Valentine Coffee had seen great business success in the years since they opened their Vliet Street roaster in Milwaukee WI. That success, and the popularity of their coffee however were not apparent in the look and feel of their building. A nondescript brick and colonial facade did nothing to communicate the vibrancy of their brand to passing traffic or pedestrians. If it wasn’t for the demure logo on the canopy one might have mistaken the building for a small insurance broker.
In seeking to capture the edginess of Valentine’s Coffee we drew much of our inspiration from their already compelling logo and coffee packaging. The graphic design of the packaging features alternating stripes comprised of a matte black and a shiny black. This subtle patterning is extremely compelling and in a way relates to the similar yet unique taste of their coffee blends. We riffed on that idea in creating a large Shou Sugi Ban wood screen (the matte stripes) over top of a ceramic fritted black glass (the shiny stripes). With a few simple, cost-effective moves, the front of their building was transformed into a giant brand reinforcing landmark on Vliet Street.