Design Process

  • Watercolor Orchids for Grandma

    I watercolored these orchids for my Grandmother's memorial. After I painted them by hand, I scanned them into Photoshop and made a few minor adjustments before dropping them into the program and thank you card. 

  • Design Process: History, Location, Competitors, Inspirations

    This is a little late because I've been so busy, but here is the second part of my brand analysis. The important thing to assess in a brand analysis is: 

    • What is this brand?
    • Who are their competitors? And, what else is their audience consuming? 
    • What are other similiar brands doing well? And, what elements of these brands should we adapt into our brand? 
    • What makes this brand unique? 

    I build all of this thinking into a PDF, or process book, along with my analysis of the current state of the brand from Part 1. 

    To begin to accomplish this, first I took a little at Jones Coffee Roasters history. I found out they have been in Pasadena for 15 years, but just in the last 10 years were they an actual coffee shop. Jones is family owned by a mother and son. Plus, what makes them unique is that they own their own coffee farm in Guatemala, which has been in the family for over 150 years and has been passed down through five generations. This is really want makes Jones Coffee Roasters unique—many coffee shops today roast their own beans, but not many can say they farmed the beans. Plus, not many can guarantee the freshness or authenticity of their cup. 

    Here are the history pages in my process book: 

    After that, I took a look at Pasadena, Calif. and what are some of the most iconics locations and things to do.

    Pasadena's Official Visitors website says there are "16 historical districts packed into 23 square miles", including the Gamble House, City Hall, The Huntington Library, Castle Green, and the Pasadena Playhouse

    Pasadena's Official Visitors website says "Designed by Pasadena architects Charles and Henry Greene, the Gamble House is considered to be one of the finest examples of architecture from the American Arts & Crafts Movement. The home was built in 1908 for David and Mary Gamble (of Procter & Gamble or P&G)."

    The website continues on to describe Old Town Pasadena. "The district’s cobblestone courtyards, quaint alleyways and ornate architecture date back to the 1880s." 

    Accoriding to a reliable source named Wikipedia, Pasadena has a rich history and legacy. It was incorporated on June 19, 1886, becoming only the second city to be incoporated after Los Angeles. It's the 9th largest city in Los Angeles County. It is known for its art and its science: Tournament of Roses Parade, CalTech, JPL, Fuller Theological Seinary, Art Center College of Design,  Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, the Norton Simon Museum of Art, and the Pacific Asia Museum

    There's definitely a common architecture to Pasadena: many of the buildings have a historical, but artsy feel to them. Something regal, but also up-and-coming. A contrast of both old and new. Even though Pasadena is a city that has been around for a while, as a native to Pasadena, I definitely can sense an upswing in the city—a rejuvenation. 

    Pasadena has had an influx of new coffee brands and shops in the last few years. Here's a summary of competitors within 10 miles of Jones Coffee Roasters: 

    Here's a look of the best coffee shops in Los Angeles right now, according to the Los Angeles Coffee Club:

    Note that Jones was not listed, despite its rich history in an up-and-coming city. Since I looked this last week, the coffee list has since disappeared. I believe Copa Vida was listed though. 

    After that, I researched some inspiration. I started first by googling the best coffee shops in the world. I pulled the best looking brands from these list. The first one was from Buzzfeed: "Coffee Shops You Need To See Before You Die".

    Thrillist's "Best Coffee Shops in America":

    Thrillist's "12 Best Coffee Shops in LA"

    And because San Francisco has such a rich and up-and-coming coffee scene—Thrillist's "The Definitive Top 11 Bay Area Coffee Roasters".

    Next, I took a closer look at a few inspiration brands, picking them specifically for different reasons. 

    Ozo Coffee and Halfwit Coffee Roasters bot have strong uses of theming and iconographic systems for their coffee flavors and roasts: 

    Ozo Coffee theming and icon system was inspired by the ancient Mayan writing system. The glyphs were designed by using individual systems from five distinct categories: Region, Origin, Processing & Certification, Taste, and Elevation. This system creates a unique and meaningful artwork for each roast.

