Established in 2009, Runa is a small Brooklyn, NY-based company with an additional staff of 30 employees in Ecuador where they work with over 600 farmers who grow and harvest guayasa (pronounced gwhy-you-sa), a native Amazonian tree leaf that contains more caffeine than typical teas but less than coffee and also features some other natural stimulants that boost energy. Runa, the first beverage company in North America to sell guayusa, then produces tea products sold at Whole Foods and other specialty stores. It began with loose leaf and boxed tea bag options but is now launching its first line of bottled guayusa that enters a crowded marketplace of tea and energy drinks. In March, Runa introduced a new logo and unveiled the packaging designed by New York-based Mucca Design.
Mucca Design began by pinpointing the strengths that set Runa apart — its organic ingredients, coffee-caliber caffeine level, and smooth taste — and built a brand that would communicate them more effectively. Inspired by every bottle’s reserve of “focused energy”, the Mucca team created a visual vocabulary that conveys a sense of energy in a clean, modern, and organic way. Because we saw an opportunity to compete in both the tea and energy drink markets, the rebranding emphasizes the beverage’s functional benefits over its Amazonian roots, which could be conveyed more subtly.
— Mucca Design Project Description
The old logo was rather sad, it just pulled all the wrong moves in all the wrong places, from the strange serif choice to the tea leaf serving as some kind of botanical ligature to the tribal icon to the grunge typewriter font underneath. The new logo — in typical Mucca Design fashion — is a fantastic, custom typographic effort that manages to feel organic, tribal, and unique. The inlines, perhaps intentionally, look like the midrib and veins of a leaf, which becomes more apparent in the packaging, with the charming, bursting illustrations. I would have liked to see the illustrations do something different above and below the logo, as opposed to being just a mirror image and I question the choice of all lowercase Omnes as the supporting typeface — too friendly — but the overall effect of the labels on the bottles is quite gorgeous.