Responses by Joshua C. Chen, principal/creative director, Tracy Taylor, design director, Kimberly Low, UX/UI lead, Kathryn Wong Hoffman, content strategist
Background: Chen Design Associates (CDA) created unexpected branding and packaging for Elemental Beverage Co. to support its recent company and product-offering launch at the 2019 Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston. Its patented Snapchill technology turns freshly brewed coffee (or any hot beverage) cold in less than a minute without compromising taste by dilution, oxidation or additives. Our multifaceted goal was to launch the Elemental Beverage Co. brand; position its Snapchilled coffee to stand out in the crowded and competitive field of ready-to-drink specialty coffee; and generate consumer and industry interest towards a reimagined and reinvented experience of chilled, single-origin coffee.
Reasoning: The concept for the ready-to-drink (RTD) packaging and the limited supply offering is based on abstract watercolor play inspired by the nuanced notes of single origin, estate-grown coffees. Our unexpected approach invites wonder and provides an emotional connection to the bright, fruit-forward flavors and visually cuts through the crowded and expected cold coffee and cold brew packaging space—heavy with dark and masculine overtones.
Challenges: Building the company brand, product line and all the supporting brand touchpoints at the same time—and ensure a thoughtful, strategically-designed brand ecosystem at launch with the logo, identity system, RTD packaging, product branding, photography, website, marketing collateral, tradeshow booth and social media.
Favorite details: Because we had to run so many aspects of the project in parallel, our CDA team and the client team had to constantly communicate and collaborate across east and west coasts. We’re proud of our teamwork and the trust we built. We have a stronger client partnership and even greater creative team at CDA because of it.
Time constraints: Having time constraints actually empowered our team to work harder to collaborate, communicate with each other and pushed us out of our comfort zones to produce work that we’re extremely proud of.
Alternative approach: We should have asked the client for more cold coffee to fuel us during the design sprints!