Andreas Pedersen pouring a hot cup of brand identity for Swerl Coffee Roasters

By Rasmus Vestergaard
Published 07/10/2022
Category: Project
Featuring: Andreas Pedersen

A drop of Matisse, some 70’ies vibe and great love of coffee all stirred up into one fun and warm brand identity. Swedish graphic designer and illustrator Andreas Pedersen helped his fellow compatriots at Swerl Coffee Roasters with a new brand identity, fitting for a growing business and able to tell the story of their craft and coffee.

It began with a van

Swerl has evolved from being an online coffee subscription and mobile coffee shop to a speciality coffee roastery that sources its beans worldwide. It all began in a Mercedes Benz van from 1972, housing both the roastery and café, making it a vital identity carrier and quickly becoming a source of inspiration for the project. Especially the Mercedes Benz’s paint, a faded blue, became important to the new brand identity.

“The van immediately presented us with a time in space to draw inspiration from. I began drawing chunky and oval serifs, resulting in a groovy wordmark reminiscent of the hippie era with subtle hints to the shape of the coffee bean.” 

Andreas Pedersen, Graphic Designer and Illustrator

“For the main part of the brand identity, we wanted to use that, but more as a secondary colour. So to match it we chose” that blue”, the IK Blue that was very trendy a few years ago. That blue has gone from trendy to signalling know-how and expertise, a vibrant colour that communicates youthful ambition. Even though it was a super trendy choice of colour in the mid-2010s, it still feels contemporary. It provides Swerl with that vibrance and youthful ambition in their online channels.”

“For the packaging, we wanted colours that could communicate a wide range of emotions and flavours so that the pouch bag could match the flavour and origins of the coffee beans inside. To make the blue pop on the packaging, we chose an analogous and pastel-like palette from a wide range of colours all over the spectra. But we excluded some, for example, green shades, as we did not want to reference a rainbow. That was not a political stance but a design decision. As their coffee is carefully roasted and a high-end product, adding all the colours lessens the feel of a premium product.”

Like a perfect latte

The swirly compositions used throughout mimic the foamy art on a perfect latte. Also, it tells the story of Swerl’s mission–to carefully source and roast beans, caring for the whole production chain. Andreas Pedersen used this journey from coffee branch to coffee cup in the brand extensions, from the Henri Matisse-looking brand symbol, the responsive logo system, the falcon mascot derived from the Falkenberg city crest and extending over to the packaging design.

“The system responds to the demands of the context the logo works within. The brand symbol – the Henri Matisse-inspired coffee branch/splash is an extension of the wordmark logo – it carries many of the same graphic characteristics and re-enforces the awareness of the climate, working conditions of people in the coffee industry and care for the product that is the essence of Swerl,” Andreas Pedersen explains.

“The hand-drawn elements, illustrations, secondary logos, and badges reflect Swerl’s hands-on approach and care for the coffee through the whole chain – from organic farming to perfecting the latte art. Coffee in all stages is a craft. Since Swerl is not a mass producer, the very humane and imperfect finish to the brand elements communicates just that – the closeness, the care, and the relationships they’re building with everyone they interact with.”

Balancing the brand

While most of the brand looks organic and playful, Swerl needed something that would enable the coffee roastery to communicate more rational and professional.

“We chose PP Editorial New for headlines. It has elegance, so the premium aspect of Swerl comes across. It’s also highly legible, and its retro-modern feel matches well with that 1972 Mercedes bus.

“For body text, we chose something even more rational – Apercú Mono. Mainly for its ease of use. Since they’ll create and print a lot of the labels on the pouch bags themselves, they needed a font that doesn’t require a designer’s eye for kerning, leading and so on. A monospaced font made a lot of sense. With its digital look and precise look, it clearly displays information and facts. A font that communicates, “We know what we’re talking about”. It contrasts the headline font. It becomes the bearer of information and facts about the coffee, while the headline font brings the emotion.”

“The font choices balance the rest of the identity and dial down the playfulness.”

Andreas Pedersen, Graphic Designer and Illustrator

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