Derrick Lin


Creative Agency: TDA_Boulder
Designers: Josh White, Thomas Dooley
Copywriter: Dan Colburn
Strategy: Constance DeCherney
Account Director: Danielle Borden
Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

Helps® needed a package redesign and a strong US launch. The primary design challenge was that in the US functional tea boxes are designed vertically. Originally, Helps® was horizontally designed. Moreover, the packaging felt pharmaceutical and foreign in the aisles of familiar functional tea brands. They needed packaging that intrigued and broke away from conventions of tea competitors –specifically Traditional Medicinals and Yogi. East Asian-inspired typeface and meditative design elements are repetitive in this category of tea.

Helps® celebrated a new era of functional tea that is steeped in 50 years of scientific research – it’s packaging needed to reflect the role functional tea plays in consumers’ lives. Our objective was simple: reinvent the Helps® packaging to achieve U.S. sales and distribution in major mainstream and natural retailers by changing expectations in functional tea package design.

Often tea companies try to fit into a perceived consumer lifestyle (i.e. having a Zen moment on a sunny morning) or they try to make their packaging feel like it belongs in the category aka “category camouflage.” By creating a radical, thoroughly modern departure for Helps® we stand off the shelf of sameness and attract new people to the brand and to functional teas themselves. Everyone suffers from the ailments Helps® alleviate, being gender neutral and function forward is important with the design.

The corresponding graphic sachet labels create curiosity with each steep. The idea being to get others to ask, “What are you drinking?” Thus, our tea drinker explains it for us. The copy is a breath of fresh air for this category and gives a nod to the ways Americans refer to taboo ailments. Helps® quickly demonstrates empathy without pretense while infographic instructions show fast relief is afoot.

Each Helps® tea design pattern has a cross symbol as its foundation, evoking the functional, positive, health benefits. The design patterns are vibrant and kinetic, expressing the active/functional nature of each tea variety. The patterns themselves allow for each tea box to be an accessory – like a new-form of a tea canister. It’s not the kind of box that needs to be put away tight after each use. It can sit on the counter for days looking beautiful.

Working with the existing packaging structure and die lines, we created a design, copy and sachets to effectively sell the newly designed teas to mainstream and natural retailers across the country.