Kafé Utza Identity

"Even If It Is True That The Average Man Seems Most Comfortable With The Commonplace And Familiar, It Is Equally True That Catering To Bad Taste, Which We So Readily Attribute To The Average Reader, Merely Perpetuates That Mediocrity And Denies The Reader One Of The Most Easily Accessible Means For Aesthetic Development And Eventual Enjoyment."
-Paul Rand

Kafé Utza applied the above sentiment when establishing a coffee shop and small batch coffee roaster. In the dusty badlands of Eastern Montana sits the little ranch town of Miles City. It's the last place one would expect to find a Basque inspired coffee shop. The name, Kafé Utza, is the Basque translation of the term "Black Coffee”. The owner felt that her home town, if given the chance, would respond well to the fine pastry and fresh roasted small batch coffee found in the Basque region of France.

Kafé Utza needed an identity that would represent its Basque influence and high end products without being intimidating to the predominantly rural culture of its home. We paired an iconic Basque beret with the familiarity of a coffee cup to create a somewhat playful beret capped head. Complimented with a lowercase, classic sans-serif typeface, this creates an approachable symbol that still hints at a foreign influence. Being a very small business with a little to spend on branding materials, it was important that the identity could function well in inexpensive applications, such as stamped packaging. The bold typography and symbol are a reflection of this, as is the use of a single color. Single color black printing, while a literal reflection of the brand name and product (black coffee), makes branding a wide range of items financially feasible.

My Roll: Designer