Tealeaves - Re-branding Case Study

Rebranding Case Study – Tealeaves

Tealeaves are Melbourne's premier tea merchant with a core import, manufacture, wholesale and retail business, serving tea drinkers and the tea industry in all Australian states and several Asian countries. They also have their own unique retail outlet in the popular tourist destination of Sassafras in the Dandenong Ranges.


When we were asked to rebrand their outdated image, it was a challenge to satisfy both markets as they were quite different from one another.

The shop, which the client considered their flagship of the business, is renowned in the hills community as a quirky gift shop for all things related to tea, as well as being an outlet for a huge range of standard and speciality teas.  This shop has won an impressive nine Tourism Awards.

The wholesale business, on the other hand, concentrates almost exclusively on importing and supplying teas for hospitality outlets.

The current brand was tired and dated, with inconsistencies in application and colourways.  Our brief was to update the brand for the current and future development of the business and to ensure a consistency and corporate identity throughout.

Particular consideration needed to be made for the shop front.  The Yarra Ranges Council, in whose jurisdiction the shop is located, are insistent on all signage to be relevant and in keeping with the tourist surroundings in Sassafras, especially with the neighbour's business being the famous Miss Marple's Tearoom.

During the design development we were always mindful that even a modern up-to-date branding would need to also be used in a fairly traditional setting of the shop front.  So, here lies the conundrum!! 

These are some of the designs that were explored during the design concept process . . .

Graphic design logo concepts Tealeaves logo design concepts

Considering the wide range of applications for the brand – across signage, stationery, packaging, advertising and accessories, We decided that the final logo should comprise colours that could readily be reproduced with consistency.  The final logo (as seen at the top of this page) included a sprig of leaves to represent the categories of teas in the range.  It also accompanied a clear, white, highly visible brand name followed by a strap-line which could be changed to most suit each application.

These were placed on a solid charcoal grey background to help highlight the brand.  This charcoal grey comprised an easy to match 80% black.  The overall combination of fonts and colours gave the vibrancy and modernity required, whilst the greens and yellows reflected the natural elements of the product.


With the shop front passing the rigours of local feedback and Council Planning Approval, it was time to move on to associated applications!

The labelling was to incorporate a traditional 'Drinking Lady' illustration which was historically important to the founders of the business, whilst we had free rein with other branding items.  In the final count, the branding was applied to the Sassafras shop front, the Scoresby Warehouse signage, retail carrier bags, packaging labels, aprons, gift sticky-tape and lastly, the swing-tags for teabags!!

Tealeaves sassafras apron design

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