19 July 2021   |   by CreativeByDefinition   |   Packaging Design Agency

Case Study: Mushroom King, Tea Branding

This case study is dedicated to the Mushroom King, Chaga, to its amazing properties, and to the long-lasting history in improving people's health that started in ancient times.
Tea Branding

The tea branding we've envisioned for this Canadian brand takes its inspiration from a rather unusual plant, the Chaga mushroom, and its path through history. Getting to known the entire story of this main ingredient for tea, helped us understand better its benefits and more important it's meaning to different civilizations.

Tea Brand Challenge

The challenge for this tea branding was to present the true value & potential of Chaga tea from an innovative perspective in a high-end market and create a tea packaging design that conveys this path. The high-end market has a different path than other markets and contains products like cosmetics and fragrances, tobacco, confectionery, premium alcoholic drinks, gourmet food and drinks, tea, watches, and jewelry. Being in such a specific market next to luxury watches and jewelry, the Chaga tea design had to follow some specific criteria while developing its unique character. Offering more than a beverage and getting closer to a breathtaking experience combined with health benefits, the tea product design is making tea drinking almost a luxury.

Tea Branding

The Mushroom of Immortality

We wanted to incorporate in the design the birthplace of the Chaga mushroom using a more abstract and elegant style. Inonotus Obliquus know as Chaga Mushroom, the mushroom of immortality, represents the main ingredient of this tea product. Chaga is a sterile conk that grows especially on birch trees in the temperate forest throughout the Northern hemisphere. Also know under names like "Gift from God" or "Kings of Herbs", the properties of this unique mushroom made it highly valuable for civilizations before Christ in traditional Asian medicine. Going deep inside the Boreal forests of Northwestern Canada, the wild Chaga mushroom is harvested. In order to provide the best quality for the tea, only wild Chaga mushrooms from unpolluted environments, up in the mountains of northern Canada, far away from any radiation, are harvested. Chaga Mushroom was used in many cultures around the globe for centuries. It was utilized to prevent and cure many types of diseases. It was widely harvested in Russia by the indigenous groups from Siberia, the Khanty people, in Poland and Baltic countries, and Canada, by the aboriginal culture First Nations people called the Cree healers, the Chipewyan, and the Ojibway Nations. The mushroom can live up to twenty years. Once dead the Chaga mushroom will then have the opportunity to produce fruiting bodies for up to six years through a mysterious process.

Tea Branding

Brand Identity & Market Research

Develop a singular character for the brand establishes its longevity while distancing itself from the competitors. The brand identity design will help the consumers see and experiment with the brand while getting a better understanding of the company's dedication to offer healthy options for daily use. We took a holistic view of the brand identity, starting from the logo design concept to the tea box packaging. The visible elements of the brand, like colors, typography, shapes & other graphical elements will help the tea brand to remain in the consumer's mind for a longer period. The custom-designed tea box comes to emphasize the tea branding direction while revealing the unique story of Canada's forests. The relevant position of the brand, creating high-quality products inspired by the healing power of nature, can be found in all the aspects of Owynna's identity from small details to large, more complex features. One of the oldest beverages, Tea is consumed all over the world. Tea has been popular in emerging markets to the point of creating a distinct tea culture. Together with the growth in health awareness and the increase in people's income, the tea market has grown significantly. More and more tea players appear on the market trying to raise awareness about the benefits of tea and their flavor variety options. Introducing healthy ingredients in tea or creating tea recipes based on a complex ingredient starts to attract even more types of followers.

Brand Strategy

The tea brand audience and also marketing depends on what the brand has to offer. The Chaga mushrooms used to create the product can be found in very limited supply because they cannot be planted by humans. As a result, the tea branding revolves around the idea of uniqueness. The Chaga tea has a lot of human healing and protective qualities, therefore the strategy was to develop a more thoughtful, male-orientated path, males representing the majority of the consumers. The high-end feel of the tea design is investigating nature’s power in healing the human body, protecting it from harmful factors and it is unveiling nature’s inspired shapes, colors & symbols.

Tea Branding

Tea Logo Design

The logo design had to promote a business that produces & sells health products made from high-quality organic ingredients that are found in the natural, unpolluted areas of Canada. The product targets individuals that can’t make radical changes in their daily lives and would benefit from health quality products that they could consume daily. The logo is created on simple linear composition. The pictogram of the logo is a contemporary adaptation of a leaf. It is created in modern style, using semi-dark shadow lines to give the illusion of depth. The entire creative direction evolves around the scientific & natural perfectly balanced blend of the brand core.

Tea Branding

Packaging design illustrations & colors

A minimalistic custom-designed vector illustration was drawn to visually capture the essence of the King of Medicinal Mushrooms. The curved lines are also focusing on the idea of time, the extended period that takes for the Chaga mushroom to gain healing properties for the human body. The tea branding is using colder color tones like inspiration, concentrating more on an elegant, masculine target audience. The black color is emphasizing the angles and cuts of the 3D composition, while from a graphical point of view is balancing the composition.

Tea Branding

Tea Package Design

Why is the tea package important? It has both functional and aesthetic properties. The tea packaging has to protect the product inside until opening and after that, while delivering the brand message to the consumers and connecting with them on an emotional level. In today’s challenges, the tea package has to engage the customer in both environments, retail stores, and online platforms. The proposed design addresses this issue by using package shapes, materials, and colors combinations that invite both eye and hand. Never forget that a crucial part of logistics and marketing is tea packaging. Teabox packaging can play a major role in influencing consumer decisions. Packaging directly can significantly contribute to the brand’s sales. The brand voice explores a minimalistic style. A section line describes the Chaga mushroom that grows on the birch tree. The tea branding takes its inspiration also from the ancient signs and drawings of the aboriginal cultures that used to live in Canada's forests. The curved, organic lines are suggesting the long period that takes for a Chaga mushroom to grow enough to help the human body heal. The tea box package design is composed of the exterior and the interior container. Both custom design tea boxes are using a visual language that reflects the distinctive character of the product inside. For the exterior box, a rectangle shape was explored and reinterpreted to create the packaging for the tea. A 3D design element of depth is sculpted in the cardboard box, both on the front and left side offering the illusion of a birch tree trunk. For the interior package, a pyramid shape was used as inspiration, resembling the Canadian indigenous population's tent structures. The geometrical, powerful angles of the pyramid relate to a more male-orientated audience.

Tea Branding

Tea Pyramids

The pyramid tea bags create a more spacious environment for the Chaga mushroom. In this case, the bag protects the high-quality tea. The structured permits the content to move with more freedom because is not being placed in a tight bag. When the hot water is added to the mix, the content begins its circular motion, and then it cools down. This method offers a quality flavor and enhances the drinking tea experience. The packaging graphics and the custom shape design box are exploring the tea pyramids' characteristics both from the physical and symbolistic directions.

Tea Branding

Innovative packaging ideas

An interesting feature of the packaging design solution was the creation of the sitting chart for inside the primary box using tea pyramid shape containers. Many variations were studied and an innovative solution was chosen. The containers would face opposite sides from each other, one row parallel with the bottom of the box and one row parallel with the top. This way, when the customer opens the box only a graphically designed base of the pyramids will be seen. To surprise and engage the audience, just after one tea pyramid is extracted from the box, the sitting arrangement and pyramid shape containers can be discovered. The design concept stands out for its functional style but also for its crisp, minimal, and masculine aesthetic.

Tea Branding
There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.
Lin Yutang, novelist & inventor
packaging design agency
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