    Similiarly, Halfwit Coffee Roasters was inspired by the company's "self-aware, irreverent sense of humor and appreciation for sci-fi" says their design agency, Firebelly Design. The logo has a "mad scientist" flare to it with a system of icons to represent the "wild bouquet of flavors" that goes into each blend. 

    Next, I looked at Balzac Coffee Roasters. I felt like it had the artsy, urban, rustic flare to it that Jones tries to encapsulate with their coffee shop decor. The blend of digital handlettering contrasting with the vintage, antique arts decor—something new with something historic. This would be a good way to maintain and utilize the rich history of Jones Coffee Roasters and the city of Pasadena. 

    Next, I picked Irving Farm, which recently rebranded. At one point, their branding was done by one of my favorites, Louise Fili. It's recently been redone by Blackrose NYC. I thought that would be an interesting way for Jones Coffee Roasters to progress their branding and drive towards their potential. Irving Farm has taken their brand, from urban and organic, and created a brand presence fit for 21st Century Manhattan. You can see the branding by Louise Fili here

    The next three, Boxcar Coffee Roasters, Fuel Coffee, and Onyx Coffee Lab, I picked because they seem to carry the artsy, urban vibe that Jones Coffee Roasters has. 

    Jones wants to capitalize on the fact they are "seed-to-cup" and that their uniqueness is their family-owned, fifth generation farm. It seems, based on their current brand work, they feel the best way to capitialize on this is to retain the farmer's market urban feel of their brand. These three brands display that artsy edge while still having developed theming and/or branding. 

    Coffee Supreme does an excellent job of combining the simplistic with artsy illustration with an urban flare. Their bags are very simple, but their logo is very artistic and their illustration maintain some of the gritty-ness and rustic-ness probably of the original brand. 

    Coffee Supreme won packaging awards from The Dieline in 2013 and was rebranded by Hardhat Design. Check out the case study here

    After that, I take a deeper look at the similiar companies Jones Coffee Roasters' audience is looking at and consuming as they consume Jones. For sure, the big one would have to be Copa Vida. Even though it's only been around since 2013. It's a very popular spot in Old Town Pasadena and it offers much of the same as Jones, except maybe a better location and not the "seed-to-cup" guarantee. Copa Vida has music nights and coffee training classes as well. They also have a kitchen and offer a few breakfast and lunch items. 

    It might be good to also add that when I am thinking of Jones' audience or consumers, I'm automatically assuming that their most loyal customers—the ones that have been with them 10-15 years—will come no matter the branding or the environment. Not only are these people loyal, but it's part of their routine and daily life and that is not going to change after 15 years. When I think of audience, I'm thinking who do they want to attract to create a new generation of loyal costumes and what/where are these people at or already consuming.

    You can see the difference in the atmosphere right away. Copa Vida is light with lots of expansive and welcoming open space. The green accent color symbolizes youth, health, renewal, good luck and money—many of the attributes Copa Vida wants in themselves and in their customers...and wants to bring to their customers. 

    Next is Juice Served Here. This juice company can often be found partnering with coffee shops—encapsulating that 20-40 crowd of elite coffee drinkers and hipsters. The things to note here are the white open space and how it mixes with the wood and lets the colorful drinks do the color popping. 

    Another popular and fairly new coffee shop in Pasadena is Lavender & Honey. Again, it hasn't been open as long as Jones Coffee Roasters has, but it's business has picked up fast. Lavender & Honey are known for their expensive toasts. Again, look at their decor: white, open space, light—retains the organic, natural feeling, but also creates an atmosphere that invites you. The handlettering also helps it keep the relational, mom-and-pop feel to it. 

    The last place I looked at is not in Pasadena, but I feel like it has the edgy, artsy vibe that Jones Coffee Roasters interior has and that is the Angel City Brewing Company. Its branding plays off the richess history of Los Angeles and Hollywood. It has an urban flare to it as well. 

    Now that all of my research and analyzing is done, I can move towards coming up with brand attributes and a brand personality based on my knowledge Jones Coffee Roasters and its owners. Look for that on Friday or Saturday! 

