Has the Coffee Gone Stale?

There are a lot of tired and overused visuals in the coffee industry, but the past couple years have been good for the overly caffeinated. Starbucks elevated their brand with better looking reserve cafes, the Land boys from Austin gave Portland's Stumptown a much needed overhaul, and Nestlé purchased a majority stake in Oakland-based Blue Bottle. 

While third-wave coffee goes mainstream, there are a few smaller shops that have caught my eye in the process. I hope more designers take note and start pushing their clients to embody a new aesthetic. After all, don't we have enough burlap? 

Here are few of my favorites at the moment:

Satan's Coffee - Barcelona, Spain
With a bold, modern, punk vibe, I was pleased to find Satan's Coffee Corner in the lobby of my hotel during a visit to Barcelona earlier this Spring.

Little Wolf - Ipswich, Massachusetts
Light, bright, and playful—who more appropriate to develop this brand than Nashville-based studio, Perky Bros. It's different, it's fresh, and although I haven't tasted it, I bet it does the job. 

Camelia Coffee - Sacramento, California
Delightfully simple in concept, Camelia goes hyper local using the official city flower as it's icon and expands on that identity with lively illustration from Benjamin Della Rossa.

 

 If you have questions or comments, email me danielpatricksimmons@gmail.com—I'd be happy to chat!

Less Concept More Focus

I'm excited for the food and beverage industry right now.

Small to medium size cities across North America have been experiencing a foodie revolution for some time. The result of which has created pristinely packaged, hip restaurants, cafes, and bars in just about every city you visit. In my hometown of Sacramento, the city has declared itself the 'Farm-to-Fork Capital' as it sits among "1.5 million acres of farms and ranches that grow more than 160 crops" (source). 

But here's the thing, when just about every hip food spot, coffee shop, and cocktail bar starts to become overly designed and manufactured it becomes really, beautifully, boring. 

I'm excited for the food and beverage industry right now because in this market it doesn't take much to make a big impact. Working small, with less concept and more focus on the actual deliverable means less overhead, more flexibility, and an opportunity to get even more creative with your offerings.

The future is going to taste great—less concept, more focus.

Stop Swiping, Keep Working

Today I am having to remind myself that creativity comes from within.

No amount of pinning, searching, swiping, or curating is going to push me creatively. 

There's a lot of great art being created and it's new each and every day, but at some point I've got to shut it off, stop consuming, and start creating. I've got to stop swiping and keep working.