Sunday, 26 January 2014

Coffee - Packaging & Branding

After looking at the packaging of coffee in supermarkets I started to look online at design blogs for coffee packaging. I found a wider variety of more creatively designed packaging of coffee that is more likely to be sold in independent shops or coffee shops. 

In addition to the packaging I am also looking at the brands as this is an important part of the communication of the coffee whether this be high end, Colombian, etc. 


The brown paper suggests tradition and looks quite organic which works with the hand rendered type. The black stock on this also works well with the high contrast. 

It is also really interesting how the tops of these bags have been stitched rather than plastic sealed as again this really works with the more organic, rustic look.


Another brown paper packaging but this is much more simple. These also include plastic views which don't give an organic look. Printing colour onto the brown looks better than I expected and you can see there is a consistency across this brand. 

The use of silver instantly gives a higher end look with the metallic nature. This is a quote from the studio that designed the brand. 

“We were asked to create this new coffee brand called Morning Coffee. The main subject was to make it simple and make it questionable. What is in the bag? What’s the brand about? The best things can be said in one line, that’s what we did. Good Morning, Coffee! Who doesn’t want to start the morning with a good cup of power beans?”

Studio Konfirm

This was interesting to read as coffee has a link to the morning, this is a common time to drink coffee, and so this is quite clever branding. They have successfully achieved the questionable aspect as they haven't used any of the typical coffee colours or imagery so you do question what it is at first glance. 


I love this packaging as you can instantly tell the product is from a different country. This is packaging Colombian coffee and the geometric shape of the box works really well with the applied pattern. The brown stock with the orange and yellow feature colours visually link to coffee as the autumnal colours link to and work with the brown coffee colour. 

“We know MR BLACK isn’t for everyone, it’s not some cloying sickly sweet kiddie drink. It’s a rich, cold drip coffee liqueur for those who appreciate good coffee so our packing needed to speak to that. At MR BLACK we’re lovers of creative culture, so we knew we had to get a local artist in to help complete the product. At the same time, we didn’t want it to be an overpowering element of the design or to draw attention from the liquid inside.
Sydney artist Dale Bigeni created an original artwork for the bottle that is screen printed on the back face, revealing only as the liquid is drunk. This allows us to have quite a bold and minimal design on shelf, but has some interest and playfulness once taken home. At the end of the day, we just wanted MR BLACK to look as good as it tastes.”

This is a bit different as it coffee liquor packaging but still uses off white and gold signifying coffee. This looks very sophisticated and high end with the simple sans serif font logo. The simplicity also suggests confidence and the bold flavour. 


This is similar to the other geometric packaging but a little more simple. Again the colours link to the origins of the coffee as the packaging states this is from Kenya.

This is really interesting as this is ready made and very floral which isn't a typical coffee design. This looks very feminine and high end. The off white stock colour works well with the floral aspect. 

“The brand has a simple appearance, with abstract elements and emphasis is placed on the substance. After all, it’s really about the coffee. The new brand represents a good ambience and comfort – in other words it’s for pleasure. For the pleasure of enjoying your own little coffee moments. The brand positioning is made possible by bringing the craftsmanship to the foreground whilst letting the tradition behind it come to life. Even so, one moves with the times. The entire appearance of the brand should be unmistakable. The use and choice of font, colour and format conform to specially defined design principles.”

There is a real consistency throughout this brand with the use of bright feature colours, although all of these are somewhat muted to work with the dark brown. The typographic logo is simple but clean and sophisticated. The simplicity ensures it works across a range of products as you can see the business branding such as the letterheads etc. 

A wide range of coffee packaging is used in the brand from simple boxes to brown paper and coloured packs. Boxes would need packs inside them to keep the coffee fresh.

This is a really interesting brand as it is more conceptual than many I have seen. Here the designers explain the concept behind the use of the bird. 

“The Jacu bird lives in South America and is known for something quite extraordinary; It flies from coffee plantation to coffee plantation and picks and eats the tastiest coffee cherries. The fruit makes its way through the bird’s digestive system, and the seeds of the fruit – coffee beans – come out perfectly processed. These coffee beans are among the most exclusive in the world. This story has inspired us, and the bird has lent its name to the new micro-roastery in Ă…lesund, Norway. 
Jacu Coffee Roastery was established in 2011. Like the jacu bird, they pick and roast only the best beans. They look for great plantations, optimal processing, and the roasting profiles which will make the most out of each bean. They work with passion, patience, and without compromise.”
Although the concept is not immediately clear it has been applied in a way that visually links to coffee with the colours used. And when you realise the purpose of the bird you realise how clever the branding is. This is one of the first image based logos I have seen for a coffee brand but even with this the simple bird icons are used to spell out the name Jacu.

