Sunday, June 13, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemon Zinger

I've written before about the packaging of Celestial Seasonings tea, asking their new packaging to help me out with differentiating their decaffeinated green tea from their decaffeinated mint green tea. Nothing like a mouthful of mint when you're not expecting it!

Being an accommodating company with relatively deep pockets, they changed the packaging not too long after I wrote. I take full credit.

Recently, I finished a box of their Lemon Zinger tea that had been in my cupboard for years, and hence had the old packaging. Because it makes such great iced tea -- my new drink of choice at home -- I've bought another box, which is part of the new packaging program.

Original Lemon Zinger box
Old packaging

2010 Lemon Zinger box
New packaging

It's quite a challenge to redesign an iconic package like the Celestial Seasonings product line. I like the new logo, with its Indian decorative references, and the way they've incorporated the illustration into the box face with a flowing rather than rectilinear shape.

Square on image of the new box label

It's interesting to note that this version of the box is not what was first done by the well-known branding firm hired to redo the system. The top of the box, with the curving edge and very clear treatment of the specific product name, Lemon Zinger, is not what was first printed and sold, as shown in this photo of the packaging line from the branding firm's website:

Group shot of all the box labels before the most recent redesign

It's the same logo and artwork, but the top is a straight line, and the Lemon Zinger name is much less prominent. I wonder who did the more recent version?

Square on image of the original illustration, with lightning bolts and lemons
The new illustration is fun and, honestly, more dynamic than the old one. But I had to include one last visual genuflection to the old illustration, and its illustrator, Kinuko Y. Craft, so prominently credited. It's not too often you see an illustrator credit on a piece of packaging, and I always liked that, almost as much as the odd little quotes and sayings that covered the sides of the old box.


Susan said...

I love Celestial Seasonings packaging too. Can't beat Sleepytime to put you in the mood to...well...sleep.

Recently I was at a conference and experienced Mighty Leaf tea with their silken bags of loose leaf tea and layered flavors. I love how (in the variety pack), the brewing time is on each tea bag's string label. Such loving details made my tea moment like a mini vacation. Priced like one too but...

Michael Leddy said...

Good for you for writing to CS about their packaging. Companies need to hear from customers who care about such stuff, esp. when the customer is a fan and is writing out of good will.

I once wrote to Morris Reisman, maker of the little vegetable, corn, and mushroom brushes, about an its/it's mistake on his packaging. He corrected it and sent me brushes and a Banana Keeper.