CGICA | 良品 – Make Good Brands


Bubble Tea Redefined

Type of Work Branding Design

Client TRU

Year 2019


TRU is an innovative bubble tea chain with non-traditional products using carefully selected all-natural ingredients. Their mission is to constantly provide unique, high-quality, delicious milk and fruit tea for the young urbanites of North America — bringing double the enjoyment to both the soul and taste buds. The journey of this project started with three bubble tea lovers from Toronto chasing after a dream. Born and grown in the streets of Toronto, TRU seeks inspiration from the people of the city and strives to always experiment with creative drinks that cater to a variety of audiences from different cultures. As the clients already had background knowledge from a prior bubble tea business, they used their experience along with our creativity to develop a new and innovative brand.

TRU is a new brand entering a competitive market, and their goal was clear: to provide people with new and unique tastes, along with original drink concepts. After researching the marketing and exploring various creative ideas, the CGICA team narrowed down to a concept that we thought allowed for the brand to be able to showcase their bold messages, and strategically crafted drinks. The TRU clients were determined to redefine the norms of bubble tea.

Thus, came TRU’s big idea: to consistently create and introduce truly good bubble tea to customers in North America. They stand for quality, and appreciate craftsmanship. TRU is made for bubble tea lovers and made by bubble tea lovers. The plan was to transform the way bubble tea is perceived by the masses, through providing visionary experiences for customers. The vision of this brand comes from the idea of “innovation” and “creation”, with a take on retrofuturism along with a play on space, dimension and form.

We create bubble tea that doesn’t just taste good, but also looks good and makes our customers feel good, hence our slogan “truly good”. We want to embed that attitude in everything we do, thus, our name “TRU”. The name “TRU” also derives from the word “true”, meaning accuracy, verifiable, and telling it like it is. TRU wants their brand to emulate the same, by being transparent and honest to their customers. In addition, “true” has become a well-used response when one agrees with another’s statement, making the brand name playful and relatable to modern urbanites. The Chinese characters “初茶” pronounce as “TRU CHA”. The first character means origin and beginning, while the second character means tea.

We create new and interesting products for our cool customers. Each drink contains genuine thought and quality, demonstrating what truly delicious bubble tea tastes and looks like. We believe in changing the way people perceive bubble tea. This starts with being transparent about what goes into our products, and innovative with how we create them. We want to go above and beyond the normal expectations of bubble tea shops, by daring to try new things and experiment with unique flavours – ultimately creating the best tasting drinks for bubble tea lovers. A contemporary approach has been taken for the identity of this brand, with a play on space and form. This minimalistic approach , while standing out amongst the vast amount of bubble tea brands in the city.

TRU’s identity takes key words and/or phrases that will then be broken down into definitions, with custom copywriting accompanying it. This methodology emphasizes the “redefining” aspect of the brand. Their vision is formed around retrofuturism, with influences of the depictions of the future produced from an earlier era. If futurism is referred to as the “science of anticipating what will come”, retrofuturism suggests an alternative path.

TRU’s brand identity uses elements of a definition into the visual communication, such as slashes, words presented like a real definition and pronunciations. The general tone is minimalistic and modern, with emphasis placed on the forms of objects. Warm hues such as burgundy, peach and cream are the primary colours, while black acts as a supporting colour. The play on space combined with this combination of colours, conjures a retro-futuristic energy for this innovative brand. The environmental space has been kept minimalistic and simple. Structural forms are pushed to the limits, creating a futuristic space with a unique sense of dimension. The inclusion of arches and repetition of forms brings out the ‘avant-garde’ personality of the brand.

In the volatile bubble tea market that is Toronto, this humble shop brands itself as the new generation of innovative tea. As a brand that engages with the people of the city, TRU has developed a bold and innovative brand image that consumers remember and love. Currently, TRU has 4 locations in total: 2 situated in the core of downtown Toronto, and the others in North York and Richmond Hill. We are excited to see the brand continue to grow and redefine the norms of bubble tea.

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