Featured image for FREEOCLOCK Is An Abstract Journey Through The World Of Tea

FREEOCLOCK Is An Abstract Journey Through The World Of Tea

by Casha Doemland on 12/03/2018 | 3 Minute Read

When it comes to tea, there can be an overwhelming amount of options to choose from between flavor, brand, loose leaf vs. pouches and more. It's almost dizzying, and that's part of the inherent challenge of designing packaging for an oversaturated category. 

For the Hong Kong-based tea brand FREEOCLOCK, designer Sergio Laskin completed a full, abstract makeover to help the brand establish a name for itself. He also produced individual designs for each flavor to distinguish them from one another and add a bit of flair. Egyptian Chamomile features earth tones with bursts of turquoise while Premium Oriental Beauty delivers a contrast of olive green against a black and grey background, and the designs are as bold as the brews themselves. 

When each unique and vibrant box is stacked together, their eye-catching designs are sure to stop you dead in your tracks when you’re strolling through the market. We caught up with Sergio to talk all things FREEOCLOCK and their stunning redesign.


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Walk us through the redesign process, how did you go from start to finish on this project?It may sound unprofessional, but sometimes I go the opposite way the client instructs me to. For example, the client shared that he was into a clean and minimalistic style. As I always put my eyes on something with patterns, I delivered a different look than he was originally anticipating.

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What’s the inspiration behind the designs on the packaging, and are they influenced by the flavor of the tea?I should start with the fact that I am a Russian speaking guy and drinking tea for Russians is not a tradition, it’s more like a need. That’s why I love to taste tea from all around the world. When it came time to produce the designs, I let my own perception of each flavor serve as inspiration. The client assisted by providing keywords and what they would like to achieve with the packaging, but ultimately the taste determined the design. For example, it all started with oolong.  I had a cup of white oolong tea and tried to imagine what would tea feel like while it's brewing. It sounds crazy, but it really helps to see things differently - thinking not from a consumer perspective, but from the product.The feeling I felt is what I conveyed in each of my designs, which is why the designs vary the way they do.

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How did you tell the FREEOCLOCK brand story through the packaging?What I was trying to achieve is the feeling anyone can receive from a tea—peace, energy, adrenaline, fear, anger, and all the other emotions you can imagine. That's why some of the illustrations I've created are pretty aggressive. When I say that, what I mean is that the design could determine a state of mind. It can be vivid, bold, and strong but you know there is wild aggression in that being.

What was the most challenging part of this project?The most challenging part is to make sure the print has the same color tones I've created since it's a great frustration to work on global projects and be away from production. You can get beautiful renders, but if it's executed the bad way, you are to blame and no one else.

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