In the creative corridors of the University of North Texas, a cold brew packaging design has been percolating. Callum Hamilton, an emerging creative in the Communication Design program, brought home a coveted New Talent 2023 Platinum Award for his project “The Alchemist Coffee.” The project blends the vintage allure of an old-world apothecary with the modern sophistication of artisanal coffee branding. Guided by Professor Brian Boyd, Callum’s theoretical brand is a concoction of design principles and creative zeal—a clear example of what could be waiting in the future of coffee marketing. Let’s delve deeper into the story to see what was brewing behind this project.
By: Callum Hamilton
My primary objective in crafting the bottle design for The Alchemist Coffee cold brew was to merge the nostalgic charm of a vintage apothecary with the sophistication associated with a high-end coffee experience. The idea of an apothecary feel to the cold brew branding was inspired by the various types of coffee being sold with specific purposes, just as an apothecary has many products for different ailments. The brand’s identity was carefully curated through the integration of vintage apothecary-inspired hand lettering in the logo, evoking a sense of artisanal craftsmanship and timeless appeal.
In crafting the typography for the cold brew packaging, inspiration was drawn from the distinctive characteristics of vintage apothecary aesthetics and the refined typography found in vintage liquor branding. The goal was to encapsulate the essence of both worlds, marrying the charm of an old-world apothecary with the timeless appeal of premium spirits.
The choice of minimalist typography in the labeling was influenced by the clean and structured lettering often seen in vintage apothecary labels, where clarity and simplicity were paramount for conveying information. This approach not only ensures that essential product details are easily digestible, but also imparts a sense of authenticity and craftsmanship reminiscent of traditional apothecary practices. Simultaneously, the infusion of hand-lettered elements in the logo design pays homage to the meticulous artistry associated with vintage liquor branding. The subtle imperfections and unique nuances in the handcrafted lettering evoke a sense of individuality and care, suggesting that each bottle is a product of dedicated craftsmanship rather than mass production.
Incorporating a strategic hierarchy of type and a thoughtfully chosen color palette in the labeling process, I drew inspiration from the meticulous detailing found in vintage whiskey labels. The decision to adopt the distinctive shape of a whiskey bottle for the cold brew packaging was driven by a desire to evoke a sense of timeless craftsmanship and elevate the overall consumer experience. By embracing the iconic silhouette associated with whiskey bottles, I aimed to tap into the rich heritage and sophistication often linked with premium spirits. This intentional design choice not only pays tribute to a bygone era, but also infuses the cold brew bottles with an air of elegance and sophistication. This intentional fusion of vintage apothecary and liquor-inspired typography contributes to the perception of the brand as one rooted in tradition, where time-honored practices meet contemporary refinement.
Callum Hamilton is a recent communication design graduate from the University of North Texas. He has a passion for utilizing visual language to address complex communication challenges. Callum enjoys experimenting with new design techniques while incorporating traditional elements into contemporary design. He is a dedicated problem-solver with a penchant for design, driven by his endless fascination with visual storytelling and exploring our shared connections. Callum had worked as a creative intern at Banowetz + Company, inc., a leading Dallas design agency where he honed his skills while gaining real-world experience. He has enjoyed taking on various projects throughout his career that have garnered him various awards and recognition. This includes Platinum, Gold, and other awards from Graphis, as well as UNT Portfolio Recognition.