Seed To Sip - The Alexander Mills Brandmark

In the startup world that I work in we like to say that “a brand isn’t your logo, it’s what others say about you”. That’s absolutely true. There’s also is an essential element of design to every strong brand though, so I thought it was time for a refresh around here.

For a while I simply used a bold A and M to identify my work online, but I wanted to design something intentional with a little more meaning. I had a design that I thought up in my mind, and I was completely convinced it was genius. That is, until I got it onto the screen. I spent weeks trying to translate that vision from my prefrontal cortex to pixels, but it never quite worked out the way I had imagined. On a lonely flight home from Scotland I pulled out my laptop, scrapped that entire file, and started from scratch. What happened next is what you see here today - a new brandmark to embody a new journey from seed to sip.

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A visual immersion into the world of specialty coffee

Using visual mediums of photo and design, I’m working through this blog to educate and inform coffee drinkers of all shapes and sizes on a global scale. This new brandmark communicates a holistic approach to an agricultural industry in need on a macro level, while also addressing the intricacies of home brewing on a micro level.

The collective coffee industry is in peril, from seed to final sip.  It’s imperative that even the most casual coffee drinker is informed about the state of the industry to ensure that coffee will survive for years to come. This holistic approach begins at origin.

A message with meaning

This new logo is clean, monochromatic, and extremely versatile. Geometric in nature, it’s not immediately apparent that this logo represents a personal brand. That’s intentional as I forecast for the future, hoping to achieve maximum versatility across different platforms and products.

From seed to sip

When combined, two triangles imitate the landscape of mountains, the terrain where coffee grows and flourishes. One triangle on its own is the letter A, but when combined creates the letter M. 

The negative space of the two triangles create a singular inverted triangle to depict a pour over brewing method. In the two triangles coffee is represented from origin to cup.

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The rectangular line above the triangles plays into the terroir theme, representing the weather that coffee crops depend on to thrive. In the same way that water falls from the sky to feed coffee trees, the line also represents the water that is poured over the brewer to brew a fresh cup of coffee.

When the logo is assembled combining the triangles with the line, an hourglass shape is revealed. Symbolic of the slow, patient work of manually brewing coffee, it accentuates the care that specialty coffee deserves.

The two triangles are similar shades of a monochromatic grey, one lighter than the other. The light one overlays the darker one, which seems contrary to how shadows work. This is intentional to convey that lighter roasted coffee often allows the nuance of each coffee to take centre stage on the palette instead of the roast overpowering the flavour.

What’s one of your favourite brandmarks of all time? Let me know in the comments!