Black Sheep Coffee Company is a different breed. Growing up, I was the black sheep of my family and it was that individuality that made me who I am. The sheep’s head logo is something that exemplifies that.
Logo In Action
Where coffee is not just a commodity, it's a way of life.
Black Sheep Coffee Company is a brand that takes a very hands on approach. Whether through the careful intricate alchemy of coffee roasting or selecting the perfect, ethically sourced beans from farms where workers are paid a fair, living wage; Black sheep's intimate connection to its brand and its relationships with its community is reflected in the hand-drawn nature of its logo. They don't just drink coffee... they live it.
Serif typeface emphasizes tradition.
Hand-drawn styling of the iconic sheep's head logo reflects a deep connection and intimacy with the product and its community.
The original idea for these bags was to reflect the culture of the region that these coffees come from. I really wanted Black Sheep to maintain that deep connection with people. So, I tried to incorporate some of the colors of the Ethiopian Flag and an outline of the Hartebeast, an animal unique to Ethiopia
This design is good,
but it doesn't match the aesthetic of BLACK SHEEP COFFEE COMPANY
After extensive research I discovered pictures of traditional Ethiopian textiles. Patterns made of shapes like this were very common. So I did some digging and found a picture of a traditional warrior's shield and hand- drew this vector shape.
THIS was the final piece to the puzzle, this was how I stayed on brand for Black Sheep, and also paid homage to the culture of the region. This connected way of thinking is what makes Black Sheep unique
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. For a brand rooted in tradition, it only makes sense that their flagship roast be Ethiopian Guji. "The Bag" as with everything in design, has gone through multiple stages of design and creative direction. Below are the three major stages I've taken this particular product through.
The bag for Black Sheep's Mexico Chiapas coffee was easier to design after my work on Ethiopia. I knew that I now had a visual language to work within: Matte Black, accented golds, and fonts and imagery that convey cultural connectivity.
Connectivity is essential in anything Black Sheep does so its bags have to represent that.
For this roast’s identity, I decided to try a spin on the Calavera which symbolizes the tradition and celebration of ancestry long associated with the legendary farmers of this region.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED
In this project, I've learned a lot things. Chief among them, the importance of research. Especially when it came to the product design with the different roasts. It's easy to work within constraints, the real challenge is developing those constraints. That is probably what I've enjoyed most. I would love to keep expanding on this idea in my free time; my next step would be to develop a layout for the drink menu and the store interior as well as any ancillary merchandise design like t-shirts, hats, stickers etc.
This visual language of intimacy and connection to the craft that I've been able to create is something that can be easily expanded upon which makes it ideal for a growing business. I'm very satisfied with the results.