The Story Behind the Branding of Pallet Coffee Roasters

Branding Vancouver looks at some of the more interesting logos and icons that appear in Vancouver’s food and beverage scene. Some of the explanations will be long and others short, but the goal of deeper understanding will be constant. If you want the backstory of a particularly compelling local brand revealed, let us know via @scoutmagazine and we’ll try to figure it out.

The Brand: This week we’re getting a delicious dose of caffeine, via Pallet Coffee Roasters. The local company has not one but two logos. These were created separately by different designers, bringing attention to a couple of the more humble and overlooked – but nevertheless integral – aspects of coffee. Says Director of Coffee, Ben Rugg:

“We have the ‘business up front, party out back’ idea happening…

The up-front logo is used on our packaging, website and stores. This logo is more corporate and was designed by our good friend Manuela Peréz. The design of it is inspired by a wooden pallet (a fundamental and often forgotten tool), used to ship all sorts of products and equipment around the world, including coffee. There have been some lines and pieces removed from the original 3D pallet design to make it look more unique. That is something we were going for with this design; something unique and recognizable that eventually could be used without the brand name next to it.

The second logo we have in use is the coffee tree design. This was designed by Daniel Kurc (@danielkurc) of Victory Tattoo in East Vancouver. This logo is used on the back of our packing and on t-shirts, posters and other swag. We asked Daniel to design this for us as we wanted a design that showcased where Pallet started, in East Vancouver, a neighbourhood with a lot of amazing and passionate small businesses. This design is intended to showcase all of this and the fun, fresh side of our brand.

Kurc, who is a tattoo artist as well as Victory’s owner, was approached to work with Pallet in early 2016 when his shop aesthetic caught their eye (Victory Tattoo is located almost kitty-corner from the cafe’s original East Van location). His design is a hybrid of the Pallet’s original look and a reflection of his illustration style. Here’s what he had to say about the process of designing a logo versus designing tattoos:

“It’s the same. Or at least I approached it in the same way. The customer gives you a space they want to utilize, a liof things they would like to see in the design and sometimes show you some reference images to help get on the same page. It’s my job to take that put my touch on it. Sometimes all the elements on the customers list make it into the design, but usually I have to pick and choose what I think will work best.

After I find out the size and shape of the space I have to work with, I usually dig up some reference imagery from my book collection and the internet. I looked at some old coffee plant lithographs for the main image and, having dabbled in some sign painting in the past, I had a way I wanted the lettering to look. Then it’s just a matter of getting it on paper. I sketched it out loosely until I was happy with the composition, then cleaned it up and added any final details. Lastly, I made a finished line drawing in ink, by hand. I always prefer the look of something done by hand, rather than a machine.”

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