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Metric Coffee Brings You Simplicity In Style

by Alianne Valladares-Prieto on 03/19/2021 | 3 Minute Read

Something Else worked to develop the rebranding of Metric Coffee, a Chicago favorite, specialty coffee brand. Sticking to the basics, they created a look that would focus on what matters—the coffee grounds. An ivory colored pouch featuring a dark blue typeface delivers a crisp and clean facade, drawing consumers in with its name and vertical formatting. 

Metric Coffee, a Chicago based Specialty Coffee Roaster, is proud to launch a brand new identity that ownership calls “the best version of Metric to date”. After 7 years of sourcing and roasting in Chicago’s West Loop, the brand has explored different design approaches which continued to evolve, but seldom felt “right”. The turning point came by way of Something Else, a new Chicago design studio led by Lauren Gallagher, a former Lead Designer at Cards Against Humanity. 

“After many years of struggling to find our voice through retail packaging and brand identity, we have finally arrived at a place where the quality of our sourcing compliments the beauty of the design” says Darko Arandjelovic, Metric Coffee’s Co-Owner and Chief Texting Pilot. In the new identity, the most noticeable change to the Company's identity is the omission of the brand’s circular MC mark and focusing on just Metric as the primary logotype. 

Editorial photograph

“After working with Metric for a couple months, we learned that we share similar values in our work ethics, and knew we wanted to pursue a rebrand together. Chicago's known for humble, hard workers with high standards, and Metric is located in a former industrial district, so I wanted to use that as an entry point for the new identity.” The logotype conveys metric's standards for high quality coffee and its unpretentious voice. It can stand on its own both in the spotlight or as a footnote. Both co-founders are American and European, so switching to GT America, a typeface family that combines features of American Gothic and European Neo-Grotesk typefaces, felt like an obvious choice. 

The branding is flexible and can work across several packaging applications. The bag labels use a custom grid that can be scaled to any size. They include the map coordinates for the roaster or, for single origin coffees, the location of the farm. “My goal for the rebrand was to create a timeless visual foundation that Metric can use moving forward. They love working with local artists and designers, and this identity allows them to stay on brand while integrating any style.” 

Beyond the transformation of Metric’s primary calling cardtheir retail bags (which will include 2 lb and 5 lbs version of the same design)Metric will introduce a Limited Release box. These will come in 8 oz clear plastic bags for releases and include a postcard with sourcing notes. “One element of our previous design that we will carry through the new packaging is the utilization of QR codes as a way to direct our customers to our transparency reports” says Xavier Alexander. “When we launched QR codes in our labeling, we could not have imagined how widely used and accepted this technology would be and while it isn’t ideal design wise, it is the only solution we know of that allows us to share what we pay for coffee,” adds Xavier. 

Other brand changes include a new custom website, designed by Something Else & developed by BGGY, who are based in Milwaukee. The new website features a custom subscription platform, prefaced with a questionnaire to lead consumers to their right coffee. Other items include new cups, tumblers, tote bags, and gift cards, which the team at Metric believes will help round out their vision & voicing of the brand.


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