WIP logo design for a startup loose leaf tea company based in Hawaii.
They are strong supporters of the artisan craftsmanship that goes into tea farming, and advocate the rights of farmers who are being taken advantage of by the big tea corporations. Tealet wishes to be a symbol against big corporation methods of business, and its main competitors will be Teavana and Tazo/Starbucks.
Tealet is all about personal connection, and the social aspect of tea culture. They believe that their primary target audience — tea connoisseurs who value organic fair trade practices — will be driven by the tea farmers' stories, and the company wishes to position itself as a platform on which the consumer can really connect personally with the farmer. They want their audience to feel a connection with the brand and the farmers it represents.
As a Hawaiian-based company, Tealet's value system and business practices are rooted heavily in Aloha Spirit, which can be defined as a mutual regard and affection for mankind, extending warmth and caring with no obligation in return. It is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. It is family; brotherhood; the joyful sharing of life.
Holding Aloha Spirit in such high regard, Tealet asked that I somehow weave this into the design. They also asked that the identity inspire a special presence within their target audience, and that it convey the artisan craftsmanship of the farmers they represent.
This design employs the combination of a custom brush-style typeface with an icon, and is drawn to have a rough-edged, handcrafted feel. The notion of using hands in this design came to me very early on, as it ties in directly to the artisan aspect. I was also inspired heavily by one of Tealet's videos showing Japanese tea farmers engaged in the quickly dying art of hand-rolling tea. This video resonated with me, and the icon in this design is a slightly abstract translation of that visual. Plus, hands are very communicative, especially when they cradle, which suggests comfort, protection, love, giving. This ties in to Aloha Spirit, and creates a warm voice for this logo, almost as if it's saying, "handcrafted with love." Also, while not integral to the meaning of the concept, the tea leaf doubles as a very subtle lowercase T.
See attachment for inspiration & process shots.
Seeking honest critique. Will post electronic versions tomorrow.
10 months ago
Of the three, this concept absolutely stands out as the most aligned to paragraph 3 of the above description. Read it, then look at it... It's so spot on. Tick! Tick! and Tick! Strongest concept for sure. Can't wait to see it vectored.
Love the process and rationale. I also agree with the heart of the company and wish it every success!
My only criticism is the type, it makes perfect sense that it has been crafted as it is, but I'm not sure if meshes perfectly with the beautiful logo/icon you have.
I really like the mark, Jon. I thinks it speaks what they're trying to communicate to their market/audience. I'd have to agree with @Will Saunders about the type. The "spiky" quality of it kinda takes away the warm feeling you get from the mark. The type says "dangerous". I actually think one of the logotype you did on one of your sketches (on the attachment), the one with similar curls as the tea root suits this logo better. Either use that type or something that's bold, clean with a soft curve will suit too.
@Matt Vergotis Cheers, mate! FWIW, the client has seen my thumbnails, refined sketches, and most recently, the vectorized versions, and has said that this concept has resonated with them since the beginning.
@Will Saunders Thanks for the critique! I will definitely take this under advisement. FWIW (as mentioned above) the client has already seen this stuff, and has some initial reservations about the type — though for different reasons. So I'm *REALLY* interested to see what you lot have to say about it. Thanks, man!
@Inka Mathew Always great hearing from you, Inka! You always provide such thoughtful feedback, and I appreciate your thoughts on the type as well. Regarding your suggestion, I actually *did* consider pairing this icon with the letterforms you mentioned, but I thought they were too similar, too bold, too stylized (lots of baseline shifting and 'cradling' of letters into one another), and too competitive to be paired with this icon. To me, the icon here is the star of the show, and the type should *support* it, complement it, not compete with or upstage it. When I sketched out that type you mentioned, the intention was for it to be a wordmark only, due to its highly stylized forms.
HOWEVER, you and @Will Saunders are making some good points, and, combined with the feedback I've already gotten from the client, I will definitely be giving this a lot of thought.
FYI, all of these 3 comps have been vectorized and submitted to the client, so the next shots you'll see will not incorporate any of your suggestions (yet), but nothing's finalized yet, so stay tuned!
@Inka Mathew Gave your suggestion some further thought, and perhaps there's a way to downplay the heavy, bold stylization of that type you referenced, while still taking aesthetic cues (like the curls and angles) from the icon. I'll think about this some more.
I was going to suggest that :-) Go for it!
by Jon Stapp | atomicvibe
Colors used are just to show examples of what color *might* look like. Once the client makes a final decision, I'll do a more in depth color study.
Please see original sketch shot for detailed information about the company, their motives & wishes, and my rationale. Check the attachment for my inspiration, sketches, and additional shots of the vectorized logo.
FWIW, the client (a Prospect here on Dribbble) has already seen these, and has mostly made up their minds about which option they wish to finalize, but they were very interested in seeing what you fine lot have to say before pulling the trigger.
So...please hit me with your thoughts, ideas, critiques.
10 months ago
@Jon Stapp | atomicvibe I love that your vector designs start with pencil roughs. These days it seems less and less common that people are thinking with a pencil, and it shows in the work. Cheers!
6 months ago
@Brad Albright Thanks for the love, brutha! Gotta start with pencil!! There's no other way. Even tablets (IMO) are too inorganic, too cold, and too closely linked to technology to start the process. I want my ideas to flow forth freely and easily — unencumbered by the technological crutch of the computer — and I feel like the only way to allow that initial creative channel to fully open is with pencil and/or pen on paper.
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