Monday, September 22, 2014

Switters Iced Coffee Branding & Packaging

We love coffee. And we love working with local artisans and small biz owners. So when we got a call from the folks at Switters about creating a logo and developing a band look for their new iced coffee product, the answer was as obvious as if you had asked “Does Juan Valdez have an overworked donkey?” We met with Kyle and his wife Sheri—two hip young entrepreneurs who really know their stuff about coffee—to find out how we could help them turn their dream into a reality.

After hearing about their passion for making amazing coffee, and after tasting some of their off-the-charts chilled caffeinated delights, we started working on rough logo sketches. We like to capture the essence of a brand in our initial concept sketches. A logo is like meeting someone for the first time... (you often make up your mind about them before you really even know them.) So a logo must give off the right first impression.

We started with sketches and then moved to tighter vector art, after a general direction was established. Several of us submitted logo ideas. This is how we work—as a team, we all brainstorm and throw in ideas. Each of us renders our own ideas and then we present the best ones to the client.

They happened to pick a logo concept by Joel Anderson (Anderson Design Group’s founder and Creative Director) so he was tagged with the honor of finishing out the brand mark.

After our friends chose a concept, we did a few more rounds of subtle tweaks, enhancing the brand mark by degrees. (We consider our clients to be our friends because they entrust their hopes and dreams to us and we end up communicating quite a bit during the whole process!) The winning logo concept featured a single glorious coffee bean shining like a great idea that the world has not heard about yet. The name Switters was below the shining bean (we still are not sure what Switters means, but it is very memorable and fun to say!) Then a heart symbolizing a passion for brewing and drinking coffee was set behind the words Iced Coffee. The bottom of the logo tapered to a point which released a single droplet of the nectar of the gods. 

The logo—like any good brand mark—said it all via type and imagery.

Next, Joel experimented with color. He chose coffee colors to convey from a distance that this was not grape jelly or lime juice. Beyond dark brown, light brown and cream, another accent color was needed to help draw the eye to the brand. Red was eye catching, but it is a hot color, and this is an iced coffee product. So he experimented with some icy cool colors. The resulting color palette was established. It said iced coffee. It suggested all-natural ingredients and a simple, good artisan-crafted product.

Once the logo was approved, Joel started working on label designs. Kyle and Sheri started out with 2 flavors—Black Coffee and Sweet Coffee (which has sweetened condensed milk in it.) A few weeks later, they added honey-sweetened coffee. This 3rd design needed a bee, some golden color, and a honey comb pattern to set it apart from the other 2 flavors. 

The results have been great. We created a SOLD HERE sign and an ad to get the word out. Whole Foods picked up the coffee immediately, and our friends are now on their way to success.

The coffee is truly superb—we think it tastes even better than the branding looks! If you have not tried it, you really need to check it out. Learn more about Switters here.