Historically, nearly 20% of California was covered in native grasslands. Due to disruptions such as wildfires, agriculture, invasive species, and many more, this number has dropped to less than 1%. Without taking action, we are at risk of losing the native grasslands entirely. Through research at CalPoly San Luis Obispo and UC Davis, environmentalists and agriculturists have found that, by planting native seeds in place of invasive species, the native plants can repopulate the landscape and prevent the invasive species from returning.
One challenge was positioning the product for the right audience. Hillside Tea Company aimed to reach a younger audience (15–35 year olds) within an industry that often relies on household names and heirloom-esque packaging. The leading brands cater to a more mature, sophisticated audience. Hillside needed to convey a more youthful, trendy brand without straying too far from industry standards.
Hillside Tea Company packages herbal teas in a blend of compostable and seed-embedded paper. When composted or planted directly into the soil, the seeds will grow into Californian native flowers and grasses. In turn, this new growth will re-establish the natural landscape and help prevent against the ever-growing invasive species populations. Hillside’s packaging effectively scatters seeds through the use of our paper packaging, and by utilizing local fruits and herbs in our teas, we promote the growth of these plants.
Presentation and Process
The final packaging for Hillside Tea Company took inspiration from a variety of forward-thinking coffee brands that had positioned themselves for a younger audience, such as AU79 and Bluestone Lane. I also looked at one of the biggest names in "indie" tea, Juniper Ridge.
The end result took a more feminine angle, with florals and earth-tones, incorporating translucent, compostable cellulose paper to show off the high-quality ingredients of the product and inspire a feeling of being close to nature.
A sans-serif typeface and the rounded, simplified style of the logo and icons adds a modern touch to the otherwise quaint appearance.