In the mid ’90s Sandstrom Partners reinvented tea packaging with their work for Tazo. The warm hues and worn typography (set in Exocet, Nicolas Cochin, and Nuptial Script) were meant to evoke “ancient tea culture”, and customers drank it right up. The brand was so successful that most of Tazo’s competition hitched their wagon to that Przewalski’s Horse and went along for the ride, adorning their tea bags with brushed lettering and Asianesque motifs.
UK based All About Tea is a wholesaler, not a retail brand like Tazo, but their product appears in restaurants and cafes just like Tazo appears at Starbucks. The difference in the two looks is stark. Tasked with creating a new identity that would stand out in a “sea of sameness”, Moving Brands went to the other end of the visual spectrum. They paired a pure black-and-white color scheme with a minimal mark and mechanical typography to maintain a warehouse feel while appealing to an upper crust audience.
The primary typeface is the monospaced Orator. The designers articulate their choice nicely:
This reflects the uniform spacing of the mark as well as referencing the utilitarian infographics associated with import and export. The typeface strengthens the ideas behind the metronomic process of the company’s offer.
Bits of Monotype Garamond soften the tone. Its loose, wandering italic lends a classical, human touch to put older and more conservative customers at ease. It says this is a sophisticated, established brand that knows their product well.
The packaging, paperline, and signage are all impeccably executed. Unfortunately the website doesn’t meet the same standard, substituting Times for Garamond and generally lacking the deliberate control of the printed material. Still, overall, it’s a powerful identity that would certainly stand out on a store shelf when it ends up there.