Dearness Only has developed an identity for Spruce, a powdered fruit drink designed to help people who don’t like drinking water.
Spruce’s offering is akin to squash, but with added nutritional and environmental benefits. Each powder is formulated only with dehydrated fruits and vegetables, making it a healthier alternative to other soft drinks, according to the brand.
Meanwhile the condensed packaging of powder, rather than liquid, means less of an ecological impact when it comes to shipping, the company adds.
The London-based studio got involved in the project through a recommendation, and has designed a wordmark, packaging and tone of voice, among other brand assets.
“Wet and dry”
James Taylor, founder of Dearness Only, says the studio “didn’t want to shy away from” the nature of Spruce, despite it posing a challenge. “Our main challenge was how we could convey a dry powder turning into a really thirst-quenching drink,” he says.
A “sensorial” approach has been taken, Taylor says. The design of packaging reflects the “texture, aroma and flavour” of each product Spruce offers, he adds, with a “wet and dry” mix of mediums.
Garden Party, for example, is a powder flavoured with mint and lime. Its packaging therefore includes a zigzag image of powder to represent the “aromatic” mint, while a swish of green paint refers to the “juicy” lime notes, Taylor explains.
In another example, Wild Child, the pollen-like powder imagery is a reference to the elderflower flavour and the round swirl of red paint is a nod to the “rounded” complimentary flavour of the raspberry, he says.
Accompanying the art style is the Spruce wordmark. Written in a stylised sans-serif typeface, the mark includes the subtle Spruce logo – found on the “u”.
The logo has several meanings, Taylor explains. On the one hand, it is a graphic depiction of a pile of powder and a glass. On the other, it is a water droplet. Both are allusions to the product and how it works to “elevate water”.
“It has these different hidden meanings, but we also wanted it to be subtle and just appear to be a good-looking icon,” he says.
Taylor also explains that the logo “has a life outside of the wordmark”. It can be used throughout branding and communications to highlight flavours and ingredients, operating as a “window” in different settings.
“Enjoyable and beautiful”
The overarching intention for the project was for it to feel like a “soft revolution”, Taylor says. The tone of voice reflects this, he says, with pun-heavy and light, but still smart copy.
Additionally, the environmental benefits of the product are highlighted throughout. Everything is plastic-free, compostable or biodegradable, he says. There are also no foils or glosses used throughout the packaging.
“The brand world is made to just be very enjoyable and beautiful,” Taylor says.
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