What’s better and more exciting than combining two of your biggest passions? For Christmas this year, I decided to roast coffee for my family and friends. As I developed blends, I decided I needed to name them, and of course, brand them. Coming up with names and sketching out ideas took a lot longer than actually roasting the coffee, but it was definitely worth the time and effort.
There isn’t really any process work to speak of for this project. I have plenty of sketches, but they don’t communicate a lot more than the final design. Many of the revisions and details were made on the fly, and just seemed to make sense. I was willing to fully commit to each change, as I just wanted to go with my gut in terms of communication and look and feel.
The labels include:
Knothole – Basically my signature blend at this point. I’ve revised the content a few times, and spent a handful of roasts creating a balanced and tasty Mocha Java-style coffee blend. The name’s derivation is a secret, “just in case” I want to make money or something on it. The first label is not shown, but was a hand-drawn piece on the same tobacco-laden craft paper. The second iteration of the blend saw a revision in the label, and a stronger emphasis on a brand. The K I first drew by hand, then translated in Illustrator, adding the wood texture to reflect the namesake. I used the craft paper again to give emphasis to the classic origin of the blend – the oldest known style in the world – as well as to add more texture and interest in the label itself. I’m sure I’ll make some more revisions in the future, as I further develop my new favorite coffee.
Cascadas – Spanish and Portuguese for “waterfalls,” the name reflects the Guatemalan and Brazilian water-process decafs used in the blend. It’s very smooth, lightly fruity, with a subtle hint of milk chocolate. Perfect for tearing my decaf-drinking family members away from the evil donut-chain coffee. I wanted to brand this one as a more upscale item, while preserving a bit of the latin influence. Typeface selection was key, in my mind, as the overall design was to be very simple and refined. The only unfortunate drawback was during printing, when I apparently ran out of color ink, and there was some quality loss to the prints. Regardless, I feel the label communicates what was intended, and I am happy with the product.
That’s all for now (some post, right?), but I expect to add at least two or three more in the future. I really love roasting nowadays, and I love handing out my coffee for feedback, so I will definitely be designing new labels soon.
Photos courtesy of Tyler Rhinehart.