  • Design Process: Brand Analysis

    In addition to my Coffee Design Series, I will be starting a Design Process series that details my design process and key steps into branding (or in this case, rebranding) an identity. I will be using one of my favorite coffee shops in Pasadena, Jones Coffee Roasters as an example. 

    Jones still has a very organic, mom-and-pop feel to their branding, their packaging, and their interior design. Through this series, I'll breakdown a redesign (while redesigning), explaining the steps in my process as well as learning new portions of design like packaging and interior experiential design. Stay tune! I'm pretty stoked for this process. And to keep myself accountable, I hope to post an update to this series every Friday. 

    So far, here's the steps I've determined: 

    Week 1: Brand analysis of the current state
    Week 2: Brand analysis of competitors, inspirations, companies with similiar audiences
    Week 3: Brand attributes (includes word mapping) 
    Week 4: Logo sketches round 1
    Week 5: Logo sketches round 2
    Week 6: Logo sketches round 3
    Week 7: Brand extension (colors, typography, containers, textures, photography) 
    Week 8: Packaging
    Week 9: Merchandise
    Week 10: Web/Social Media
    Week 11: Experiential/Store Design
    Week 12: Recap 

    Since I'm new to most of the things at the end of this project, I'll need to use Skillshare and YouTube (with probably a fair amount of googling) to learn the ins and outs of packaging, merchandise, and store design. 


    So let's start with brand analysis.

    This is a process we worked on developing while I was at Gloo: analyzing and dissecting the current state of a brand. 

    Jones Coffee Roasters is a little under a mile away from my house. There are two stores currently right now (and there use to be one in West Hollywood). I took pictures of the store on my last visit. 

    Here's some more visual research I found online: 

    Here's a close up on the label with the logo. 

    A few criticisms that immediately: the graphic is suppose to be coffee beans on tree, but it's pixelated. It's very busy, there's so much going on, and so the location, website and phone number are lost. Also, now days, there are fresh ways of presenting the type of blend, describing the beans, and categorizing the roast level. 

    It looks like Jones recently did a logo refresh or something in preparation for the opening of their second store at Vroman's Bookstore called The Next Chapter

    Here's what their old logo, their new business card, their website, and social media currently look like: 

    The top left is a recent flyer of theirs and you can see the updated logo on it. The bottom two are the new logo, one on signage in their coffee bean farm in Guatemala and one of their coffee bean bags on a table. I think it's safe to say they are doing a soft roll out of their new logo/mark. 

    I checked out The Next Chapter this morning and it is definitely an matured version of the original location. The aesthetics are definitely a bit more modern than the original shop on Arroyo, but Jones does it's best to try to keep some of the global, urban vibe to it by blending global patterns, bright colors, and artwork to their modern aesthetic. 

    It's unclear if Jones is progressively rebranding or just slightly confused about their identity. They do their best to retain the earthy, organic-ness of their first shop in whatever place they can. If anything, The Next Chapter is a maturation of Jones Coffee Roasters and is more of a "coffee shop" than the roasting facility on Arroyo. This place had very little beans sold and focused more on providing a calmn atmosphere for one to buy a book and read or have a coffee date with a friend.

    From what I can tell, this is the breakdown of the Jones Coffee Roasters brand. Let me know if you think it's different—I'd love confirmation or evidence my analysis is off because ultimately this will help me be the most successful. 

    And to kickstart your brain on what I'm going to be aiming for, here are some great case studies on coffee brands: 

    Bluebeard Coffee Roasters
    Verve Coffee Roasters
    Ozo Coffee Roasters
    Stumptown Coffee Roasters

    And for some inspiration, some of my favorite packaging creative agencies and blogs: 

    The Dieline
    Lovely Package
    Packaging of the World
    PTARMAK Agency
    Moxie Sozo
    Farm Design Agency
    Chen Design Associates

    And a blog post on Sprudge about 10 Nice Packages That Highlight Coffee Branding and Design.