For Thinking Tree Spirits, our goal was to create an interactive packaging experience with the playful exuberance of storybooks and Rococo scrollwork, all evocative of the lush bounty of Oregon.
We designed the Thinking Tree brandmark for flexibility, personifying the brand as a contemplative woman collared and crowned with ornamental branches that either gently germinate or grow wild to fill the canvas, be it the small circular icon on the cap, or front and centre on the hangtag.
For the illustrations, we were inspired by Late Baroque mirrors to create highly dimensional packaging, using the main label for deep background artwork, and layering over it a hangtag of duplexed cardstock with a pop of purple foil and, finally, a colourful ornate frame raised to its highest relief with sculptured embossment. Hidden throughout are local and mythological life, from Odin’s ravens (‘thought’ and ‘memory’), to the polyphemus moth (whose eyespots are named after Homer’s cyclops) and its caterpillars, down to the great horned owl, whose face is composed of oak leaves.
On the hangtag’s verso, the linework is reproduced by a letterpress, whose raised ink, along with the purple string that ties tag to neck, all add to the rich tactile experience. Here, one is invited to be creative, whether scribbling thoughts or verse, notes on a new infusion, or a kind gift-letter to a friend.
Beneath the hangtag is a fable of our composition that sets down the brand’s folktale roots:
Once, there was a forester who planted a seed in the earth. When the seed grew into a great tree, the forester placed an egg at the top of the highest branch. When the egg hatched into a great owl, the forester returned with gifts. “I have the gift of speech,” said the forester, “and the gift of thought.” The tree and the owl listened. “I can give only one gift each, and each gift only once,” the forester said. “First, one of you will receive the gift of speech.” Growing impatient, the owl asked “who?” And the Thinking Tree shook her leaves knowingly.