& SMITH has designed the branding for new direct-to-consumer lifestyle tea brand 'OFFBLAK.' Looking to redefine the tea category, OFFBLAK targets Gen Z and Millennials that are driven by beauty, status, and experience with an identity that encourages the consumer to 'Drink tea like everybody's watching.'
OFFBLAK founder, Dmitry Klochkov aims to shake up the drinks industry and set an exciting new course for tea with a brand that appeals to a more health-conscious consumer unafraid to experiment with new brands and flavors. To meet this brief, & SMITH created an identity for tea industry challenger OFFBLAK that brings a premium feel to a highly discerning Gen Z and Millennial market, which & SMITH has playfully named 'Generation T.'
Stepping away from existing category design codes, & SMITH introduced a fresh color palette and range architecture that clearly differentiates between the four core categories: Fully Charged, Chill Out, Glow and Caff Free.
Each of these four categories reflects the upfront benefits of the tea, aiding selection of the right flavor for the right need - whether that's a detoxing tea or an enlivening, refreshing flavor. This is further supported by emotive naming within each category to reinforce the core benefit messaging, from 'Brighten up' and 'Spice it up' to Squeeze me' and 'Down time,' followed by details of the specific flavor profile.
On the back, each pack incorporates further information on the caffeine level and flavors, with details of what the tea feels like, for example, 'Finishing a yoga session.'
To break the rules of tea, OFFBLAK's packaging needed to be bold and stand at the intersection of quality and must-have appeal. & SMITH delivered a playful look and feel through a collaboration with illustrator Thomas Hedger, using bright colors and fun illustrations that reference each category's mood and effect. Each sub-range owns a specific style, such as a circular graphic or figure in different poses, with each flavor profile depicted by a new illustration.
Each slimline box, specifically designed to fit through a letterbox for a convenient and smooth delivery, features the range information on the spine. Once lined up, the full collection becomes a library of tea that feels happier on Instagram and on a shelf than in the cupboard.
Reflecting OFFBLAK's dedication to delivering premium quality whole leaf tea, each serving comes in a pyramid tea bag for better diffusion of flavor. With quality and taste being a top priority, & SMITH embedded this commitment into OFFBLAK's logo by creating a distinctly triangular 'A' as a nod to the pyramid tea bag design.
"We looked at tea as we know it, how it is delivered - both visually and physically. We've given OFFBLAK the illustrative freedom that craft beer and coffee sectors have owned until now, with the flexibility to grow and develop the range with a truly ownable identity," said Dan Bernstein, Creative Partner at & SMITH. "OFFBLAK has an exciting attitude towards tea with an eye fixed on changing perceptions and standing out from the crowd. That's right where we like to be."