The stamp is another interesting part of this brand and packaging giving a more rustic, authentic look. As with other examples the brown packaging works really well for coffee. You can also see with the above images that the brand has been applied to packaging for a coffee shop such as the takeout cups, showing versatility of the brand. 

This is another clever more conceptual brand but I actually think this looks more like perfume than coffee. However, this unique nature may attract customers. There is a clear high end quality communicated through the black and metallic and the simple, light weight sans serif font used for the logo. 

Bronx range is based on the five prominent mafia family's of New York, ranging from most powerful being Gambino, to Lucchese, the lowest of the five. The panel pattern visible on each package uses the idea of gunshots to form a shape representing the chemical compound of caffeine.

The metallic 'gunshots' add a visually interesting element to the packaging and the colours used visually link to coffee. 

Again orange and brown used to communicate coffee - autumnal and a close colour to the brown of coffee. The logo incorporates an image as this works with the light hearted nature of this brand. I really like the pattern used through this brand as it creates consistency and ensures it is clear that the brand is a coffee brand. Again simple brown packaging has been used with a fold and sticker seal. This simplicity works well with the more image based brand. 

This brand features another typographic logo that is fairly simple as the packaging is more complex with detailed, coloured illustrations. This brand sells it's coffee with qualities such as 'crave' and 'oomph' which is unique and so should attract attention. 

This pack is similar to a lot of the coffee bean packs I have seen but much more structured made with card rather than foil or paper, this also means it is re-sealabe which is useful. This does however have a pack inside the card pack to keep the coffee fesh. 

This looks almost medical and so would attract a very specific audience, probably young professionals or designers as this is quite 'hipster'. It is also interesting that this is served in bottles. Although this is very unique and not typical of coffee packaging brown is still used to help this communication. 


Another clinical brand very 'hipster' looking. This is suitable for the specific target audience but wouldn't appeal to everyone. I do however feel the unique look would attract attention as so far there seems to be very common traits with coffee brands and packaging with a lot of use of browns and cremes. 

These have been designed as a proposal for Starbucks but the patterns link to the places of coffee origins such as Brazil, etc. and this is relevant to the fairtrade promotion. Such patterns could work really well on more commercial packaging making it stand out against the browns whilst still having a clear link to coffee. 

This gives a very high end look with the glossy black and it is clearly coffee packaging with the style of packaging. This pack is sealed at the top giving a neat finish. You can see that the back of the pack has information about where the coffee has come from. 

The logo is again typographic but incorporates a reference to a coffee bean to ensure it is clear the brand is a coffee brand. The script font works well under this suggesting again the high end quality. 

Another 'hispter' brand that I would have thought would be aimed at a younger audience, perhaps more creative individuals. I am not sure you would think of this as linking to coffee but it is clear from the style of the pack that coffee is inside, and I like the way the brand is so different to the typical brown brands. 

These packages are visually exciting with the bold colour on the brown. The use of a carton shape is also very different to traditional coffee packaging so would attract attention. 

This is another concept designed for the same brand and I feel this also works well with the use of the orange and the liquid style illustration implying coffee 'drips'.

This is a response to a brief set by YCN for Douwe Egberts and again oranges and reds are used which help create the link to coffee. The design is very typographic and consistent across the products. The serif font used helps link to tradition and serif fonts are often used to communicate coffee as classic and timeless. 


The use of gold gives a high end finish. This works really well on the brown stock and in a small quantity like this. I like the way the seal has been incorporated into the design rather than hidden. 

Very simple giving a sophisticated look. I really like the way the back and front of the pack have been thought about how they will work together. 

Like with a few of the above examples I came across a lot of branding and packaging for coffee shops of which the branded coffee is part of what they sell. 

I would like to look into the designs related to coffee shops more specifically as this is something I am interested in, the social aspect of coffee and the coffee shop as place for this.

Again brown is used a lot giving the coffee impression. The hand rendered style font again suggests tradition and a timeless, hand crafted quality. You can see in the above images that the brand has been successfully applied to a range of relevant products. 

I really liked the addition of a feature colour that was less typical of coffee, although this coffee shop was also a cake shop. The logo uses typographic symbols/images playing with the coffee cup and mixer to form the letters which is clever and as these are simple shapes they will work at a range of sizes. 

Again this has been applied to a range of relevant products such as takeout cups and bags, but what I really like is the way they haven't just applied their logo to all these products they have thought about the brand more generally and worked with pattern and image to communicate the brand. 

This is definitely a higher end coffee house brand and this is communicated with the use of the pale green combined with the gold. The script font also suggests this quality. The gold ensures an indication is given that this is a coffee brand but I think that when applied to relevant products it would become apparent anyway that this is coffee related brand. 

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