This week we take a look at Broadcast Coffee Roasters that just debuted a brand refresh after 11 years of business in Seattle, Washington. Inspired by the fashion world, beer world, and Handsome Coffee Roasters, Broadcast Coffee's new line of packaging is striking and sleek. We talked to Sales and Marketing Director Timothy Graham to learn more.
Tell us a bit about your company.
The heart of our company is our founder, Barry Faught. He hails from the expansive wheat fields and deep blue skies of Idaho. His father, Bill Bailey, was a radio DJ and local celebrity in Boise. After college, Barry ended up in the family business of broadcasting. But his yearning for adventure eventually led him to Seattle.
The coffee scene attracted Barry’s attention. And before long he was fantasizing about having his own cafe. After working his way up the corporate ladder he was making good money, but feeling unfulfilled. Visiting new coffee shops went from hobby to obsession.
In 2008 Barry traded in his salary for his own independent coffee shop, Broadcast Coffee Roasters, named in honor of his dad's lifelong passion for radio. The goal from the get go was to spread love and acceptance through hospitality and delicious drinks. We now have three cafes, a stellar roasting team, and a growing community of friends, baristas, and business owners, who drink and serve Broadcast coffee. We’re at a really fun stage where we’re growing, but still super connected and have that family vibe.
A coffee company is more than a founder. We’re really lucky to have an amazing staff of intelligent, empathetic, and hardworking friends. Our GM, Natalie Walker, is truly the model of a leader who lives to serve. She’s the best! We’re having a ton of fun and I’m excited to see the company continue to grow and build infrastructure for long term health and sustainability.
When did the new branding/packaging debut?
Who designed the package?
Honorable mention to Ryan Hunt for the stellar product photography.
Describe the vision/vibe/look behind the new design.
I got the idea to have a series of bags from the fashion and beer world. An apparel designer will often pick one fabric and make a series of silhouettes, or they might pick one silhouette and make it with a handful of different fabrics. In a similar way, a brewery will release a different design with each of their styles of beer. I wanted to do the same thing with coffee bags. Essentially, I wanted to create a collection that would look really good displayed together as a set.
I also really thought Handsome Coffee was clever when they divided their whole menu into either Comfort or Adventure coffees. I wanted our blend bags to have a design that was distinct yet classic with a broad appeal, as we have a diverse range of wholesale accounts. They needed to fit in anywhere from classy bars to punk rock dives. Then on the other extreme, I wanted our East African bags to be as bright, playful, and exciting as those coffees often taste. We also have a bag for Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia.
From there I helped the team narrow down their influences to midcentury modern for colors and general shapes. I also love texture, going back to the world of fashion. I’ve followed Eric’s work ever since we worked together back in 2015. He’s a bit of a legend in the design, music, and restaurant world here in Seattle. Recently he’d been doing some really clever work with warping lines in a kind of psychedelic and playful way. We let Eric run with the concept and he blew us away with the execution. He over delivered and we got to pick our favorite five designs.
How is the design different than the previous branding/packaging?
Originally we just focused on what went into the bag, and so we simply stamped our logo on craft paper bags. Now we have a design that is a reflection of our character: playful, whimsical, artistic, and each design connects with every other one. The paper bag is gone, instead our new packaging is made from more sophisticated materials with an air-tight heat seal. We’re intent on competing with the big players in the business.
How long did the redesign process last?
Why are aesthetics in coffee packaging so important?
Folks taste with their eyes first. It’s important to show some personality as well. We’re in a wonderful era in coffee where so many people are really doing a great job. Design can be the thing that helps someone choose what vibe matches their business or home. It’s also a great way to impart that extra touch of respect to the amazing product that coffee is. It’s also really fun to share coffee as a gift for a friend or loved one and have packaging, which is essentially wrapping paper, be gorgeous and in a way part of the gift.
Where is it currently available?
We’re selling wholesale nationwide, as well as proudly serving our coffee in Seattle at our three Broadcast Cafes and through our amazing wholesale partners.
Location: Seattle, Washington
Design Debut: May 2019
Designer: Eric Fisher
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.