Bangal Dawson bring bold flavour, colour and type to speciality coffee trading platform TYPICA
TYPICA is an online platform that allows coffee growers and roasters around the world to trade green coffee beans directly. Offering direct connections via conversation, photography, video, social media, or even a virtual meeting, TYPICA closes the distance between producers and roasters and fosters a ‘community’ space online. Bangal Dawson – a creative studio based in NYC and Tokyo – have teamed up with TYPICA for their launch. The result pairs the vividly colourful and diverse realm of the brand with a like-minded creative approach through the core idea of integration and community. Specifically, through the key phrase ‘Get Closer.’
TYPICA’s logotype is based on Nasir Udin’s Restora Neue typeface from Indonesia, a renowned country for producing coffee. Creative director Tatsuya Ishikawa explains that this was chosen to bring an “ethnic yet modern look and feel” into the logo. A modernised version of its precursor, Restora, Restora Neue features a mix of old-style roman serif styles, and as a result, was the perfect choice for the brand. “On the logo,” he notes, “we revised the typeface making each letter closer (some letters are connected), and then to make it a visually more unique symbol, we added a dot of a green coffee bean hanging on the tree of ‘C.’” This visual element reappears in the brand’s symbol, which depicts the beans reaching human hands far and wide.
For the secondary typeface, the studio opted for a simpler direction with Black [Foundry]’s Clother. “As the brand is a platform for all, we needed to make it not exclusive but inclusive and casual,” Ishikawa explains. This modern, geometric sans serif balances the ornamentation and ligatures of the primary typeface.
Similarly, for a touch of lighthearted and quirky humour, Bangal Dawson invited Lithuanian illustrator Rokas Aleliunas to create a series of illustrations, based on a simple black colour scheme that can be adapted to a variety of colour combinations. “As we mentioned above,” the Creative Director recalls, “the brand is a platform that welcomes all coffee lovers around the world. So we see illustrations as a great opportunity to put humour into the brand and lower the bar. Through the illustration, we aimed to design all boring explanation materials about the brand's service the way no coffee brand has before.”
In contrast with the pared-back minimalism of many coffee brands, Bangal Dawson drew from the rich multiculturalism of the platform (diversity of people, countries, cultures, and the essence of direct coffee trade), creating a bright, rich colour palette. In addition to the cultural connotations, Ishikawa explains, “we wanted to make the brand more bold and timeless rather than just a trend, so we first designed a colour system centring on the basic colours; red, blue, yellow, and green, then added purple and beige to make it more unique.”