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Seattle Zeal

Seattle’s pervasive coffee culture offered a local visual language rich in expressions of Seattle Zeal—earnest, flannel-centric and direct.

Seattle Zeal

Deliverables

Seattle’s pervasive coffee culture offered a local visual language rich in expressions of Seattle Zeal—earnest, flannel-centric and direct.

Immersion Research
Brand Story
Package Design
Copywriting
Arrow
You could say it was an opportunity to wake up and smell the coffee. Starbucks had acquired Seattle’s Best—a pioneer of Seattle’s coffee culture—and planned to bring the brand into national retail distribution. Starbucks asked Damen Jackson to express the brand’s meaning and story as a package design that evoked Seattle’s coffee culture and Seattle’s Best coffee cafes. Mining Seattle’s pervasive coffee culture through immersion research, we uncovered a local visual language rich in expressions of what we called Seattle Zeal, a term evoking the city’s easy, informal confidence, coffee cues and brand heritage with links to the historic Pike Place Market. The package design used this imagery in a way that was both defining for the Seattle’s Best brand and new to the coffee aisle. The result was a highly shopable package and an effective retail billboard.
IMMERSION RESEARCH
Immersion research is observation rather than data/analytics-driven. It allows for a deep, focused examination and delivers results in a narrative form—ideal for brand story development. In this case, we observed, identified and photo-documented visual communications particular to Seattle’s social environment, its coffee culture, Seattle’s Best history and its café environments.
BRAND STORY
We created a detailed narrative to present Seattle’s Best brand meaning with its distinctive history and value proposition. The brand story provided direction and visual reference for the development of package design and brand communications.
PACKAGE DESIGN
The objective of the package design was to create a unique presence on supermarket shelves for a brand that had previously been sold only in Seattle’s Best coffee cafés. Serving as the visual meaning-maker for shoppers, the design needed to distill and evoke the brand’s meaning as told in the brand story.
COPYWRITING
From our immersion research, we assembled a dictionary of Seattle’s quirky coffee-culture lexicon. From this, we developed a unique nomenclature system, based on idiomatic terms used in Seattle to define coffee characteristics: flavor, intensity, roast and blend. We used this system as a versioning tool on the package.