Be Brightly Branded

Amie Baker Creative is a boutique graphic design studio focused on helping businesses and their brands through visual identities, print design and web design.

Sometimes I Forget To Notice


I made a grocery store run to re-stock some of my kitchen’s regular items. One of those items is Tazo Decaf Chai Tea. I typically have a cup of the delicious tea during late afternoon work sessions. When I went to find my afternoon treat, I found a surprise instead, a re-brand! It was in that moment that I got into an argument with my mind in the middle of the aisle. As a designer, I embrace change but in the moment I felt shocked. It had been such a staple that I forgot to notice it until it yelled at me with a new look.

I really enjoyed the design of Tazo previously. I loved how the dieline even complimented the design on the boxes that hold tea bags. The product quality seemed to match the design and I developed trust for the brand. When I got to the spot “my” tea should have been, I thought for a minute that products moved and I was going to grab chicken broth. That was before my conscious woke up followed by my design brain.

The shelf space displaying the products was a mixed mess of old verses new packaging. It allowed me to do some comparing between the two designs. I am sure shoppers thought I was nuts, but here are some snapshots I took.

tazo rebrand

tazo tea design

I would love to hear your thoughts of the re-brand. Personally, I’m still undecided if I love it but I like it.

Here are some things I like:
I like the clean and bright approach.
I like the photography used as art and detailed placement of each ingredient.
I like that the product titles are easier to read. That was always challenging on the previous design in my opinion.
I like that the images wrap around box corners.

What I would have loved to add to their re-design or at least test out:
Add a quick pop of color on the front label to help quickly distinguish the varieties in a hurry.
If you look at the second photo I’ve included you’ll notice English tea to the left of Chai tea. Where the two meet in the middle I think it could have been amazing if the photographs worked together to help create a larger overall image when all the varieties are lined up together. It would have been quite the photography puzzle to put together.

Do you love it or like it?  Share in the comments!


6 thoughts on “Sometimes I Forget To Notice

  1. It’s like they’ve gone from organic old-oriental style to modern Japanese minimalism, I like them both – and tea 😀

  2. My wife is a fan of Tazo as well, so I a good bit surprised with the redesign. I feel the minimalism definitely works better on the boxed tea as opposed to the bagged. I’ve stocked a lot of groceries, and the flat colors, evenly divided packaging, + stock image used on the bag is a common format, though I’ve noticed it most among generic brands. And despite the fact that minimalism is trending, I do miss the ornamentation of the old packaging, and I wish they could have found a way to keep a little more of it present/emphasized.

  3. I’ve just discovered your blog, which I found while browsing your (also discovered this morning) website. I greatly appreciate all of the tips you’re sharing on design, marketing, and branding. The unfortunate fact is that my marketing budget was already designated elsewhere before I found you, otherwise, I’d be trying to hire you right now! Perhaps we can work on a project together in the future… I sure hope so!

    Anyway, you asked for a reaction to the new TAZO branding. I am *not* a fan! I will say that I agree that the photography showing the ingredients is interesting, but my “gut reaction” is that I very much miss the old look. In fact, the way the packaging looked previously, is one of the reasons I’d decided to try TAZO tea in the first place, years ago ~ and (besides the fact that the product is delicious) a primary reason why I continued to buy it. I’m a sucker for cool packaging, and I personally found the old style much more aesthetically appealing… welcoming and relaxing. The new look feels too contemporary… which makes me feel rushed and unsettled.

    As I write this, I am beginning to realize just how intense my reaction to packaging (branding) has become. I just scrolled up again so I could take another look at both designs, and I still feel the new look is off-putting, whereas the old makes me want to slow down and sip some tea. Another favorite brand is Yogi tea, who also recently re-packaged some of their tea. I wasn’t impressed with their changes either… Maybe I am averse to change? Perhaps instead I believe that it isn’t always necessary to “keep up with the Joneses”.

    Consistency does not always equal stagnation. I don’t eat at McDonald’s anymore, but I definitely used to. Visiting those golden arches in my youth was a highlight of my week. The same golden arches are now features of the landscape in many countries all over the globe. They have been pretty much the same for as long as I can remember. And the food chain has definitely continued to grow.

    I haven’t taken the time to look into whether or not TAZO was growing their business with the previous packaging, but I can say that I will be challenged to purchase their tea now; I’m *that* opposed to the new design. I suppose I can just load the new tea bags in an old box or something… what a hassle! I miss the old look already!

    All that being said, just this week I find myself in the space of needing to make a change. My own business is being revamped, re-branded, and re-lauched, and while it is an exciting process which I do believe will result in positive growth, it is a scary thing to do. I will just have to trust that my clients will come to appreciate the updates to my business and brand, as some of the other folks who have posted positively about the changes to the TAZO look, rather than react as I did to the TAZO changes.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write such a helpful blog! 🙂

    • I completely enjoyed reading your reply and so happy to have you on my side with Tazo Tea’s rebrand! I still struggle with the tea because all the packets are white instead of colored. I use a tea bag holder so I have to dig through them all to find the flavor I want instead of being able to grab it. Always the little things in life, right?! Your comments about McDonald’s were great. Even though their logo has remained, their brand position has changed and morphed throughout the years. Take their happy meals as an example that now include healthy options like apples and milk. This was in reply to the market shift of parents searching for healthier options. They had to change up their game in order to remain appealing. It directly relates to a logo only is not a brand.

      Regarding your concern about your own rebrand, it is a common fear that changing what has been working will not work as well moving forward. Reality is that you started a rebrand for a reason. You know already it was time. If you keep in mind the customer you want to attract, the one you love working with and brand for them in a way will attract more like them, then you’ll come out on top. Keep on it! I’d be happy to work with you if the opportunity arises.

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