ROLE

Brand Design

UI / UX Design

TIMELINE

4 months

In 2017, Kona Coffee Roasters was founded by Tae Kim. Born and raised in O’ahu, Hawaii, Tae and his family started a restaurant, where he fell in love with the food & beverage industry. In his efforts to bring a piece of the Big Island to New York City, Kona Coffee & Company was born– founded on the philosophy that a great cafe isn’t just a place to enjoy high-quality brews, but a space where New Yorkers from all walks of life can connect and unwind from their busy lives with a cup of coffee. 

Starting Point

In November 2021, I was approached by a friend and barista at Kona to design a more iconic mark to represent the connection between New York City and Hawaii. Deliverables included a new logo, color palette, type styles, digital and print collateral, as well as merchandise

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Tae Kim, Photo by GraceGuarnieri

I opened my shop hoping to provide a space where New Yorkers can forget everything and just relax—because you need it. I wanted to give New Yorkers the taste of Hawaii to remind them that they can too, have the peace of mind—that it is okay to unplug.

– Tae Kim, Founder & Owner

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Photo source: @konacoffeeco on Instagram

Branding

Similar to pouring a perfect cup of coffee, the logo needed to have a balanced taste of Hawaii and NYC. By juxtaposing geometric lines and soft curves, a form is created that infuses imagery and feeling of both locations. The colors also meant to play into each environment come together to form a cohesive palette.

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Logo iterations in order

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Web Design

The brand campaign also included a website refresh where the new colors, type styles, and logo began to be used in live production. 

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Hard Launch

Trying to accurately depict the balance of Hawaii and New York that Kona represents, we landed on something that makes use remember where it all started from – the farmers. Without the farmers that grew those first beans so that New Yorkers could enjoy a cup of coffee, this story wouldn't have gotten told. This new Kona logo is dedicated to supporting and uplifting the farmers in their part of the coffee story, through fair trade and direct sourcing.

Launch

Takeaways

Leading this project from conception to conclusion taught me how to advocate for myself and my work. Getting to communicate and own my ideas through the whole project cycle gave me a lot of confidence in my abilities and design process.

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