Jon Contino and the La Marzocco Yearbook

03.21


Over the years, La Marzocco has published several books covering various aspects of the coffee industry, coffee process and the heritage of their beautiful espresso machines. For their most recent release, Year Book 2011, La Marzocco teamed up with renown designer and illustrator Jon Contino, known for highlighting authentic heritage (and creating the feeling of it) with wonderful hand drawn illustrations and typography.

Contino, a New York native who co-founded the lifestyle brand CXXVI, which captures the spirit of rugged east coast Americana has lent his creative hand to the tradition of fine espresso. The book’s gorgeous photos by Sven Hoffman are complimented with the hand-crafted stylings of La Marzocco’s focus on “true artisans” and the “finest quality.”

See more at Jon Contino and order a copy from La Marzocco

[tipped by Vespertine Press]

 

posted by on 03.21.2012, under Design

Designer Dreaming: WBC San Francisco

02.03

This year’s barista competitions are now in full swing and baristas around the world have begun competing for a shot at the world title in Vienna this summer. It’s a big deal in the specialty coffee industry, but I doubt you’ll see many billboards from Ticketmaster advertising the event. However, if the World Barista Championship ever finds itself heading to San Francisco, they should call up designer Valerie Schwartz and ask what it would cost to change the date on these posters and start posting them around town.

The beautiful line drawings of San Francisco’s hillside landscapes combined with great typography have created a truly incredible set of collateral for the event—even in its hypothetical state. The series of posters, tickets and event program are successfully tied together with a system of watercolor (coffee) textures and a monochromatic palette.

The design uses several coffee clichés in new and elegant ways to make it populist as well as innovative. If real, it could have the potential of reaching a broader audience and encourage regular coffee consumers to learn more about how the profession is being pushed to new heights and improving their coffee experiences.

More at Valerie Schwartz

posted by on 02.03.2012, under Design

Mo’ Coffee Mo’ Progress

11.07

Truth illustrated by Chris Piascik.

Chris draws something awesome everyday. Most likely through abiding the mantra above. With great coffee, comes great reward. Keep up the great work.

posted by on 11.07.2011, under Design, Misc.

No X in Espresso — The Shirt

05.13

This was initially a poster, but it has gotten enough love and I’ve had enough requests to put it on a shirt—I’ve finally done so. The process of selling shirts can be a hassle in terms of ordering the right sizes and having enough in stock for everyone who may potentially order, so I’ve launched a pre-order to raise the money for shirts and allow people to specify their size before they are made.

There will be two options, black on heather gray (pictured above) and a white on black. I’m looking at two different shirts right now, and the final choice will depend on availability—either American Apparel Tri-Blend or Anvil 50/50 Eco. Both are high quality shirts that are super soft and comfortable.

Now available for order.

posted by on 05.13.2011, under Design, Products

Morning Has Broken

05.12

Simon Ålander is a Digital Media student at Hyper Island in Stockholm, Sweden. Hyper Island is basically the future of creative education and anyone who attends, will most likely have their choice of opportunities after graduation. Simon emailed me a few months ago with a typography question and recently sent me this—a coffee inspired poster he designed—leading me to believe there’s nothing new I could actually tell him about typography. Incredible work.

I also love his website name, Coffee Made Me Do It.

posted by on 05.12.2011, under Design

Boycott Bold

02.10

This poster was created with the same intention as the others I’ve designed—to simply express my own frustration with certain habits and trends within the coffee industry. While the first one (the dreaded x) was self explanatory, some of these need a bit more explanation. So let this be the first.

Bold: adj \’bōld\ 1) Fearless before danger. Daring. Adventurous. See ‘bold’ type.

I know that coffee fearlessly takes on each morning like an undefeated champion and gives us the courage to face the day. But there are many other ways to describe this revelation—and the taste of your coffee—than with a hollow descriptor that Starbucks practically own the rights to:

What Makes a Coffee Bold? At Starbucks we will call a coffee bold based on its flavor intensity. Bold can come from a combination of roast, flavor intensity or the complexity due to where is it grown. Some examples are the grapefruit notes in Kenya or the full body of the earthy and spicy Komodo Dragon Blend®. –Starbucks

By this definition, any coffee that exhibits “complexity, ” whether it’s a citrusy Kenyan or a spicy Indonesian constitutes being described as “bold.” Coffee by its very nature is an intense (some might say bold) beverage. The flavors, the aromatics, the body, the complexity, the caffeine—all create a unique beverage experience unlike anything else.

However, the word “bold” has been hijacked by marketing and used to describe everything from darker roasts, to higher brew ratios, to even implying there is more caffeine in bold coffee (which there isn’t). This creates confusion among customers, frustration among baristas, and puts pressure on roasters to participate in the erroneous descriptor circus, just to sell coffee to an indoctrinated market.

The industry is full of metaphor and sometimes rather curious coffee descriptions:

Sweet, just bracing enough, the coffee recalls nothing so much as getting out of the subway at Lincoln Center on an icy winter day with three dollars in your pocket, and saying “Yes. Today is the day I buy those honey-roasted cashews from the guy with the nut cart.” –Blue Bottle Coffee

But creative and indiscernible is better than vague and ambiguous. My suggestion, remove “bold” from your coffee vocabulary. Boycott bold. Begin to notice more specific characteristics of your coffee—do you like sweet, fruity, floral, citrus, spicy, smokey, nutty, earthy, chocolaty? These are some of the basic coffee flavors that can help you pick out what you enjoy about your coffee. You don’t need to discern Satsuma orange and rosewater to order a coffee you’ll like, but everyone will benefit if you avoid using bold.

posted by on 02.10.2011, under Design, Misc.

Vintage Coffee Tins

11.30

The Dieline discovered this amazing set of vintage coffee cans from the 19th century in the virtual aisles of Z&K Antiques. While I can only imagine how terrible the coffee was, the eclectic spirit of the typography and design is fantastic. Enjoy!

posted by on 11.30.2010, under Design, Misc.

Coffee sack patio chairs

10.28

I’ve posted great examples of coffee sack reuse before, and I’ve recently come across another with Ashley’s patio chairs. After tiring of the original seat covers, she decided to replace them with some of the coffee sacks she got for free from a local roaster. It sounds like we’re both drawn to the aesthetic of the screen printed type on burlap and she’s found a great way to integrate the look into her home (or atleast on the porch).

A complete how-to was posted on Ashley’s blog, Makin’ It.

via Design*Sponge

posted by on 10.28.2010, under Design, Misc.

National Coffee Day

09.29

There isn’t much more to say. Enjoy a cup or two, it’s National Coffee Day!

posted by on 09.29.2010, under Design

Less than you think

08.20

This is my latest print in an attempt to shine light on some of the common misconceptions that surround espresso. However, this one is questionable. I’ve read many studies that suggest that a shot of espresso has less caffeine than an 8oz cup of drip/pour-over coffee and others that state the opposite, depending on how it’s measured. I tend to think a 1oz shot is going to have significantly less caffeine, does anyone out there know otherwise? Please let me know!

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posted by on 08.20.2010, under Design, Misc.