Star Wars Coffee


For all those Star Wars fans out there, designer Eric Beatty has designed the ultimate gift—if only it were more than a concept. This was developed for a school project asking students to design a new product for Urban Outfitters. While I hope the clothing boutique refrains from selling coffee, I’m sure there’s a very big market for something like this. Intelligentsia x George Lucas Collab anyone? The set includes Darth Coffee blend, Storm Trooper filters, and Chewbacca brown sugar. Truly wonderful…

May the force brew with you…
No, I am your barista…
He’s holding a thermal carafe!

Ok, I’m done.

[via TheDieline]

posted by on 12.01.2011, under Design, Misc., Products

Rise: Coffee Vs. Zombies


This is a fun packaging concept by designer Hillary Fisher, who’s aptly blended the latest cycle of zombie trendiness with a brand of coffee called Rise. The colors and illustrations evoke a bit of a candy shop feel and remind me of Plants Vs. Zombies, which is what makes it so interesting in the realm of coffee.

While the stitched closure wouldn’t really keep the beans fresh, I’m sure that with more exploration, a functional solution could be discovered. I really enjoy the blend names, “Flesh Faced French Roast”—also how I’d describe the taste of a French roast—and “Brain Dead Breakfast Blend,” which is just fun to say (ten times fast).

Hillary also developed a line of post-coffee gum to compliment the other offerings and designed a miniature grave site to create a brilliant presentation of the goods.

[via The Dieline]

posted by on 02.08.2011, under Design, Misc., Products

Students re-design Peet’s Coffee


Of the major coffee chains, I’ve always found Peet’s to have the least appealing brand. Even though their coffee is usually better than the other large chains, I tend avoid it for this reason. I’ve never felt completely comfortable in their stores, which always seem more fitting to a grandmother than your typical urban dwelling coffee drinker. And their attempt to feel like an Old World trader on the Silk Road, falls short of authentic. With Caribou and Seattle’s Best freshening up their brand, is Peet’s next? A couple design students have recently taken the liberty to do so for them.

The first, and nicer of the two, is by Tomoko Ogino who is a student at Art Center College of Design. This direction is modern, but remains soft and inviting to those who would normally be turned off by such a thing. Tomoko uses a high-tech clear bag, normally unused for quality reasons, that supposedly protects the beans from harmful UV light. This immediately makes the packaging unique from the competition and allows the product to speak for itself. The bag tags also allows for an efficient and flexible system to replace the old one that required different bags to be printed for each bean.

The second direction was designed by Chul Lee, also from the Art Center College of Design. While I understand that school is a place for exploration and I appreciate Chul’s work for pushing what’s expected of coffee packaging, I don’t think it’s very realistic. Unlike Tomoko’s modern redesign, which makes the brand approachable by a broad demographic—this direction polarizes the brand too much for Peet’s market. Cardboard packaging also wouldn’t be ideal to retain the freshness of the coffee—unless it were lined—adding to the cost and complexity of production.

Both redesigns are better than Peet’s current brand and either would entice me to actually stop in their stores more often. It’s nice to see students capable of showing large companies how much better they could be, if only they would invest in design.

Tomoko’s work via The DieLine
Chul’s work via Lovely Package

posted by on 11.11.2010, under Design

Student Work – Java Nest


A colorful package design project from Texas Tech design student, Cari Cadwell. While I’m not a fan of blends, the bird theme and the onomatopoeias used for the blend names create a unique conceptual brand within the realm of coffee. There’s also no such thing as an “espresso roast,” (one of my pet peeves of coffee packaging/marketing). Espresso is a method of brewing, but I’ll forgo that rant. On to the work:

The concept for my packaging is a retro feeling coffee. It is a series of coffee that uses the onomatopoeias for the various blends of coffee, such as Cock-a-doodle-doo for breakfast blend. The brand name I made up was Java Nest Coffee because of the bird theme. This was an open project for my student portfolio, and was awarded ‘Best Packaging’ in Texas Tech’s senior portfolio show for Communication Design.

via Lovely Package.

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posted by on 06.21.2010, under Design, Misc.