Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Professional Portfolio: Cafe Ristretto

This was a free lance project I did in the fall of 2009 (during my thesis... eek! talk about being overloaded!) for my current employer. This contract job landed my full time position with the company.
I was asked to look at an existing kiosk type coffee shop in the PTI airport in Greensboro. It was previously apart of a nation wide chain that was now being bought individually and therefor they wanted to breakaway from that existing look that connected them with their past.
Here are some of the images of what I was working with...

This is the design I came up with..Not a huge change. But subtle hints make a difference. There were also changes that needed to happen to allow a better work flow that required moving around equipment as well as upgrading some of the machines.

The seating area across from the small cafe was also considered in the face lift design...

This was my idea for a more modern space... New furniture, updated paint scheme, some contemporary light fixtures, and a few nice pieces of art.

Branding Identity & Logo exploration was also part of this job since the company was breaking out on their own from the former chain's identity. I tried to incorporate coffee culture in the name without being so cliche. 

The final logo and name came down to Cafe Ristretto. Ristretto is the Italian word for "limited" or "restricted". In the art of espresso, it is the way to pull a short shot in a quicker manner than normal so that a limited amount of water is extracted through the grinds and has less contact. This produces a bolder flavor in the espresso, resulting in a fuller bodied and flavorful shot.

The idea of ristretto is embodied in this fast moving environment of an airport coffee shop because unlike most coffee shops, where people come in and relax, taking their time drinking their hot beverages, this a quick transaction while the customers are usually rushing off to make a flight. So the cafe has a limited amount of time to make that great impression on the visistors, but the experience should be a flavorful one, that in its concentrated state, leaves a positive mark on the users.

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