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Pack of the Month: DoubleDouble Coffee Will Have You Doing a Double Double Take

by Bill McCool on 09/01/2021 | 4 Minute Read

The beer can has really become one of the go-to canvases for kitchen-sink, Maximalist design in recent years, particularly in the highly competitive craft beer scene where you’re competing with hundreds of breweries.

You could also say the same thing about the coffee world. Outside of Dunkin’ and Starbucks, mom-and-pop independent roasters and coffee houses have to bend over backward to get eyeballs on their wares. So, it certainly helps when a design studio like Gesture Systems brews up your packaging and visual identity. Australia’s DoubleDouble Coffee got that and more, with a series of bags heavy on typographic exploration, unconventional color palettes, and archival clip art galore. The result is awash in weirdness of the best kind, with a vibrant identity sure to shake up your morning routine.

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Also, if those t-shirts are indeed real, we’ll take ten.

We spoke to Gesture Systems creative director Rory Ferrante about their see-what-sticks approach and getting clients to try something a little different.

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What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with DoubleDouble's packaging, and how did you accomplish it? 

We set out to craft a brand and packaging system that didn’t look like anything in the current coffee space. Thankfully, we were lucky to have a receptive and open-minded client that let us take the reins on the overall look and feel. It came about by taking an objective look at the local market for coffee and seeing the potential to pick a visual direction that plenty of other brands couldn’t or wouldn’t execute.

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"Maximalism" seems to be the magic, operative word here. Do you like taking projects that shy away from minimalism, or worse, "blanding?"

Not necessarily, no. It comes back to taking a somewhat contrarian approach to most of the work we take on. Nothing is created in a vacuum. The design decisions you make are informed by everything you’ve seen prior. So in our case, when we started our research into existing brands operating the coffee space, it was pretty clear that taking a minimalist, paired-back approach would not have set DoubleDouble apart in a highly competitive market.

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What was the most challenging part of this project?

Finding a balance between commercial viability and expression? We had a hard time knowing when to draw the line. Looking back at some of our concepts, we would’ve made everything a lot harder for ourselves if we went down some of those early routes that would have required way more hours to get the label system feeling consistent. 

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What drove a lot of the decision-making process for the typography used for each flavor/roast?

We’ve been using DoubleDouble coffee labels as a blank canvas for the broad range of typographic styles we love as a studio. It’s a challenge trying to figure out how to make some of the strange pairings work together.

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If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel proud of, what would it be and why?

It’s hard to reduce it down to one single asset as our favorite, but as a whole, we’re very proud of the project. It’s been one of our first great jobs as a studio and well received by people, and it still makes us really happy to hear someone say they’ve never seen a coffee brand that looks like this before.

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Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.

If you have a client willing and able to let you try something unconventional for their brief, it’s a great opportunity to create something out of the ordinary and use that platform to really flex your own style. If your client doesn’t want you to play it safe, don’t.

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