Human Resources’ identity for Obadiah Coffee stays true to the brand’s transparent principles
After moving from Australia to Scotland in 2017, Sam and Alice Young founded Edinburgh-based coffee roasters, Obadiah, aiming to strip coffee making back to basics, keeping things simple, sustainable and kind. Getting their beans from independent farms across South America, with the specific farms prominently displayed on the individual roasts themselves, Obadiah is committed to roasting unique, flavourful and characterful coffee whilst thriving in simplicity and transparency.
Staying local, Obadiah approached Edinburgh-based design studio Human Resources to develop their identity, resulting in a beautifully simple and typographically delicate system that truthfully responds to Obadiah’s attitude to coffee. To this end, Human Resources remained typographically local as well, using sans serif Founders Grotesk and serif Triptych, due to the fact they are both inspired by the work of the 20th Century Edinburgh-based type foundry, Miller & Richard.
Design Director of Human Resources, Kurt Green, recalls that “the historical reference to the city where Sam (Obadiah founder) has made his home felt really appropriate,” adding “a subtle nod to place.” Despite appearing quite clinical on the surface, the typographic couple is playfully complimentary. “On the surface, both fonts appear quite serious and authoritative,” Green tells us, “but on closer look reveal a cheeky smile.”
With packaging constructed from G . F Smith Extract papers, made from recycled coffee cups, Obadiah is sure to stand out from the typical standard of the sticker-on-a-bag coffee branding we are used to, with striking but subtle colours. Green explains that the frequent and regular change of roasts and “the nature of Obadiah’s seasonal sourcing of raw coffee cherries,” was a wonderful opportunity to utilise the “range of Extract papers to create a core range and a set of limited, rare releases across a brighter colour palette.”