Demystifying Traditional Chinese Medicine


One of the oldest forms of health and wellness, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), remains largely unexplored in the United States due, in part, to its mysterious reputation. Hoping to bridge this gap for Western audiences, client NOOCI partnered with branding and marketing agency SMAKK to create an identity based in transparency and science while fostering accessibility.



NOOCI was founded by Stephanie Tan, a Hong Kong-born/US-educated entrepreneur. Working with Tan, SMAKK helped NOOCI embrace its Chinese heritage but also to face its stigma head-on by stressing the company’s transparent sourcing of ingredients and products, strict manufacturing, sustainable mission and welcoming philosophy. The informative approach worked to balance the modern voice with some older visual cues, to unify modern and classical elements. For example, the brand mark is an abstract representation of the yin and yang; a suite of sans serif typography provide a modern touch; and the color palette is vibrant and bright but grounded in some earthier tones.



SMAKK also created a system of icons representing different categories of plant-based ingredients found in NOOCI herbal supplements. More than decoration, these icons are important to educating consumers – providing a wayfinding system that feels approachable and new, but still recognizable. For similar reasons, NOOCI’s infographics feature real photos of real ingredients, removing some of the mysticism that may be associated with functional medicine.

This natural focus extended to the packaging, where SMAKK applied its typically environmentally conscious approach. “We really wanted to reinforce the idea that health is more than just what you put into your body,” explains SMAKK founder Katie Klencheski. “Stephanie really wanted to be as sustainable as possible, and we guided her to use packaging that could support a refill system to help lessen the environmental impact of the products.”