experience of the tea, while the illustrations refer to the plant used in the teas themselves.
Several other elements were designed to tie the cafe experience together. A table tent suggesting weekly tea specials to customers, a loyalty card encouraging repeat purchases, a social media presences that reflects the brand aesthetic, as well as a decorative mug for the customer to bring the cafe experience home. I also designed an Herbalist Recommendation card. A customer could request a blended brew of available herbs at the cafe. Once the personalized blend was created, this card would be filled out with a list of the herbs, their ratios, brewing times, water temperatures, as well as any other information needed for the correct at home preparation. In keeping the layout minimal, this allowed complete customization for each blend. The customer can also easily bring back the card, in order to repeat their exact previous purchase.