I love Intelligentsia (call me a fanboy), but they really roast and brew damn good coffee. Also, their brand is a designer’s dream. I’ve recently been doing some research in the world of skateboard design, so when I saw this posted by @coffeeactivist, I got really excited. I googled around, but came up with no other information. If anyone knows where this came from and if they are available somewhere, please let me know!
While I recently posted about the beauty of a reusable lid for your ceramic mug, I was coincidentally sent this editorial, writen by reknown design writer Steven Heller, regarding his love for the Solo plastic lid.
Like Pavlov’s compliant canine, I salivate whenever I see someone walking down the street holding a paper coffee cup topped with a Solo Traveler lid. The various other varieties of plastic covers, including some that look like the Starship Enterprise, don’t move me at all. And Styrofoam cups are a total turn-off, but paper cups crowned with that raised, pierced rim make me want to bark at the moon — I mean, savor a hot beverage… -Times Magazine
While I admire Heller’s passion—I too prefer the simple Solo lid to the complex mechanisms in the fancier ones, which never seem to work correctly—I believe his article’s focus is naive and irresponsible. To praise the design of something that is meant to have a lifespan of less than an hour—only to sit for billions of years in a pile someplace, or float around aimlessly in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch—is wreckless abuse of his authority as a design critic. While the Mug Hug isn’t the most beautiful solution(though it’s clearly inspired by the Solo lid), functionally it’s far superior. It reduces mass amounts of unnecessary waste, which is a far more pressing problem designers should be focused on solving, not how well a lid, metaphorically, resembles suckling from our mother’s tit.
Caribou Coffee, the second largest coffee chain in the USA, just updated their brand. While I think their coffee is just as bad as Starbucks, at least their refreshing identity will make you think otherwise until you taste it. This is a huge upgrade from their old branding which tried too hard to feel “rustic,” but I hope they use the hand drawn elements sparingly. It can become too much, too quick. I also find the coffee bean/caribou body to be a little forced, however cute. See more over at Colle + McVoy—the Minneapolis agency who worked on the re-design.
From the Press Release:
When approaching the logo redesign, we didn’t want to lose the important equities of the previous logo, so the new logo still includes a leaping caribou, a shield and the words “Caribou Coffee.” What has changed, however, is the look: from a Northern lodge theme to a fresh variation of the same elements, now rooted in natural textures and fluid graphics.
“Because coffee is the heart and soul of our company, the body of the caribou is formed out of a coffee bean. In addition, the caribou’s antlers now form the shape of the letter ‘C’.” Another significant change in the logo is the direction of the caribou’s leap. While the Caribou in the previous logo was leaping left, the caribou now leaps right, signifying the direction the company is heading — into the future.
“The shield element has been updated to resemble the shape of traditional national park signage. This is a nod to our founders’ hike in Alaska’s Denali National Park, where they were inspired to start the company,” said Alfredo Martel, senior vice president of marketing for Caribou Coffee.
Designed by Jörg Boner, in Zurich, this beautiful thermos will easily transport a pot of coffee for you and a friend to the nearest park to share a lovely afternoon of conversation and caffeine.
Thermos is a coffee pot for people on the move. It carries two cups and is no bigger than fits comfortably into a bag. The elastic band that fixes the cups into place can be transformed into a handle in just one move, turning the termos bottle into a coffee pot. The way in which it plays with both archetypes is characteristic of the product.
Haik Avanian loves coffee. So it’s no surprise that his lego doppelgänger does too. He needs all that caffeine to fuel his endless list of amazing projects, like Reknit (where his mother reknits old sweaters into cool new things). Cheer up lego Haik, we’ll get you a refill too.
I really love coffee, but I equally love bikes and good design. So when I saw this mug I fell hard. It stung even more when I found out they aren’t available (yet!), but when they are, I’ll be sure to let everyone know. The Scallywags started out building frankenbikes in a garage up North, but now deliver coffee by bike to homes and businesses around Huntsville, AL. Here’s the scoop on their future offering.
Created by a world traveler who dared to ask the question: “What good is a sturdy metal mug with a flimsy plastic handle?” Whether you’re a hardcore coffee drinker or a dabbler, this 14 oz. double-walled insulated stainless steel mug is what you’re after. Bicycle brake handle fixed in one of two positions. Non-skid bottom and snug-fitting plastic lid.
Frank Chimero is a brilliantly clever illustrator and designer soon relocating to Portland, Oregon. Frank and I first met in the land of Intelligentsia (Chicago, IL), but we were usually out drinking beer together, not coffee. The first time we had coffee was a couple cups of Blue Bottle outside the Ferry Building in San Francisco. During which our conversations teetered between our love of coffee and world domination (you can’t have one without the other).
Is coffee a routine part of your workflow? If so, how important is it to your creative process? Yep! Most mornings start out the same. Wake up, get ready, do a cursory glance at my inbox, then head over to my local coffee haunt (the Mudhouse) to get some piping hot, locally roasted drip coffee. If I’m teaching that day, I walk the extra block to my classroom. If not, I usually plant there for a bit to take care of the morning niceties and communication obligations.
How many cups do you have a day? Typically two. Any more than that, and I think I can feel my heartbeat sync with the twitch in my left eye. Sometimes I have more than two cups. COFFEE!
Who makes your favorite roast and how do you drink it? I’m going to go plain jane here: Stumptown House Blend in a french press. Then it goes in a mug. And then in my belly. I take pleasure in the simple things. It’s not exotic, but I dare you to say it’s not good.
Any chance you will actually design a set of coffee mugs in the near future? I would love to! Who wants to get going on this with me?
Burning the midnight oil usually requires fuel. Check out more of Franks’s work at www.frankchimero.com