Pearlfisher ‘Democratizes’ Passion for Artisanal Coffee

Pearlfisher New York worked with Chicago-based coffee roaster and retailer Intelligentsia Coffee to refresh the identity, streamline their portfolio and create a new design expression for the brand’s coffee bags. Intelligentsia has established itself as having fine single origin, direct trade, and in-season coffees, but felt that the former design fell short in conveying the premium tiers across the range. Pearlfisher’s focus was to bring a bolder, more meaningful creative vision to the portfolio, centered around Intelligentsia’s high-quality coffees made with the most ethical practices. The new design expression allows variants to make a clearer visual connection with one another as a portfolio through purpose and specialization, while continuing to distinguish itself from the over saturation of today’s craft-heavy aesthetic. Each bag “democratizes” the passion for artisanal coffee, giving equal priority to the whole product range, by educating consumers on provenance and seasonality in a clear and coherent manner.




Matt Sia, Associate Creative Director at Pearlfisher says: “Starting with the identity, we refined the wings and eye of the logo along with crafting the word mark for optimized legibility and sizing across the system. Creating icons for the sides of the bags helps deliver clear, simple direction on preparing the perfect cup of coffee rather than copy-heavy directions. Overall, we wanted the outcome to feel more personal and approachable – just as Intelligentsia strives to welcome and educate their consumers about coffee.” Sia continued, “Every Intelligentsia coffee bar is localized and unique, so we provided each seasonal variant with a similar, unique expression. For example, ‘Persephone’ visually represents the freshness of spring and the convergence of seasons through a brighter palette, contrasting shape patterns while the colors and leaf illustrations of ‘Otono’ capture the depth and richness of fall.”