The commercial tea experience has four packaging components: the exterior of the box, the interior of the box, the packet, and the tea bag. Taking out a tea bag by Pukka is not unlike taking apart a Russian nesting doll—every step along the way there is a smaller, slightly more simplified version of the original, though every piece feels coherent with the visual identity.
Intertwining bold graphic motifs representing each of the blend’s primary ingredients, the boxes carry intricate patterns not unlike those of fabrics used in cultural ceremonies (such as those for saris, busuutis, and qipaos). This hearkens to the ancient beliefs in herbal medicinal properties, and conveys a sense of down-to-earth, homemade traditions. The organic meshing of these graphic elements mirrors the blending of these herbs, and the effect feels like a joyous celebration of nature.
When you open the box, you are greeted with another profusion of nature motifs. The vibrant color and round typeface is eye-catching and bold, a happy surprise.
Unlike the box, the pouches are simply designed. They also offer a smaller area to be designed. By borrowing one small graphical element from the box front, the “cupped hands” shape that frames the text, and two colors (the dominant color and an accent), plus white (arguably a neutral), the packets still looks like they belong to the same tea box.
When you open a pouch, the space and complexity of the design simplifies one step further. The paper tag on the tea bag hosts only the most distilled information: the name of the brand and the name of the tea. But with the main theme colors and the logo design, this is sufficient to represent the brand.
The logo for Pukka carries over a touch of the jungle-like experience conveyed by the box, and the gentleness of the cupped hand shape featured on the pouches. All lowercase and with one k sprouting a small tendril, the choice of face is smooth and round with subtle flairs that add a sense of gentleness and nurturing—notice how the k hugs the a. Museo, with its curves and subtly modulated lines, is a perfect match as a typeface for the tea flavor (and other copy, as on the box and pouch).
What are other products that simplify their visual identity designs at every step along the user’s experience? Three quickly come to my mind:
- Gourmet dessert items, like individually wrapped cookies and biscuits (which might have the logo baked in, like Oreos). There is some stunning packaging design of Asian dessert gifts (beautiful enough to make me feel awkward to mention the environmental ethics of “excessive” packaging).
- Designer jewelry, especially if it comes in a box wrapped in logo-printed paper (or with a logo-printed ribbon), with a logo-embossed box, and with the logo engraved upon the jewelry piece.
- Medicines, such as Tylenol and Tums.
But surely there are other interesting examples. As you think, feel free to browse the full range of Pukka organic teas (and their beautiful boxes) here.