Sometimes design is about more than standing out as a brand; sometimes it’s the key to a whole new you. For La Barba Coffee in Salt Lake City, Utah, a fresh approach achieved in partnership with the design firm WeLikeSmall helped them transition from their original identity—”Charming Beard Coffee”—into a new brand and look that’s much more, well, charming.

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As told to Sprudge by Josh Rosenthal. 

When did the coffee package design debut?

We launched the new bags in late April 2015. At the same time of the bag launch, we changed our name from Charming Beard Coffee to La Barba Coffee.


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Who designed the package?

We hired WeLikeSmall, a small (in number of employees, not scope of work) interactive design firm. They were really good to us and helped us think through not only how cool it looked but what it says about us and what it says about our values.


Any design highlights you want to share?

The packaging we used when we were “Charming Beard Coffee” was pretty rough. As we thought through our bags, we also were able to articulate our values in a more distilled way—simple, honest, handcrafted. Moving from a kraft bag with a sticker on it to a nicely printed bag took away the perceived handcrafted look, so in place we have our roasters put their initials on every bag. Even though our production is larger, we still want people to see and know that we’re giving special attention to every bag that goes out with our name.


Please describe the look in your own words!

The new look is really clean and concise. Where so many labels in our industry have all the details of the coffee (elevation, varietal, etc.), we opted to go with the origin, producer, and three adjectives for each coffee to make things simple. Salt Lake City is very new to specialty coffee, relatively speaking. While we are sourcing really great green coffee and roasting it in a way that most values the terroir and farm (thanks to head roaster and co-founder Levi Rogers), we chose to not go too deep into the rabbit hole of our coffee’s details for the sake of keeping the newcomer to our style of coffee engaged. It’s important for Salt Lake coffee drinkers to know that drinking good coffee is really easy to do. It doesn’t require an advanced degree.

Where is the bag manufactured?

The bag is printed in China using PBFY. The labels are from FlexTech in Provo, Utah.


For package nerds, what *type of package* is it?

It’s a side-gusseted, no-valve, no-tin tie. We’re a bootstrapped company. Someday, we’ll be driving Porsches and have valves and ties.

Coffee Design is a feature series by Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge. Read more Coffee Design here.

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