The holidays are over but that doesn’t mean the end of seasonal blends! Take, for example, the winter-forward Polar Blend from the folks at Mission Coffee Co. in Columbus, Ohio. This wintry mix is a pleasure to drink and the design is…oh, what’s that word? “Elevated and sophisticated while remaining approachable and unassuming,” says Director of Community Engagement Nathan Okuley. You took the words right out of my mouth! I asked Okuley to fill me in on a few more details…
This interview has been condensed.
Tell us a bit about your company.
Mission Coffee Co. is a coffee roaster/retailer with a focus on education located in Columbus, Ohio. Starting as a specialty cafe located in the Short North Arts District of Columbus, Mission Coffee dedicated itself to three core values of craftsmanship, collaboration, and education. Mission then launched their roastery, wholesale program, and barista education space in 2014. These programs are dedicated to specialty coffee with a strong valuation on approachability. Mission Coffee Co. is committed to craft and excellence but understands that everyone has a different set of experiences and background with coffee. With that in mind, Mission Coffee seeks to educate people on the coffee they drink and the farm to cup process.
When did the coffee package design debut?
We debuted the Polar Blend package near the end of 2016 and it has become a seasonal blend that our customers love and anticipate each holiday season.
Who designed the package?
Founder and co-owner Jonathan Starr is a graphic designer by trade, so we’re very fortunate that all of our creative work (photography, videography, design, etc) is done in-house by our team. The packaging was designed by Jonathan with the help and insight of our team. Our roots as creatives drives a lot of the look and feel that you see in our shop, on our packaging, and in our marketing materials.
What type of package is it?
We use 12 oz. matte white quad-sealed gusseted flat bottom bags for all of our coffees. Each bag has a resealable top and one-way valve to allow degassing. For our labels, we partner with Blue Label Digital, a local print shop. We love their ability to work in the digital printing space while offering traditional offset capabilities such as clear varnish and hot foil stamping which we’ve incorporated into our packaging line.
Our labels are designed to incorporate the high-touch, tactile experience of a rare single malt with the vibrancy of a diverse color palette for all the various countries of origin. Classic and sophisticated. The level of craftsmanship in making coffee includes highly skilled hands-on contact from many individuals and should have packaging that reflects its effort and exceptionality. Communicating these aspects is important to participating in the specialty coffee market for the purpose of adding perceived value to the product. In this we are moving past a largely basic commodity viewpoint and driving toward a more sustainable future for the entire coffee supply chain.
Why are aesthetics important in coffee?
The outward facing presentation of our products or cafe experience is just as important as the quality of what’s in the cup. As consumers, presentation and perception is everything. It echoes our values, and our dedication to something special. Our packaging is designed to reflect the experience that our customers will ultimately take home with them. A coffee experience that is hopefully unique.
Where is it currently available?
We’re distributing coffee in a handful of coffee shops, restaurants, and businesses around Columbus, as well as some regional and national partners.
If you’re looking for names: This includes Collective Espresso (Cincinnati, OH), Rohs St. Cafe (Cincinnati, OH), Little Eater (Columbus), Homage (Columbus), Bark & Co. (Columbus), Happy Bean Coffee (Mt. Vernon, OH), Blank Slate Coffee (Columbus, OH). We’ve also had our coffees in shops including Crema Coffee in Denver.
Country: United States
Release Date: December 2016
Designer: Jonathan Starr
Coffee Design is a feature series by Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge. Read more Coffee Design here.
Photos courtesy of Mission Coffee Co.