Dark Matter Coffee’s long-established core brands–Unicorn Blood, A Love Supreme, Starry Eyes, and Machete–make up their Portfolio Blends foundation. After many years without a design update, they were due for a reboot. Cue the mind-bending, galaxy-hopping, sci-fi-centric, creative brief.
The core brands’ redesign aimed to captivate new customers with unstoppably beguiling visuals and to retain their loyal customers who had come to cherish their favorite coffee packaging. The cherry on the top–to make these designs a category disruptor.
Staying true to Dark Matter’s unconventional spirit, we did a deep dive into research. We developed rich stories behind each of the four blends, complete with complex, layered visual references, out-there symbolism, detailed color palettes, and intricate illustrations. Every design element on the package ties back into the overarching portfolio story, that of a New Worlds Fair–a fantastical vision of the future of coffee and possibly, dare we say, the planet.
Entry Type: Series / Campaign Entry
Primary Role of the Designer: Designer as brand steward
Client Relationship: A retainer relationship
Intention of the Project: Re-launch, redesign, or update of an existing product, service or program
Development Budget: Decline to state
Production/Execution Budget: Decline to state
Source of Funding: Client
Typefaces: Draft; Heavitas; Dropout
Creative Director: Jessica Zimmer
Designers: Jim Zimmer
Illustrator: Raul Urias
Photographer: Richard Gary
Dark Matter Coffee Core Brands Redesign
Winner - 365: AIGA Year in Design (2021)
Title: Dark Matter Coffee Core Brands Redesign
Design Firm/Agency: Zimmer-Design
Client Industry: Consumer Products
Client Location: Chicago, IL, USA
“Putting a logo on a bag of roasted coffee beans is not enough these days. It seems like Dark Matter has banked their business strategy on selling coffees but also a side business of selling crafty graphics of their packages. Buying the package design is just as important as buying the coffee itself. Who cares if the coffee beans are any good? The packages are beautiful ephemera of today's coffee culture zeitgeist.” —Clement Mok