NOTE TO FINALISTS:
Do not use coffee equipment iconography, like roasters or cups. We are looking for a clean logo and these clutter it up and look too old fashioned.
Do not use an illustration of a coffee bean(s). Besides being overdone they virtually never look good, often looking like rodent excrement. The only exception to this rule is unless you can come up with a highly stylized treatment that could be a signature image. Therefore, don’t pursue the coffee bean unless you’ve got a highly creative idea in mind.
Do not use a script font. We like the clean, strong look of a non-script font for this name. Like the coffee bean, if you have a subtle script font that you feel can carry the sleek, strong sensibilities forward we are open to it but we are thinking a non-script font will be best.
Do focus on a clean, sharp, sleek, modern look and something that matches the strength of the word.
Do be open to using asymmetry. Symmetrical treatments (with the secondary read centered under “Slake”) often look more stiff and traditional. We like the offset look.
Do consider creating some sort of imagery or symbol as part of the design, either integrated into the main logo or as separate component that can be used in different applications. Perhaps this is a version of the letter “s” or a melding of “s” and “k”. I don’t want to micromanage this but feel free to explore some sort of imagery that isn’t too complicated or large.
Do use a brief word or words below the name ‘Slake’. Specifically, ‘Coffee’, ‘Craft Roasters’, ‘Coffee Roasters’, ‘Since 2007’. We are leaning towards the subtitle being just Coffee or Craft Roasters. Either way, from a design perspective plan on a very concise subtitle to Slake. We are open to a treatment that has a secondary read (i.e. Coffee) and a third read for Since 2007 if it isn’t too cluttered.
Lastly, this contest requires Business Cards as well, please include your designs for these as well. This is an important part of our brand.
Thank You all who participated, and Thank you in advance to our finalists!!
UPDATE: Please don't use a coffee bean, coffee grinder, mug, etc. in logo. Unless these are very stylized, they don't have the "hip" element that we're looking for in a logo.
We are looking for something of a blend between vintage and modern. Vintage in the sense that the logo implies hand crafted, artisan approach to our product, and modern in it's overall look and feel. We are marketing to a coffee educated, hip consumer.
Something else about vintage. Whereas vintage throw backs in terms of wine, bread, cheese, etc. implies craftspeople honing their skill over time, that image doesn't quite work for coffee. Coffee's heritage is Farmers Bros, Hill Bros., etc and that was bad coffee. Coffee has only become cool and hip in the past 20 years, maybe less. So again, vintage in the feel that it brings to mind crafts people, yet modern in our approach.
1) why the rebrand?
2 reasons. First, I have had feedback from our wholesale customers that they love our product, but don't like our current logo. And actually, I can see their point. It's a little dated (60's ish) and not in line with the current logos of the high-end coffee roasting companies, which tend to be cleaner, trendier, sleeker...
Second, I am contemplating selling the retail side of the business and retaining the wholesale side. If I were to do this, I would need a clear separation between the 2 entities.
2)what brand equity are you bring with you? What was working, what wasn't ?
The brand as it is currently known has some pluses and minuses. On the positive side, we are viewed as having coffee that rivals the best that our customers have had. In fact just today, a gentleman from Australia purchased our products and came back for more. He said that he had heard that America didn't have great coffee, however, he said this was the best coffee he had ever tasted, either in the States or abroad.
This isn't an isolated comment. Most people feel this is significantly better than what had had experienced prior to coming to our shop.
Customer service is fantastic. Our Baristas are friendly, educated and efficient.
On the minus side, our shop is small and off the beaten path, leading people to believe that not much good can happen from a shop located where we are. Additionally, our name geo-locates us and since we are not in a major coffee drinking area or metropolis, the name doesn't help us.
Lastly, we have been recently approached by a large distributor of high end coffee in Los Angeles, CA. They asked for samples and loved them. They asked us if we would consider letting them distribute our coffee in the great LA area. However, they asked one more question...they asked if we would be offended if they loaned us their graphics artist to re-work our logo....
3) who is your target, audience?
We wish to use this re-brand initially to market to wholesale purchasers/distributors whose end customer is the high-end, educated, coffee shop/consumers. The typical hipster coffee drinker.
We plan to eventually open retail stores under the new brand with the same customer profile. Coffee educated, defined palate consumer.
4) who is your competition and what sets you apart from them?
Our competition is the high end coffee roasting companies. They are:
Blue Bottle Coffee
There are others, but these are some of the better known specialty roasters out there.
What sets us apart is our roast style. Just as in wine making or beer brewing, you can give the same source product (in our case green beans) to any number of roasters and each will create something a little different than the others. The current style in roasting is to roast extremely light to get the individual flavors from each individual country's beans. But without taking special actions during the roast of light coffees, the natural acidity of the bean is quite high. This is somewhat similar to what beer brewers are doing with IPA's. They are overly hoppy and not in balance.
We manipulate the roast to minimize the natural acidity and we caramelize the sugars to a greater extent to create light to medium roasts that are truly satisfying, not just lightly roasted. Additionally, we see value in darker roasts if done properly, so we are not just adhering to the current mantra in coffee roasting. We are setting our own path on coffee based on the balance and quality of the finished product. Not just what is currently in vogue.
5) what is it they you are trying to accomplish?
We want to create a new experience in quality coffee. Not something that people feel they need to be in the "in-crowd" to appreciate. We want to create coffee that isn't snobby, aloof, or hard to approach. We want to educate our customers. We want to create a fun and approachable atmosphere, even though we are TOTAL coffee geeks and work in our environment in a very technical manor.
We want our customer to have fun. We want to de-mystify the coffee experience. We want to blow people away with a good product.