The Brand Identity

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For The People’s identity for Story Café is relentlessly charming and literary-obsessed

Celebrating coffee as a social asset, as well as our role as storytellers within social structures, Sydney-based Story Café have been branded by fellow Sydney-based design studio For The People, creating a wonderful identity rich in character; unafraid to be playful. 

Illustration has a fundamental role in Story Café’s identity, becoming a platform for illustrative collaboration, as well as bringing a personability and unbounded quality to the copy-driven brand. Christening their maiden production with the lovable work of Sydney-based illustrator Ilana Bodenstein, For The People’s Design Director Olivia King explains “her work is always full of character, intrigue and humour,” adding, “she’s often able to build a unique world or moment within each of her illustrations – which we think are the perfect fit for Story.” The recurring character supporting both Bodenstein’s illustrations, and the typographic treatment of the identity, is the brand’s superintendent overseeing the brand’s ephemera – their (literally) monstrous logo. Referencing both the shape of a coffee bean and the mark of a publisher, the presence of the enigmatic creature both injects a further element of individuality and playfulness, as well as a sense of warmth and familiarity.

Taking every touchpoint as a new opportunity to tell a story, Story Café’s identity is relentlessly charming; finding story-led inspiration in everything from receipts and menu design to hidden crevices and t-shirt tags – even finding inspiration in the colour of library cards for the palette of the brand. In the exceedingly rare opportunity to become an author as part of the brand’s system, King recalls “to be asked to write stories for a coffee shop called ‘Story’ is pretty much every writer’s dream come true.” Remaining cautious in their literary pursuits, however, King stresses the need to remain grounded throughout, explaining “otherwise the whole thing could risk coming across like a creative writing assignment gone rogue.” Serving as prompts to encourage Story’s customers to find the amazing stories out in the real world, she explains “these stories that we tell are often a little trashy, a little pulpy, a little sentimental and a little self-referential.”

Supportive of their story-telling is For The People’s eclectic choice of typefaces, opting for Surt, Cooper and DM, all of which playing an essential character in the cohesion of Story’s identity. All sourced from literary inspirations, King explains “Cooper’s serif gives a friendliness to the brand while referencing books and literature,” whilst the monospaced nature of DM acts referential to scripts, stamps and typewriters. “Surt has a more contemporary edge more suited to headlines and story titles,” King adds, “we felt that all three had their own distinct personalities, which, like characters in a story, allows them to play off each other or work on their own.”

Typefaces: Surt by Blaze Type / Cooper Light BT by Linotype / DM Mono by Colophon Foundry
Illustrator: Ilana Bodenstein

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