The Made Shop embrace the concept of wabi-sabi in their modular identity for Moxie Coffee Company
“Wabi-sabi is a worldview that appreciates beauty that is transient, imperfect and broken.” From Japan to Arizona, this concept has been brought to life in the thoughtful and pared-back identity of Moxie Coffee Company. Approaching Denver and LA-based design studio The Made Shop, the roastery and café were keen to find a look that would capture the confident risk-taking and rewards approach of the company. Whilst simple, the team’s aim was also to create a brand that was far from monotonous. “Sometimes restrained brands can feel repetitive when rolled out,” Junior Designer Davis Scruggs reveals, “and we wanted to create an identity that was quite simple yet still fluidly expressive in a wide range of contexts.” This formed the inspiration behind the brand’s graphic, modular system.
For many coffee aficionados, a smashed mug would be a sign of horror. On the contrary, the design team felt that this perfectly embodied the spirit of the Arizona coffee business. Turning something broken into something beautiful, the shards form a simple and eye-catching logo. “This ‘shards’ metaphor applies to the entire identity,” Scruggs adds, with the pieces appearing throughout the wider visual language. “The primary lockup – composed of the distinct logotype, broken cup icon, and minimal tagline – works seamlessly together as a composite whole, but can also be easily taken apart and re-used as modular brand elements in a wide variety of contexts.”
For the logotype, Pangram Pangram’s display typeface Migra Extra Bold provides a “high-personality, high-contrast” look. According to Scruggs, the beautiful mix of soft curves and razor-sharp serifs “speak directly to the shattered coffee cup icon.” This typeface is complemented by Dunwich Type Founders’ Antarctican Mono, providing a “minimal counterbalance” to the high-personality logotype and icon. “Its restrained simplicity and rational monospaced structure provide a sense of restraint and focused space for the icon and logotype to breathe,” Scruggs elaborates.
For the colour palette, The Made Shop opted for a rich blue hue alongside a soft salmon pink. “We wanted a palette that would essentially read as black and white without sacrificing ownability. So we substituted in an ownable cobalt blue for black, and a ceramic ivory for white,” the designer tells us. Further research led to the team discovering the coral hues of cascara; the dried skins of the coffee cherry. “We introduced this third vibrant colour to inject a pop of unexpected ‘moxie’ into the minimal base palette and discovered that its presence counter-intuitively made the brand feel both more minimal and more ownable at once.”
Antarctican by Dunwich Type Founders