(Est. 1972) “The Stash Tea Company was founded in Portland in 1972 and operated out of an old Victorian-style house, supplying loose herbal teas and bulk herbs to natural food stores. In 1975, the company broadened its focus to include bagged teas and began to sell a full line of traditional, specialty blend, and herbal teas directly to fine restaurants and through a mail order catalog to consumers. Today, we are headquartered in Tigard, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. Stash Tea is now one of the largest specialty tea companies in the United States, with products available through foodservice, grocery stores, tea and coffee shops, club stores, mass merchandisers, natural foods stores, mail order, and online. We are also available in Canada, and several other countries. Stash Tea derives its name from an entertaining aspect of tea folklore. In earlier centuries, tea was a valuable commodity traditionally transported by clipper ship. The ship’s captain was often presented with the finest teas for his personal use. This supply was his ‘stash,’ kept as his ‘private reserve.’ Today, the term is still used to denote anything put away carefully because of its preciousness.”
Jolby & Friends (Portland, OR)
Not every rebrand needs to start from scratch. We had 30+ years of history to use as a starting point. Through extensive market research we learned what people liked and disliked about the current box and logo as well as the things that helped them identify the pack on the shelf: that the box had a black bar up top, bold colors, and a “star” in the logo. Starting there, we modernized the word mark with a custom serif and a whimsical crossbar in the “A”. We separated the wordmark and the mark itself for better legibility and softened the black bar. The mark, called “the Compass”, hints at their nautical past while being adorned with tea leaves.
The new approach for brand photography was defined to use fresh ingredients playfully stacked on top of each other called “The Stack”. The Stack was designed as a unique way to represent flavor and Stash’s light-hearted personality in one photo asset. The Stack defies gravity and proportions in a playful way and uses props to help show the flavor of the tea inside. We were also able to capture some of The Stack in-camera without the use of additional compositing.
Images (opinion after)
The old logo was kind of harsh and not very inviting with a heavily angular and spiky compass. The new logo softens the compass and extracts it from the wordmark making it look less like the title treatment of a book on cartography. I like how the compass is now made of tea leaves. The wordmark is fine but it suffers a little from the “A” at its center that creates some odd spacing. The old packaging looked cheap and like something not entirely good might happen to you if you drank it. The new packaging is much more shelf-friendly with bright colors, big ingredients, and more welcoming typography. Although there are a bit too many different things going on at the same time — the large curve in the black holding shape of the logo, the playful ingredient compositions, and the tea-tag-like production information container — it all does come together convincingly and the elements adapt nicely to the different configurations. Overall, this is a tea I would consider buying whereas the old one, I would completely skim over.
Thanks to Derrick Burton for the tip.