Founded in Chicago in 2003, the Argo retail and café concept is doing for tea what Starbucks did for coffee—evangelize, democratize, commercialize and, above all, modernize. The company offers signature drinks to consumers seeking healthy alternative beverages and a welcoming lifestyle experience. Beyond the walls of its stores, which now include Argo’s first international café, in Beirut, Lebanon, Argo competes in the ready-to-drink category with a premium tea line sold through retailers ranging from Whole Foods to 7-Eleven.
Whether at Argo cafés or in retail stores, Argo packaging is designed to instantly communicate the sophistication and individuality of the brand’s products. Argo’s first tea sachets—silky, prepackaged bags of tea blends for steeping single cups at home—are sleek and premium in look and feel. Surrounding packaging incorporates textures, color cues and patterns that give individual tea blends their own identity. Argo’s ready-to-drink line established a strong shelf presence through contoured glass bottles, distinctive label and cap design that reflect the aesthetic and ethos of Argo’s cafés.
The originality of Argo Tea drinks led VSA to develop high-level in-store posters that promote the beverages as “Argo Originals”—refreshingly different in concept and creation. Each poster provides product insight and flavor cues for customers intrigued by the innovative concoctions.
The diversity and originality of Argo teas and signature drinks is reflected in a dynamic approach to the design of its paper cups. Instead of a static, universally consistent retail cup, VSA designed the cups as a series of unpredictable multiples—in keeping with the creative, artisanal and sustainable ideals of the Argo brand.
VSA has worked directly with the café’s founder and CEO to create a universal brand system that consistently and compellingly communicates Argo’s contemporary attitude. Our collaboration on Argo’s retail “Teaosks”—freestanding café kiosks—enables the fun and flavor of Argo Tea offerings to be expressed through multiple points in the consumer experience.