Logo & Branding
The concept for this coffee shop centres around two key themes. One being that team of co-owners were old school childhood friends. The other is that the cafe offers in-depth barista training and education on what makes a great coffee and invites the customer to take an interest the process. The owners are light hearted and very passionate about their craft. They are also children of the nineties and requested a few nods to the era while still having the brand appear modern, boutique and quality-driven.
I was responsible for brand design, fit-out plans, build details and decor. My concept had to be applied across branding and the fit-out and also work within tight budgets.
The idea of the ruled lines in the logo was based around learning. I could picture our teacher moving her chalkboard line-maker across the board everyday. I wanted the brand to play off this context of learning, filling in these lines and taking notes on standard ruled paper.The lines become key devices that can be adapted for use across various brand materials. The colour scheme takes primary colours and makes them more modern and 'grown-up'. I liked the idea that these colours were the common palette of coloured office paper. These pastel papers can be purchased at any office supply store, allowing the owners to easily print out in-house materials to save costs but stay on-brand.
Supporting graphic elements incorporate iconic marbled nineties notebook patterns and custom illustrations based on sketches made when students are day-dreaming. Pops of red accent colour are based on teacher's marks on work submitted.
Fit Out & Design
Shop Design & Layout
Styling & Orders
Our clients were busy running their other successful businesses—a cafe, coffee roasting business and restaurant between all of them. They wanted me to take on the project in it's entirety. I was responsible for designing the space from scratch, layout plans that the builders and cabinet makers could work from, selecting colour schemes, ordering and purchasing all furniture and decor and also ensure everything from trades, equipment, materials, design and decor all fit within a tight budget that I was managing. It was a great experience—I loved being involved and working with such a supportive and trusting client.
The key concept behind School House Espresso was that the clients wanted to showcase the craft of making coffee and planned to use the space for workshops and barista training as well as general trade.
The space was very long and narrow and tricky to work with. I didn't want to have the coffee machine set against the walls, and instead came up with a format where the coffee bench was removed from the rest of the kitchen and sat open and exposed at the centre of the cafe. It served as the heart and showpiece of the shop with everything revolving around it. We designed a huge custom table to sit behind the barista so that all patrons had a view of the barista at work. The barista could turn around and serve customers directly—offering a richer more personal experience for everyone. The kitchen and cafe were still able to work together with proximity of the rest of the design. The result was highly unique and personal space and much loved functional outcome for the client.
Photography by Lindsey Rendell