RUNA – a Kichwa word meaning ‘fully alive’ – is how indigenous tribes-people in the Ecuadorian Amazon describe the feeling that comes from drinking a tea brewed with the Guayusa leaf. Vault49 were tasked to conceptualize, design, and produce RUNA’s rebrand of their ready-to-drink teas and energy drinks with an inspired new identity.
The look and feel of the new packaging reflects the pure, spirited and clean energy of the brand, with clean white space and light watercolor design, while respectfully translating indigenous identity and heritage.
The word mark was inspired by Kichwa, where we designed the “A” with a downward “V” to hint at the tribal origins, while the illustration features an Amazonian river which can be seen as an abstract pathway leading to somewhere unknown, and was created with watercolor its esoteric feel as well as provide juicy flavor cues. Everyone is invited to interpret it in their own way, and discover their own story.
In the end, success was about staying authentic and not shying away from the truth of the RUNA brand and remaining accessible through a beautiful, clean aesthetic. It was important that the packaging, while simple, was also storied and vibrant, communicating the endless possibilities that a life lived ‘fully alive’ promises.
While RUNA as a brand has clearly defined corporate objectives, the commercial arm serves to benefit the RUNA Foundation which improves indigenous livelihoods and landscapes and brings together profits and resources that are needed to benefit working families and the forests that literally give life to the brand.
Vault49 were so enamored with the opportunity that we became investors in the brand to allow RUNA to fully engage with our design services, in turn enabling Vault49 to play a significant role in giving back to the communities involved, and tying the success of our design agency to that of local farmers in the Amazon.