7 identities for coffee brands and cafés, featuring B&B Studio, Gesture Systems, Alter and more
It may be a bit of an industry cliche by now, but there’s no doubting that caffeine and creativity are a match made in heaven. Not only do many designers thrive on the stuff, but they’re sure good at branding it, too. From B&B Studio’s punchy and powerful revamp for Mozzo, to Angel & Anchor’s minimalist colour-coded circular system for Full Circle Coffee Roasters. Looking back at our archive, we’ve highlighted a few of our favourite brands of beans and brews.
For an industry as huge and diverse as coffee, sometimes it takes the unexpected to stand out. Channelling the energy of Mozzo’s early days as a wind and solar-powered coffee cart, London-based branding agency B&B devised a vivid identity system that moves away from typical Italian heritage, instead building around the core tagline: ‘Coffee. Community. Connection.’ At the heart of the identity are its vibrant colour palette and dynamic wordmark. Designed with digital animation in mind, the logo – with its extended ‘Z’ – embodies the core ethos of ‘connection’ whilst providing a frame for copy and illustrations. This wordmark is paired with an equally bold, contemporary and direct typographic direction, in order to amplify the brand’s purposeful personality.
To really help the brand stand out on the shelf, B&B opted for a high-energy colour palette of orange and mint green. Whilst an unconventional pairing in the coffee market, this was exactly the direction the company needed. “The combination feels unique and exciting,” Senior Designer Amy Joslyn explains, “and helps to bring instant recognition, emboldening the brand as the true ethical challenger that it is.”
Some coffee brands choose a more relaxed route. In Intermission’s case, coffee can provide the perfect opportunity for calmer moments of contemplation. Based in London’s West Hampstead, Intermission is a roaster and café aiming to change the rhythm of the world while being at the forefront of sustainable coffee. Their identity, created by London-based design studio Fieldwork Facility, delivers a reset of how we talk about coffee. Rather than focus only on the provenance of the coffee, Intermission’s identity aims to celebrate the entire supply chain, and make ‘time’ the hero in the process. Through these omnipresent themes, the visual language celebrates moments of respite, whilst highlighting the issues of today ‘because tomorrow is too late.’ “Everything perfectly led back to time, so we adopted an ellipsis as our logo and after that, the rest of the identity quickly fell into place,” Creative Director Robin Howie tells us.
Small batch coffee with a big character, Kaffein’s mission is to introduce the best speciality harvests to the world. Every flavour from the Singaporean company tells a story, rooted in the sense of place of each bean’s origin, from the famed highlands of Papua in Western New Guinea to rich, sought-after signatures found only in Sumatra and Java. Darling Visual Communications worked with the company to develop an identity and packaging system that could embody its craft and authenticity. This led to the leading concept of ‘The Art of Coffee,’ exploring the relationship between the two. From bold splashes of colour to gestural paint brush marks, each Kaffein product features a specially commissioned original artwork from artists, including Japan’s Haruka Yamamura and Hong Kong’s Oxeye Lau. Much like the ‘white cube’ setting of a gallery, these artworks get their chance to shine, sitting front and centre on the coffee brand’s packaging.
From Japan to Arizona, the concept of wabi-sabi has been brought to life via the thoughtful and pared-back identity of Moxie Coffee Company. Working with the roastery and café, LA-based design studio The Made Shop aimed to create a confident identity that was simple yet still fluidly expressive in a wide range of contexts. This formed the inspiration behind the brand’s graphic modular system. The core motif of the visual language is a smashed coffee cup. By turning something broken into something beautiful, the studio created a logo that perfectly embodies the spirit of the Arizona coffee business and its confident risk-taking and rewards approach.
Dublin-based speciality roaster Full Circle Coffee Roasters reached out to Belfast neighbours and branding studio Angel & Anchor to create an identity that leans into their environmentally-conscious ethos and practice, epitomised by their slogan ‘what goes around, comes around.’ The studio provided a sleek, modern identity that combines wise messaging and minimalism with pops of vibrant colour (reflective of the company’s various coffee roasts). Inspired by the company’s namesake, the identity’s theme is centred around a circle motif. The brand’s minimalistic approach extends to the typographic choices. The primary typeface Acumin was the perfect choice thanks to its lightweight and functional ‘Helvetica-type feel.’ The brand’s logomark adds a touch of playfulness, as it appears in different arrangements; the shapes shifting and acting like building blocks.
Turning things up a notch, Gesture Systems’ identity and packaging design for Perth-based coffee roastery DoubleDouble balances a pragmatic foundation with eccentric, playful headlines. The Fremantle-based collaborative design practice successfully translated the company’s enthusiasm and know-how for their craft into a candid and curious graphic execution. Responsive to each individual blend of coffee, the flexible identity system adapts the colour, typographic treatment, imagery and texture of each label depending on the blend’s name, flavour and tasting notes.
Heavily inspired by the aesthetics of the internet’s early years, the packaging has a nostalgic quality. The designers were influenced by their own formative design years spent online, which led them to source archival imagery reminiscent of early web design and word art. Harmonising the packaging system and digital ephemera, whilst creating the structural freedom for the identity to flex, Gesture Systems opted for Franklin Gothic, Art Company Mono by Regan Fred Johnson and Lineto’s Medium as their typefaces of choice.
For local roasters Sixpence Coffee, Melbourne-based design studio Alter designed a spirited identity, embracing the name’s connection as a token of love – whereby a sterling sixpence is bent in two and gifted as a romantic gesture. 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. In a similar fashion to the brand’s motif, this decision relates to the warped form of a bent coin. Tying together the chipper combination of type and illustration is a warm colour palette of rich autumn terracottas and pale blues; a nod to the environment of the roaster’s locale.