Here are the finalists for the Sprudge Design Awards Outstanding Designer category. This award honors an outstanding individual designer working in the field of coffee. Their work can include packaging design, original illustration, digital design, event design, or other stirring examples of design as it intersects with the coffee world.
Elizabeth (Liz) Chai
Outstanding Designer Finalist
Elizabeth (Liz) Chai built her Graphic Design career while dwelling in coffeeshops as a consumer. While attending weekly Counter Culture Coffee cuppings and ProDev classes, her enthusiasm for coffee grew after discovering “what goes into each cup” – learning about coffee varieties, sustainability, and the importance of supporting coffee producers. After a Design Director stint with Octane Coffee in Atlanta, Liz decided to commit her skills of graphic design, branding, illustration, and photography exclusively to working within the Specialty Coffee industry, to make her contribution to the industry in a positive way. This commitment resulted in a relocation to Portland and cultivating “coffee + design” opportunities through event planning, community building, coffee competition, and freelance design. 2023 projects included multiple sustainably built SCA trade show booths for La Marzocco, Event Branding for MiiR, Package Design for KafieX, Illustration for Created Co, and Branding and Identity work for Wallflower Coffee Co. Liz’s design clientele includes MiiR, Black Rabbit, Slayer, Swiss Water Decaf, Junior’s Roasted Coffee, La Marzocco, Portland Coffee Social Club, and more.
Visit the official Elizabeth (Liz) Chai website.
Outstanding Designer Finalist
I am nominating Kelsie Harper for Outstanding Designer. Kelsie is an incredibly talented graphic designer who has been working with us to produce our coffee education books for the past year and a half. Each book is full of beautiful infographics and graphics to support the text. Because of her background in coffee, Kelsie finds a way to make learning about coffee both aesthetically pleasing and fun! In addition to the books, Kelsie also works on educational posters for our team as well as event flyers for our cafes. We feel incredibly lucky to have Kelsie on our team and we want the world to have an opportunity to experience her work. – Lineage Coffee Roasting
Visit the official Lineage Coffee Roasting website.
Jared Rhind for VSSL
VSSL Gear has made its direction clear, adventure coffee, and product designer Jared Rhind is behind it all. Jared, a visionary Canadian product designer, thrives on pushing innovation and creating cutting-edge experiences. Based in British Columbia, he designs and refines impactful products and lasting brand experiences.
“The consumer support from JAVA Coffee Grinder was astounding,” says VSSL President David Marsala. “We owed it to our consumers to give them a complete coffee system, and NEST does this with the same innovation and attention to detail we pride ourselves on.”
The inspiration behind NEST is a journey of innovation and problem-solving that began with one essential spark – valued consumer feedback. Customers, many of whom were passionate about JAVA coffee product, expressed a desire for a safe and convenient way to store it, essentially a dedicated case for their favorite grinder. As Jared examined options on the market it became evident that there were numerous standalone solutions for various aspects of the coffee experience – from boiling to brewing to grinding. So, he posed a bold question: “What if we didn’t just protect our beloved JAVA but instead create an all-in-one solution that incorporated grinder storage, bean storage, brewing, and drinking?”
The journey through NEST and JAVA’s research and development process has been an exciting and collaborative adventure. What might surprise many is how fluid and dynamic the ideation process was. “Our most innovative ideas are often born from spontaneous side-bar conversations or a simple sketch on the back of a piece of paper. These moments of creative insight usually strike when we’re supposed to be deeply focused on other aspects of the business. However, our passion for delivering inspiring, functional products always takes the forefront,” says product designer Jared Rhind.
Jared wholeheartedly embraces the iterative nature of product development. We launch with the understanding that customer feedback is invaluable, and it has led to numerous desired evolutions in our concepts. Take JAVA, for instance; it’s a product that performs exceptionally well, yet we continually refine it based on insights from end-users and discussions with coffee enthusiasts.
With NEST, we greatly emphasized consulting coffee experts for their insights. Some aspects that may seem trivial can profoundly impact the final product. For example, the draft angle of the dripper and its influence on taste profiles became a crucial consideration. Surprisingly, some of the elements we initially thought were critical turned out to be less so, reminding us that innovation often involves challenging assumptions. We’ve been asked why we opted for a second mug for bean storage instead of a bespoke solution. Our response has always been, ‘Don’t you want a second mug?’ We believe in versatility and natural usability, a guiding principle throughout our journey.
Additional Notes: https://vimeo.com/868059006/ebe296638a?share=copy
Visit the official VSSL Gear website.
Outstanding Designer Finalist
Janfer Chung is an artist and a design researcher trained at Design Academy Eindhoven, Netherlands. Her series of characters were crafted exclusively for Santino Singapore, intended for use in the four coffee grinders sponsored by the company for the Santino Singapore National Barista Championship 2023.
Janfer, originally from Hong Kong, was new to Singapore and her coffee culture, therefore, she spent 3 weeks idling in more than 15 different coffee shops in Singapore to observe and bodily experience the culture and atmosphere.
The 20 distinctive characters that she created for Santino Singapore were drawn directly from her observations – the golden retriever that came to the cafe with his owner every morning, the little girl sitting with her little Shiba and enjoying a babyccino while her parents were enjoying their coffee and breakfast, the barista that was very focused making a perfect cup of flat white, etc. The characters, with their humorous and witty appearance, possess a unique yet relatable quality. These creations not only encapsulate Janfer’s memories but also serve as an archive, capturing the essence of each cafe-goer and coffee enthusiast in Singapore.
If you are to pay attention in your next visit to a coffee shop, you might be able to associate these characters with the visitors next to you.
Janfer’s design and her drawing are personal, heartfelt, and unique, yet very much relatable and resonate in the Singapore coffee context.
Additional Notes: Janfer Chung’s inspiration is closely influenced by the growing social and political turmoil in her hometown, Hong Kong, since the pro-democracy protest happened in 2019. By linking her personal stories to larger historical tendencies, she visualizes the implicated realities that are otherwise forbidden to tell or even, erased. The vulnerabilities of being a political dissent has become her power of expression and her urge to create. Through writing, researching and filmmaking, she interrogates the production of knowledge and discourses and their relations to personal lives. Currently, she is looking into the role of design in constructing Hong Kong’s representation as the “international financial center”. She asks, how do the constructed realities shape culture and values, thus becoming control mechanisms? How do individuals internalize these values and put themselves in a position of unfreedom? In 2022, she graduated cum laude with MA in the Critical Inquiry Lab (design curating and writing) at Design Academy Eindhoven (NL) and received a nomination for the Gijs Bakker Award. Previously, she was an assistant curator for curator David Chan; an assistant curator at the Learning and Interpretation team, M+ (HK), and a gallery manager at Pearl Lam Galleries (HK). She is currently working alongside Singaporean Artist Ho Tzu Nyen on developing his new research-based artwork.
Visit the official Janfer Chung website.
Outstanding Designer Finalist
I would like to nominate Christopher Cizek, Senior Graphic Designer for the Outstanding Designer award. He was the 1st employee of the company and has help shape the design of the company. His current graphics and art help to create not only stand out packaging but as well as stand out packaging for other co-packing companies.
Visit the official Fresh Roasted Coffee website.