Rishi Tea Redesign

In 1997, Joshua Kaiser founded Rishi Tea in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, after realizing that the teas he savored on travels in Asia were hard to find elsewhere. New York-based Elmwood recently worked on the redesign for Rishi, aiming to capture the journey behind the brand to link the leaf at origin to the end experience of a delicious cup of tea.

“Elmwood’s challenge was to bring Rishi back to a premium platform, define Rishi’s brand story and increase shopability to help consumers quickly understand the tea type, origin and brewing instruction. Through a category immersion process called FISH, the Elmwood creative team reverted back to Rishi’s roots and reinvigorated the brand story with ‘no leaf unturned’ as a guiding brand principle.”

Samantha Barbagiovanni, Senior Designer at Elmwood, mentions, “The passion behind the brand was evident the moment Rishi began speaking about their tea – the importance placed on each individual tea leaf and the dedication in sourcing every ingredient. To truly capture the spirit of Rishi within one illustration meant to combine the lush environment of their travels with the quirky odds and ends along the way, celebrating their journey and inviting consumers to join in on the discovery of each brew.”

Ben Greengrass, Creative Director at Elmwood, adds, “Our New York team quickly landed on the idea of an illustration to define Rishi’s passion to leave ‘No Leaf Unturned.’ Engaging with UK based illustrator Iain Macarthur we artfully brought that vision to life. There was a great deal of excitement as the process unfurled and connecting the design with an improved structure was key. The result, in our eyes, was a truly beautiful, effective design with a ‘second life’ after use.”

The exotic tins of Rishi keep the loose leaf tea fresh while also adding in just the right amount of mystery to the journey. Intricate illustrations on the tin are beautiful at first glance, and the more you stare at them the more you find. This creates a sense of adventure and discovery for the consumer, building excitement and anticipation as they open up the tins to enjoy a fresh cup of tea.

“The lidded tall tin prominently displays the Rishi brand logotype on a field of rich green accented with a botanical ‘wallpaper’ illustration as a key design element, to represent the journey and discovery that Rishi employs to uncover the most flavorful and high quality loose leaf teas that can be found.”

“Tea varieties are clearly differentiated via a color-coding strategy paired with enticing ingredient descriptions. The Rishi tin was printed using blended translucent inks that reveal the metallic aspect of the substrate. Product varieties utilize a spot pattern varnish to highlight icons found in the botanical illustration as well as the magnifying glass encompassing the tea photography.”

Jeffrey Champeau, Brand Marketing Manager at Rishi says, “We saw that there was an innate desire from customers to have a tin that they could display in their kitchen but also that they could repurpose as a container for a variety of other things. The keepsake tin as packaging also signifies quality to loose tea devotees.”


Designed by Elmwood

Country: United States

City: New York