Ritual Coffee Roasters
Explore the visual and cultural evolution from a roaring 2005 appearance on the San Francisco coffee scene to an increasingly warm, intimate vibe today. Director of Marketing and Communications Tim Schofield joins us from their Roastery.
Ray: Today, we’re talking about Ritual Coffee Roasters of San Francisco. They’ve been around since 2005. We actually looked at their old packaging so we could do a comparison and the we talked to Tim Schofield about the differences in packaging.
Kandace: Take it away, Tim.
Tim: My name is Tim Schofield. I’m currently the Director of Marketing and Communications for Ritual.
Ritual was started in 2005 by Eileen Hassi. She had come from Seattle, seen the coffee scene up there, and thought that the citizens of San Francisco were being very underserved.
Kandace: We happened to meet Eileen randomly.
Ray: Yes, we met her at a conference called The Start Conference. That was in the late aughts. See, you did that look!
Kandace: I don’t think we call it that. I don’t know. Do you say “aughts?” Thank you.
Ray: Who are you talking to?
Kandace: Nobody says “aughts.”
Ray: Well, you asked one person.
Ray: From 2000 to 2010-ish.
Ray: That’s beside the point.
Kandace: She was so approachable, so friendly, and so excited about her coffee roaster. It’s something that’s always stuck with me.
Ray: Fun fact: Their identity was designed by Aimee Kilmer originally. The logo is intended to reference the Turkish flag, I found out, not a Soviet. Although, I think they get that a lot.
The refresh of their brand was done by the same person. She’s now a partner at Good Stuff Partners, her and her husband. They worked on this refresh.
Kandace: It was originally the idea that bringing this coffee to San Francisco was revolutionary, right?
Kandace: We can probably say in 2016 it doesn’t feel like third-wave coffee is revolutionary, so it makes sense to soften the brand a little bit. She had this great quote. She said, “We don’t have to yell all the time anymore.”
Take it away, Tim.
Tim: We felt, over the past couple of years, that our branding wasn’t really in line with the quality of our coffee. We didn’t feel like we were being perceived in the way that we wanted to be perceived, vis-à-vis our 12-ounce bags or other branding materials. It just felt kind of old.
Not the logo itself; we feel like our brand mark is still very strong and recognizable. We want to accentuate that and make it more recognizable. So, if you were to see a cup and star logo and nothing else—not our name, no other kind of branding in the window of a shop—you would know that, “Oh, I can go and get great coffee here.” That’s the ultimate goal.
We wanted to simplify the branding a little bit, give it a little more space and room to breathe. We came up with some different fonts and font treatments for our actual logo, Ritual, changing our colors a little bit, making them a little more approachable, a little less aggressive, getting rid of some of the black and red, more aggressive colors.
It’s a slightly different red; it’s a little bit of a warmer red, and then we’re using more of a cream-white, instead of just a stark white.
Ray: One of the goals of the new packaging, Tim told us, was to make it feel less like a bag of coffee and more like a gift that you would give someone. To that end, not only is the packaging much more environmentally friendly, but they’ve added this belly band with some details on it, including not just a roast date, but a harvest date, which I thought was a nice touch.
Tim: We have a great artist, Jen Kruch, that does drawings of the producers that we’re going to start featuring the front of the packaging.
Ray: Actually, once you take the band off, there’s even more detail, suggesting even the amount of pressure (or 12 bar). So, I have too much pressure.
Kandace: That is so interesting, “Rest for 7 to 12 days from roast date.” I always thought you just want to drink it right away.
Ray: That is more than …
Kandace: That is completely new to me, that thought. I always look for the freshest coffee.
Ray: Then on the ends it’s perforated, so if you wanted to remember a particularly nice coffee you could just save this little card, also cool.
Ray/Kandace: Take it away, Tim.
Tim: Yeah, the new bag has what we call a “belly band,” that goes around it. It’s affixed at the back with a clear sticker that holds it in place, but if you were to take that sticker off or you were to remove any of the perforated sides, you would find that there’s information on both the front and back sides of the band. In that sense, we’re able to have a lot more information that we can convey to customers right at the point of sale, or afterward, as they get to know the coffee that they’ve just bought.
Ray: Ritual Coffee Roasters, of San Francisco, California.
Update: Brew Book
We just got our hands on the gorgeous new Brew Book from Ritual and it is just too gorgeous not to share.
Watch the Show