Caravan Coffee

Company: Caravan Coffee
Dates: 2015-2017
Role: Contract Brand Designer and Marketing ConsultantCaravan is a long-standing artisan coffee roaster that has proudly served many years of quality coffee. Their branding and packing did not have the same history of quality. I was hired as a brand designer and marketing consultant to bring cohesiveness and quality to their

The Problem and Opportunity

Over fifteen years of business, three different brand looks were developed for Caravan. Caravan Coffee brand previously had a lot of symbolic imagery, illustration and colors that were all developed at different periods of time. Each “era” of the brand was still being used in packaging, disposable cups, shipping box labels, etc., so the brand presence was confusing. At the time of my hire, all the different branding ideas were being used simultaneously. They needed a new visual identity to match their consistent superior taste.

The Tasks

  • Holistic brand design, including a new logo
  • Packaging design for multiple products
  • Design signage, print advertising, a print catalog, swag and other marketing items
  • Provide consulting for marketing and interior design

The Process

Step 1: Get to the heart of Caravan Coffee.

There was a lot of visually messy history to the Caravan Coffee brand, and there were a lot of ideas of what the brand should be. Over the course of months, I went to many meetings with the Caravan stakeholders to better understand who they were and develop their mission through questions, style boards and discussion.

Through this process, the main theme rang through: Intentionality. Intentionality in their product, their process, their interaction with customers. This became the base for designing the brand.

Step 2: Design a logo and brand that complements the heart of excellence and intentionality while targeting the right market.

Through different research, we found the average consumer of Caravan coffee was middle-aged suburban business professionals. Previously our branding efforts had been targeting a younger demographic of adventure seekers so we repositioned our design direction.

We created the new alterations to be more simple, classic and elegant. Marrying the organic elements of kraft texture, botanical illustration with high contrast modern typography. I was able to apply this in a way to attract both new customers of a younger demographic while increasing the appeal to the current market.

The new Caravan brand simplifies their look to a single wordmark, simplifies the imagery to a line illustration of a coffee plant, and reduces the color palette to only a small handful of colors. This simplicity allowed for the brand to be easily applied across more mediums. The classic look appeals to their audiences while setting a foundation for building the brand over time.

Step 3: Develop packaging designs. (The coffee sales were their bread and butter, so the right design was vital.)

There were three elements we needed to consider in packaging.

  1. Flexibility of design
  2. Affordability of manufacturing

After finalizing our design direction and style guide I began the packaging phase. I worked with the sales team, marketing team and leadership on multiple renditions of packaging. In order for the packaging to work for multiple coffee blends and remain affordable to produce, there were multiple considerations I had to make.

Step 4: Apply the new look and to all the touchpoints of the Caravan Coffee brand.

Relationship is important in design. One of my favorite parts of this design was getting to be a part of applying this brand to all visual elements. This included: all packaging, signage, print advertising, iconography, print catalog, interior design, swag, vehicle wrap and other miscellaneous marketing items.

The Finished Product