Alter’s characterful identity for Sixpence Coffee reflects their coffee, customers and context
Melbourne-based design studio Alter have designed a spirited identity for local roasters Sixpence Coffee, embracing their name’s connection as a token of love – whereby a sterling sixpence is bent in two and gifted as a romantic gesture. Discussing the strong illustrative presence in the brand, Alter tell us of the “combined effort” that the studio put into developing a style that complements their typographic application. “They’re a recognisable and friendly way to depict the ‘bender’ concept,” they explain, a term given to the bent coins, “giving the coin a lucky charm character in use across the identity.”
Working in tandem with Alter’s joyful illustrations is the jaunty combination of typefaces; opting for Matter of Sorts’ typewriter-inspired Quadrant and Sharp Type’s Beatrice – the latter of which is visually stretched in its unconventional application. “Some of this resembles the cut and paste of scrapbooking,” Alter explain, “other elements are driven simply by character,” conceptually referencing the bending of the coin via the manipulation of Beatrice. “It was inspired by typography wrapping the edges of coins,” they recall, “it’s both legible and contemporary but also has great character,” whereby the previously subtle flairs of Beatrice’s construction become overtly exaggerated when altered.
“We used Quadrant to incorporate some great local work into the identity,” Alter remark, discussing its relationship with Beatrice, praising the “beautiful human quality” and “idiosyncratic relationships between characters” of and within the typeface. “Its typewriter origins provide a lovely contrast beside Beatrice,” they add.
Tying together the chipper combination of type and illustration is the brand’s colour palette, the inspiration for which was both a practical and thematic decision. “The palette works across digital and print,” Alter explain, noting the precision required for careful reproduction, as well as keeping it tied to the environment of Sixpence’s locale. “Its landscape is famed for its diverse array of exotic trees producing rich autumn terracottas,” they conclude, “with the surrounding native gums reflected in pale blues,” harmonising the roaster’s respect for its context, coffee and customer.