Greenville, South Carolina is a city on the grow. Ranked as one of the fasted growing cities in the United States, Greenville rests comfortably between booming coffee cities Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina—it's no wonder that Greenville is home to Methodical Coffee, one of the country's best coffee bars with a three-page wine menu. But today we focus our attention on their gorgeous packaging design. With beautiful florals accents across the brand's range, and a unique wrapped-and-letterpressed approach to reserve coffees, Methodical's implementation of both design and packaging stands out. We spoke with co-owner Marco Suarez digitally to learn more.
Hello, Marco! How are you all doing here in May 2021?
We’re doing well. We are cautiously optimistic about the year, but we feel we’re finally back in a state of dreaming big dreams and big ideas, which is the fun part of being an entrepreneur.
When did the design of your packaging debut?
We debuted our packaging back when we first launched our roasting program, and it’s coming up on five years now.
Who designed it?
My background is in design, so I do all our branding, packaging, and customer experience projects. But I brought in a good friend and artist, Annie Koelle, to create the floral artwork on the bag, which has really resonated with our customers.
Tell us about the look of the whole bean/single-origin offerings.
I had a few goals when designing our packaging. First off, I wanted it to be something that people would want to show off on their counter and not hide in a drawer. I also wanted it to feel like our customers were bringing a piece of our cafe experience into their home. And lastly, I wanted the design to stand out on a shelf when sitting next to other products.
To hit these goals, I kept coming back to art. Coffee packaging is often very graphic and leans heavy on the company’s logo itself. I wanted our bag to first and foremost, be something beautiful. I wanted it to have an aesthetic value before attributing our brand to it. That’s when I brought in Annie Koelle, to produce an original piece of artwork for the bag. We iterated a few ideas and landed on the floral artwork. One of the things I love about it is how it elevates common plants like clover and other flowers.
Tell us about the design details and elements of the Reserve coffees.
The concept of Reserve coffees is still pretty new. And due to their price points, it can be a challenge to not turn people off. So I wanted it to feel even more special than our primary bag. It also needed to be something that fit into our workflow, was easy to ship, and didn’t greatly inflate the cost of the product. When searching for inspiration, I kept coming back to chocolate bar packaging. Chocolate is an indulgent treat and our Reserve coffees are no different. So, I took a normal side-gusseted bag, turned it on its side, and wrapped it in a letterpressed wrapper. I converted the artwork from our bag into a single color and de-bossed it on the wrapper to create a texture that immediately grabs your attention when you pick it up. The response has been great and it’s funny to hear people say it also reminds them of a bar of chocolate without being prompted. We may even slip a gold ticket inside :)
What coffees are you all excited about as we head into the summer?
We release new coffees every week, so there’s a lot that’s slated. But we have an awesome collab we’re releasing in about a month that I’m extremely excited about. But I don’t want to “spill the beans” just yet.
When we get back out traveling how would you recommend we spend the perfect day in Greenville?
Greenville has a beautiful and very walkable downtown. So I’d just start on the north end of Main Street and take a stroll all the way down the eight blocks. We also have a great walking trail called the Swamp Rabbit Trail that runs perpendicular to Main Street, I’d hop on that and walk or bike down it and see a bit of the landscape outside of downtown. One of our cafes is right on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, so I’d use that as a good stopping point to refuel and rehydrate.
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