In the ultra-competitive coffee category, brands are increasingly differentiating themselves with unique and unexpected packaging designs that tell their brand story. Whether redesigning an existing product or branding a new product, these companies go beyond simply focusing on the functional aspects of their packaging to create memorable graphics that tell a story.
Oakland Coffee Works, founded by American rock band Green Day, is one such brand. The company was founded in 2015 “with the goal of building a premium coffee business that does things the right way,” the company says, adding, “Oakland Coffee is not only pushing the boundaries of sustainable packaging, but you gives you the energy to enjoy the present.” Among its achievements, the brand was the first in the United States to exclusively sell coffee pods and bags that are certified and compostable by municipalities.
In June, the company announced that it had embarked on an evolution in its packaging design. Upon releasing its “epic” Hella Mega Tour in 2021, Oakland Coffee founders Green Day wanted to debut the company’s pod boxes with new art that celebrates creativity. New designs feature iconic Oakland landmarks, snapshots from the recent tour, and the Guatemalan landscapes where the coffee beans come from.
For the redesign, tThe team worked with freelance artists including concert photographers, graphic designers and studio artists, with each packaging design featuring a different collaboration with a designer or artist. The first three models in the new series of 10ct coffee pod cartons include West Grand Decaf, Soundcheck Blend and Cerro De Oro, a single-origin coffee from the highlands of Guatemala. According to Oakland Coffee, the The launch is just the start of its new roasting and packaging models.
Shares Oakland Coffee co-founder Mike Dirnt, “Green Day and Oakland Coffee are thrilled to continue our collaboration with inspiring artists and expand our line of sustainably packaged, damn good organic coffees!”
New packaging captures the voice of the Dilworth brand
For Charlotte, North Carolina-based Dilworth Coffee, the rebrand involved a complete overhaul of its coffee bag graphics, moving from a generic, color-blocked design to a whimsical, unforgettable design.
Dilworth was launched in 1989 as a supplier of ethically sourced small-batch coffee to stores and independent distributors. As business grew, the company added turnkey supplies, equipment, and training for independent cafes. “But greater distribution and retail presence has not translated into commensurate consumer awareness of the Dilworth Coffee brand.“, shares the company.
To create a new brand image that would help it develop a closer relationship with its ever-changing customer base, Dilworth tapped advertising and branding agency The Republik. Explains agency CEO Robert Shaw West, “With a 30 year anniversary as the reason for a change to take place, our job was to show the ‘newer is the better’ coffee culture that Dilworth still had a lot of valid coffee wisdom. So we channeled our inner “Dude” to share the vibe.
The result is a variety of Dilworth coffee bags featuring vintage black and white photographs of a circus scene, skiing, a haystack, a cigarette boat and zebra racing. According to Dilworth CEO Jeff Vojta, “This is the first time our brand voice has felt like it has been captured in a way that resonated with our customers while making us proud. “
Displaying a full 180 of Dilworth’s vintage vibe is a packaging design for a bagged coffee product from new San Francisco food tech startup Compound Foods. Compound offers sustainable lab-grown, grain-free coffee that is said to “taste, look and smell the same as the coffee we know and love with a smaller footprint to ensure a bigger, brighter future for coffee and the planet”.
Lab-grown coffee visual identity tells the story of the process
For its visual identity, Compound Foods turned to creative design and branding agency Pearlfisher. Notes the agency, its challenge was to develop a strong and cohesive brand for Compound Foods that would invite coffee lovers around the world into their story, pioneering product and mission. “We wanted to counter the idea that an innovative product like this has to look scientific or futuristic,” says Annie Seely, associate director of strategy at Pearlfisher New York. “Coffee is a fundamental part of many people’s day. He has strong emotional and personal ties, so we really got into the question of what would we do without him? This led us to the idea that when it comes to coffee, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole – our love for it isn’t just about the drink itself; it’s about the ritual, the culture, the myriad feelings it evokes in us, and the multi-sensory experience of drinking it, smelling it, holding it.
The resulting packaging graphics are bright, fun and exciting, showcasing the unique nature of bean-free coffee and telling the story of the process behind Compound. From the plant to the fermenter to the brand’s water-saving efforts, each element is illustrated and contained within an abstract, illustrated letter C. new sensory world of coffee,” shares Pearlfisher.
Compound Foods Founder, Maricel Saenz, says, “We are incredibly proud of our mission, and Pearlfisher’s colorful and striking visual identity now allows us to be proud in the world and on the shelves, as we make the coffee for the future without the negative impact on the environment.