One day I had a phonecall from a lovely chap called Neal: a local businessman with a passion for coffee (whatever you do, don't ask him if he takes sugar*). His company, which was originally called 'The Yorkshire Coffee Company', had two sides to it - not only hand crafting coffee, but also fixing coffee machines too (don't worry, not at the same time). Neal asked me to come up with a brand for his business in order to take it to the next step and be able to give the brand personality. After chatting through some initial ideas, it was clear that traditional industry was an important aspect of the business, but Neal still wanted the brand to have a current feel to it. He asked me to come up with something that was modern but had a nod back to the past, perhaps incorporating some of my hand lettering or something illustrative that made the brand unique.
Sometimes it's hard to know exactly what someone has in mind for their brand and so in order to make things clearer, I created mood boards so I could decide upon an initial starting point before spending lots of time on designs that had not had sufficient research. From this it was obvious that Neal loved clean, Nordic design but did not want anything too stereotypical (big coffee beans and coffee cups were a big no!). As we discussed more of Neal's preferences for the brand, it became apparent that the name 'Yorkshire Coffee Company' did not quite reflect the values of the company. I suggested a shorter and more relevant name may work better - one that reflected his work ethic and gave more scope for a minimal design. We eventually concluded upon 'Worker Coffee', which fitted in more with Neal's personality - a proper grafter with good taste in coffee.
So I started to draw up some initial ideas in my sketchbook, developing the best ideas into initial concepts that I could send to Neal for his feedback. I think it's important that the end result is reflective of the unique personality of the business and that the client feels like they've been part of the process of evolving it. I am also a huge believer that the process makes the brand more successful and appeals to the right target audience, in turn helping businesses to make lots more money.
After a few developments, Neal mentioned to me that he loved an irregular diamond shape, which was reflective of some of the traditional icons and symbols used in engineering. I decided to develop this shape with the letter 'W' inside it. I wanted the brand to work both with and without the wording so that it could be used as stand alone stamps on coffee cups or signage, but also in full to give it context.
I came up with the above elements for the final concept, which Neal loved because of the brand's versatility. They had also fulfilled the brief of a modern design with a nod back to the past.
Once the brand had been approved, Neal then wanted me to look at the packaging of his coffee. Neal had come up with all sorts of quirky names for the coffees he made, which I loved. The initial idea of fully illustrating the packaging, though, was not going to be practical becasue Neal wanted to have a more iconic approach, enabling him to use a range of icons as stamps. He initially had several names he wanted to develop packaging for but in the end decided to start small and expand at a later date once he'd tried and tested it.
So, keep your eyes peeled for Worker Coffee, and more designs in the not too distant future. I hope you like the finished result. Anyone for coffee?
*proper coffee should never be served with sugar. But you knew that, right?