Coffee branding in the "Opportunity Capital"
I get really excited about new local businesses. In Wichita, Kansas, I’ve come to expect new business on a regular basis. Historically, Wichita has been referred to as the “Air Capital of The World” which still holds true in most respects. However, I’ve recently heard Wichita be referred to as “The Opportunity Capital,” and this has resonated with me.
There seems to be the right mix of passion and opportunity in the air to allow you or me to create our own business and see it grow. Seeing the opportunity to provide a craft coffee in an untapped market, Jason and son-in-law Colby began Local Roasters Co. They understood the importance of this moment in our city and being locally focused in this community. For that very same reason, I’m really passionate about helping local companies begin their journey with proper branding.
Gather raw data and define the situation
Jason is already a successful local business owner. His previous experience with branding and understanding the importance of great design strategy up front, were instrumental in this process. Colby provides expertise in sourcing and roasting beans, to packaging product for optimal freshness. Colby is detail oriented and assures me that every step after the roast, is just as important as before. Together, this duo is passionate about giving the Wichita community the best cup of coffee they’ve ever experienced.
Form raw data into useable information
After several meetings with Jason and Colby, I extracted all the information I could along with industry research in order to form a list of keywords.
- Local Transportation: Service era types of transportation bring about a really nice aesthetic and voice. Also, if it were modern day and I were traveling short distances around town, what kind of vehicle would be ideal?
- Japanese Local: Thinking a bit unordinary, what would look local in Japan? I was inspired by morning sunrise, coffee and a little oriental twist.
- Astronaut, Outer-space: Can local could be a relative thought?
- Street Signs: Can a local vibe be inspired by local street signage and wayfinding? The typography found on these types of old signs are nice.
- Artisan: The hand made quality, attention to detail, and passion for what the local artisan does could speak to Colby’s passion.
03 Brand Theme
Transform information into visual ideas
My development of these keywords help me to form the brand themes. I often show these to the client during the final presentation to help support our goals and justify our strategy.
Hand and computer sketching
This market is saturated with logo designs of coffee cups and beans. How can Local Roasters stand out? Better yet, how can I speak to their unique qualities and simply capture the essence of coffee? These are some of my favorite sketches that dealt with a variety of characteristics.
Gather final concepts to show client
Maybe it was my own passion for coffee but I had an unusual amount of workable ideas for this particular project. Each option carried a different aspect and provided a great brand platform to expand on.
06 Final Selection
The final decision came down to the local street signs and the coffee cup truck options. What I didn’t know during this process was Colby’s personal affinity for cab-over-engine trucks (apparently his family has several of these antique beauties). I always find it interesting when one or more logo ideas speak to the client in a way I wasn’t anticipating. In the end, the truck was a winner.
The coffee cup truck embodies the service era; a mindset of creating a quality product and providing the best service. It brings an aspect of providing fresh coffee on a routine and consistent basis. The cup trailer speaks to their way of surprising you with unique flavors while reinforcing the importance of delivering on freshness. The typography provides an influence of the service era but with a modern boldness.
Packaging and signage
Development of the brand theme was influenced by both the service era aesthetic and a pattern suggestion from Bill Gardner of Gardner Design. This vintage pattern has been used on various products throughout history like lawn chairs and window awnings dating back to the 1960’s. Both styles gave me the opportunity to create a fresh combination of color, pattern, typographic style, and voice to build the brand’s visual language.
The design and packaging quality end up selling the idea that we offer high quality, unique coffee. We’ve had several customers ask if we’re part of a national chain, thinking our branding seemed bigger than our actual footprint. This same branding helps us enter local grocery stores as our brand is refreshingly different from standard national coffee packaging.– Jason Gardner, Local Roasters Co. Owner