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.
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