Kribi Coffee Air Roasters

An identity as unique and bold as their approach to coffee
2019-2020
Premise

Like with any good coffee bean, we drew inspiration from origins to give Kribi Coffee a fresh, contemporary look in the fifth-wave coffee world.

Partner
Kribi Coffee Air Roasters
Location

Forest Park, Illinois

Primary logo, secondary logo, and the smile on every bag of beans

Things are a little different over at Kribi Coffee

Owner Jacques Shalo came to us with an exciting prospect; his white-label air-roasting coffee business was making its first foray into the consumer market. He had just acquired the perfect corner cafe in Forest Park, Illinois. His plan? Let this space serve as the centerpiece, showing off his proprietary air-roasting coffee machines in action.

Shalo with investor Zev Siegl, co-founder of Starbucks

It’s all about the theatre of the roast.

Jacques Shalo, Founder

Java Master's patented electric air roaster lets Kribi Coffee roast every bag of coffee fresh for their customers while they wait

Cameroonian motifs and Memphis design; combined

We focused on Cameroonian beadwork and textile patterns as our starting point. When overlaid with funky forms and colors influenced by Memphis design, the result was striking—not a bag that could be easily missed on a shelf! Cameroonian artists often create art that represents traditional dance and movement, so too were we inspired by the whirling dance of coffee beans in the hot air roaster.

Each bag is completed with a handwritten signature and roast date

Coffee bag label system

The interview: research paves the way

We learned the ins and outs of Kribi and the dedication to quality in all steps of the coffee process. Growing up on a coffee farm in Cameroon, it is impossible to remove the importance of home as a direct influence on Jacques’ work. We were particularly intrigued by this notion and sought to use origination as a backbone in creating the new brand identity.

Jacques Shalo as an infant in Cameroon, Africa after the first coffee harvest of 1958

Online orders ship with a personalized postcard and a snippet of Kribi Coffee’s mission

Cultivating positivity through originality

We crafted Kribi Coffee’s voice, honing in on its organic, laid-back style of communication. We provided oversight for the exterior overhaul of the building, creating a dramatic new look that organically drew in customers without the need for advertising. In just the first month after the re-design, Kribi Coffee was drawing four times the amount of customers as it had before.

Before and after acquisition

North side of the shop

Newly renovated interior

Basement gallery space that showcases local artwork

Fully wrapped 100% compostable coffee cups

Photography style

Illustration style

Bringing the truth to light

Honesty resonates with people. Instead of chasing a trend, we present the essence of a brand to let its true intentions shine through. This creates lasting impressions that people can genuinely connect with. Our work for Kribi Coffee is a shining example of this idea; that a brand identity should be a mirror to its values—constantly reflecting itself outwardly to the world.

Coffee blend in support of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation

Lettering inspired by historic Liberian stamps with ties to the Shalo family's Bamileke tribe

Inspiring community change

NBC 5 Chicago interviewed owner Jacques Shalo and his son Jeremiah Shalo, honoring their efforts and intentions in creating their Black Lives Matter coffee blend. 25% of proceeds sold from the coffee are sent to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation.