Coffee design is a continuum, and for every fresh and shiny new product to be launched, there is a set of pressing decisions: how do you stand out visually? And where do these choices lead? We often tackle such questions here in the Coffee Design series, but today we take a look in the mirror, on the other side of the spectrum, at what it means to rethink a brand with a deep heritage and roots in the coffee scene.
It would be Hasbean Coffee, a British coffee brand founded in Stafford in 2002, then acquired by Ozone Coffee in 2018. Now in 2022, the team has launched a bold redesign of the Hasbean brand. It’s a unique inflection point and opportunity to explore some of the biggest questions raised by the confluence of coffee and design, which is really our bag, baby.
We spoke to Ed Hughes, Head of Design at Hasbean and Ozone Coffee Roasters, to find out more.
Who was on the design team?
Alongside our in-house design team which includes me and Fran Newman-Day, we partnered with Olivier Tyrel to help bring the brand to life. His experience of working with Makgill Studio and more recently through his own studio, has given us a new and important perspective to deliver the maximum with this rebranding opportunity.
From the first visions/mood board to the beginnings, how long did the rebranding process take?
We spent about six months between our first mood board sessions and the launch of the new Hasbean. Before putting ideas on paper, we spent a lot of time brainstorming with our team and listening to our clients to align with our creative direction and understand what was most important to convey. It was a really important project, and we wanted to do good for our community by bringing the brand to life in the best way possible. We didn’t want to rush the process.
Tell us about the differences between the old branding and the new look.
We’ve been roasting coffee for 20 years, so when we decided it was the right time for a refresh, we knew we had to start from scratch so we could reinvent the way we communicate who and what we are. We started with the wordmark to set the tone for the project and everything else grew from there.
The world of specialty coffee can seem a bit complex, especially for newcomers. We wanted the new Hasbean (and specialty coffee) to be more accessible and enjoyable to interact with. We worked on a new tone of voice to strike the balance between fun and seriousness: fun and approachable in the way we talk about coffee, but serious in our sourcing philosophy and sustainability efforts. We also wanted to rethink the way people find their favorite coffees or discover new ones with us, which is where the editions and our expanded color palette come from. We worked with our roasting team to identify seven flavor profiles that our coffees fit into, with a bold new color and imaginative flavor notes assigned to each. The color scheme is everywhere, from our new packaging to our website, and it’s easier to spot your favorites or discover new ones from our huge collection of unique origins. One of the changes that we are really excited about was replacing our old bags with new home compostable bags. These bags lead the aesthetic choices for packaging and labeling, as wanted to show what is a rather special material.
We’ve always thought of the Hasbean brand as an extension of our team, like a friendly expert who’s there to walk you through and talk (coffee) shop. This rebranding was intended to highlight and further highlight that. There was an honesty about the previous brand; it was something that we wanted to keep and represent a little differently: everything revolves around coffee and its quality.
What has been the response so far?
Awesome! We’ve built a loyal community over the past two decades, so we expected some people to miss the old brand image. But it’s great to see such positive feedback on the new look and to know that people understand why we did this. We launched the new brand at the London Coffee Festival, a fun way to bring Hasbean to life in a physical setting. Everything was well received, especially all the new coffee colors and flavors.
Where is your coffee available?
We roast every day of the working week from our roastery in Staffordshire, shipping across the UK and internationally. Find us online at hasbean.co.ukas well as some of your favorite British cafes.
Which coffees are you currently excited to release this season?
We are thrilled to launch a very special and rare geisha at Hasbean this spring, from Finca Deborah in Panama. We are always exploring what drives the industry forward and working with world-class producers who are at the forefront of this. We have a few small batches from producer, Jamison Savage, including a 15kg batch of ‘Enlightenment’ which tasted amazing in the first roast samples.
What future for Hasbean/Ozone?
The coffee and hospitality industries have faced many challenges in recent years; we’re happy to get closer to the other side of that. This means that our wholesale partners (cafes, restaurants, hotels and offices) receive many more visitors, so we are expanding our offer from Ozone and Hasbean. It’s great to see our wholesaler community back in action and working with so many new partners.
We also continue to advance our sustainability agenda and redouble our efforts to reduce our footprint over the next few years. We are striving to become a certified B-Corp and hope to achieve this milestone within the next 12 months. On the Ozone side, we introduced single-origin compostable pods last year, which allowed us to tap into a new community of coffee-lovers at home. People appreciate being able to have a great cup of quality coffee from the comfort of a capsule (which, let’s face it, isn’t easy to find in pod form), so much so that we’re introducing new editions this spring. .
Beyond that, we are focused on growing Hasbean and Ozone and bringing more people into our world. From exclusive coffee drops, new events and partnerships, expansion news, and a few other big plans, we have an exciting and busy roadmap with lots of awesome things in the works.
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