Baba Coffeehouse is a coffee brand in Carlsbad, California, inspired by Baba Budan, a 16th-century mystic who smuggled seven raw coffee beans in his beard from Yemen to India, introducing the coffee plant to the country. The brand also draws inspiration from the laid-back Southern California lifestyle. The project aimed to refresh the brand’s visual and verbal identity to create a distinct brand identity system. The challenge was to create a brand identity that reflected the story of Baba Budan and tied it to the California lifestyle. The approach emphasized the smuggler’s tale while bringing in elements of Southern California culture.
One of the team’s main challenges was developing a unique brand identity system that stood out in the competitive coffee market. The solution was to craft a brand narrative highlighting the brand’s values and personality while incorporating elements of the smugglers’ culture and California’s surf and skate lifestyle.
The brand’s visual identity system features an ambigram wordmark that doubles as an intriguing smuggler’s mask icon, a tagline, and a color palette that differentiates the various coffee blends. The illustrations, used across a range of products and marketing materials, are playful and fun while reflecting the brand’s values and California’s lifestyle.