Featured image for Span Studio's Packaging Design For The Chicago Blend

Span Studio's Packaging Design For The Chicago Blend

by Chloe Gordon on 09/11/2023 | 2 Minute Read

Span Studio's packaging design for The Chicago Blend coffee is a captivating departure from conventional consumer packaged goods narratives. Instead of a typical brand-focused approach, the design draws inspiration from the essence of Chicago, paying homage to its urban grid system, airport locations, and iconic cultural elements like Susan Jackson Keig's Aspen installation and György Kepes' photograms. The playful bubble letters spelling 'Chicago' are reminiscent of the city's New Bauhaus school and street art, while the 'M's echo Metropolis Coffee's branding and reference notable figures like Oswald Cooper and Pablo Picasso. The reflective, metallic bag design reflects Tomoko Miho's Great Architecture in Chicago poster, creating a visually stunning and conceptually rich packaging that supports the Design Museum of Chicago's mission.


 Span studio created the package design for The Chicago Blend, a specialty roasted coffee with proceeds going to the Design Museum of Chicago, a nonprofit museum dedicated to free, inclusive public programming serving artists and designers from diverse backgrounds, neighborhoods, and age groups. 

The Chicago Blend was conceptualized by the Design Museum of Chicago, and carefully roasted by the Metropolis Coffee Company. Span’s design reimagines the conventional CPG (consumer packaged goods) approach from a brand-focused narrative into referencing captivating Chicago stories: its urban grid system; the locations of Midway and O'Hare airports; Susan Jackson Keig’s Aspen installation; and the photograms of György Kepes.


The playful bubble letters spelling ‘Chicago’ find inspiration in the South Prairie Avenue New Bauhaus school, and the stylish, spray-painted names that grace the streets and trains of Chicago. Echoing the iconic ‘M’ of Metropolis Coffee’s branding, three spirited ‘M’s reference Oswald Cooper’s 1929 Cooper Fullface, John Massey’s sailboats and Pablo Picasso’s 50-foot, cor-ten steel sculpture. The reflective, metallic bag mirrors Tomoko Miho’s Great Architecture in Chicago poster that was silkscreened onto aluminized paper.