In 2019, I decided to collaborate with Thor and Runa Johannisdotter. Runa is an activist with a fascinating background in the international art world and activism. Her son Thor, a passionate coffee expert. They decided to join forces and create a new base in Malmö, Sweden. With Kaffemacken, they sell eclectic coffee from farms located in mountainous regions of Honduras. And that is only the beginning! Kaffemacken is just a part of a greater ARTivist movement they have going on called TANKar. Some of the activities include exhibitions, workshops, and events around environmental and social awareness. For me, that was an excellent opportunity to help Runa & Thor with launching Kaffemacken and take on the challenge of creating the design assets they will need. But first, we had to implement design methods and find out how to present the project’s idea as consistently as possible. This challenge taught me how to marry different projects visually under one umbrella (TANKar). Currently, Kaffemacken is fully operating and providing Malmö with some of the best coffee in the world. The only thing left is for them to start hosting TANKar events again once the pandemic is over.
Tasks
Make the design brief. Conduct generative research. Competitor analysis. Interviews. Create brand attributes. Create a style guide. Shape the website experience. Design the packaging and other assets
Tools
Adobe CC | Webflow
Roles
Visual Designer | Web Designer | Brand Developer | Brand Strategist
Client
Kaffemacken / TANKar
Scale
4 Weeks for the brand and style guide | 4 weeks for the site | Still creating assets when needed

RESEARCH

Keywords: | Generative research | Competitor analysis  | Interviews | Archetypes | Brand architecture

Brand Research

It was clear from the initial phase that Kaffemacken / TANKAR was quite a unique project. To define the brand and visual identity, I interviewed the founders, Thor and Runa separately. That was necessary for understanding their visions’ differences and similarities and gather insights that would eventually guide me to sources of inspiration. During my market research, I understood that Kaffemacken is competing with larger coffee franchises within Sweden. At the same time, its audience should recognize the TANKAR brand as a center of art and activism. These two key-insights lead to further research and to generating the brand’s attributes.

Target Groups & Archetypes

At this point, it is essential to explain our approach in defining the target groups. To describe what’s in it for our audience, we had to show an example of who they can become (archetypes) with TANKar. Archetypes helped us create scenarios, explain the group’s needs and, at the same time, reveal the value that comes out of their transformation to an archetype. The process was beneficial in defining our brand attributes. The diagram below explains each target group, including the value proposition and archetypes.

Brand Architecture

At this point, it is essential to explain our approach in defining the target groups. To describe what’s in it for our audience, we had to show an example of who they can become (archetypes) with TANKar. Archetypes helped us create scenarios, explain the group’s needs and, at the same time, reveal the value that comes out of their transformation to an archetype. The process was beneficial in defining our brand attributes. The diagram below explains each target group, including the value proposition and archetypes.

An overview of the architecture

BRAND DEVELOPMENT

Keywords: | Brand attributes | Logo variations | Brand identity | Style guide

Brand Attributes &  Why The Name KAFFEMACKEN / TANKar

The brand attributes were the first milestone we reached in creating consistency in communication. It provided us with a purpose and a clear message that we want to spread with this attempt. At this point, it important to mention the meaning of the name KAFFEMACKEN. The term has its origin in two words. One is KAFFE(The Swedes are known as one of the world’s highest coffee-consuming folk). The second word is ‘macken,’ a very Swedish word meaning ‘making a stop at the gas station.’ TANKar is a combination of TANK(to add fuel) and the ‘tankar’, which means ‘thoughts’ in Swedish. The idea is to spread joy and the message of awareness, or as explained below (see the diagram that follows)…

Brand Attributes

Overview of the brand attributes

Logo Structure & Variations

Logo and its varieties : The Swedes are known as one of the world’s highest coffee-consuming folk.
'Macken', a very Swedish word that means 'making a stop at the gas station'.

Brand Identity / Style guide

The development of the brand identity (brand voice & tone, style guide) created the stylistic foundation on which all the assets and website were based. The brand voice was used as a reference point to see if the color palette, the fonts, or other graphic elements follow the message and style that we want to accomplish.

BRAND TOUCHPOINTS AND ASSETS

Keywords: | Packaging | Print | Web | Upcycle | Reuse | Manifesto

The 7 Greater Thoughts (Manifesto)

We decided that the first way of communicating our ideas and motivations with our audience is by manifesting it as a decalogue (in this case, heptalogue). It’s the 7 points that provide more information on how to be work, why this project, and how we act. Currently, The 7 greater thoughts are hanging on the wall of KAFFEMACKEN in Malmö.

Other assets

Various packaging and printing assets with upcycling and sustainability as a main theme. The business card on the left is made out of stamped coffee filters (reused).

The Website

The website (not launched yet) is meant to inform its visitors about the idea behind KAFFEMACKEN / TANKar  about our coffee, possible events, and happenings. Potential partners, artists, etc., who want to collaborate will be able to reach out to from there. Besides, the website has a storytelling role. It will be a platform/gallery that shows how our project evolves.

CONCLUSIONS & FUTURE PROJECTS

Future Projects: LILA, the coffee popup on wheels

One of the future projects that we have going on is LILA, a trolley/mobile coffee stand. It was meant for the early stages of the projects when Kaffemacken did not have a base yet. It did not make it to production, but it for sure something that we will keep in mind for future attempts. The main idea for LILA is to recycle wood and make it out of scrap. It is/was an excellent opportunity for me to look back into my industrial product design ‘skillset.’

What did I learn from this project

KAFFEMACKEN/TANKar was and still is a unique opportunity where I managed to form a brand set from scratch including  assets, a website and try out some of my old skills such a product design. There risk was in compiling so many aspects, from selling top quality coffee to being an artivist and holding many kinds of events in a town (Malmö) were Runa and Thor had just moved to. It really looks and feels that the risk and effort has paid off. Currently we are still creating assets and having brainstorm sessions on how to make those as TANKar as possible by taking our brand attributes into consideration. I want to thank Runa and Thor from the bottom of my heart for trusting me on this attempt and for keep showing their trust. I a looking forward to the next artistic and design projects that are yet to come.

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