WIP - Tealet logo sketch 03

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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.


During my initial research, I read several theories that the indigenous Polynesian peoples of Hawaii were descendants from ancient explorers from Taiwan. This was interesting to me, so I began studying Chinese calligraphy as the main source of inspiration for my third design. I was also inspired in part by the loosely rendered forms of ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs that are carved into volcanic rock.

This typographic approach employs custom letterforms that are actually scanned from brush pen written on thick watercolor paper to achieve a high level of texture. The handcrafted, artisan theme is in the forefront here, and the letterforms take on a slightly Eastern-influenced calligraphic style. While not overt, the themes of Aloha resonate through the interconnectedness of the letters. Also, the first T (and to some degree, the last T) are meant to subtly double as plus signs, which further communicate the notion of connectedness and inclusion: Farmer + Consumer; Tealet + Farmer; Tealet + Consumer; You + Me.

See attachment for inspiration & process shots.

Seeking honest critique. Will post electronic versions tomorrow.

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