Steaz is a clear leader in organic, fair-trade iced tea. Their mission? To deliver great tasting, healthy drinks that are good for mind, body, and soul. (And that deliver healthy profits for their Fair Trade farmers, too.)
The company started out as a grassroots producer of iced tea, organic sodas, and other drinks. After 10 years in business, Steaz is now exclusively focused on organic green-tea based beverages. To signal this new clarity, they embarked on a redesign of their entire product line with us.
When it reached us, the Steaz line definitely needed a boost. The products lacked visual consistency, and a somewhat clinical feel depicted the fruit badges, and other brand elements with a lackluster impact. Steaz lacked the vivid thirst-quenching feel it needed to succeed in the wider arena it was now going for.
How to approach this? We needed to communicate Steaz’ clean, vivid new maturity to investors, retailers, and consumers. But the core power of Steaz grew out of its grassroots, organic feel. We couldn’t lose that.
Organic brands are typically very earthy, very handmade. They often seem to have come from the minds of a close-knit, idealistic team. Steaz was no exception, with an early brand made up mostly of lotus leaves and farmers’ fields.
For this project, we wanted to truly reapproach organic. It’s a giant category now, and growing. Organic products need to find a point of difference within that bandwidth. We opened our minds, and asked ourselves what natural and healthy looks like in packaging form.
We hinged the new can creative on a vivid, hyper-saturated illustration style. To achieve this, we worked with a renowned illustrator, managing the process closely. The berries, pit fruits, and lush leaves were drawn to feel vivid and real, but also to be electrifying, almost luminous. Almost super natural. When we looked at the screens, and felt thirsty, we knew we were pretty much there.
Once the illustrations were crystallized, the next step was to integrate them smoothly into the can design. This is harder than it looks. Packaging must work very hard: it must call out from the shelf, and yet give orderly information while you hold it in your hand. It needs to have big appeal, and careful layout of typography, and precise graphic elements. And it must do all this in a way that feels right with the tone of the brand.
Once we’d completed the design, it was on us to help oversee the production process. 40-year-old printing machines in Chicago rendered all our careful work onto the metal, and we stood by on the factory floor to make sure all that vivid detail translated to the can.
The intense colors and natural elements like green leaves and fruit give new life to the Steaz line. The effect feels soft and alive, but intensely vibrant. It’s nature itself – only better. According to the client, sales have jumped since the new packaging line came out. Naturally.