Death Before Decaf – Branding a Punk Rock Coffee Shop

Let me begin by saying that Perkatory Coffee Roasters does NOT need my help with branding. They have a very clear vision of the type of business they want to be and I believe they are quite successful with conveying that. But, my task this week was to create a brand plan, mood board, and logos for a small business in my community, so here we are.

Perkatory Southington is one of four coffee shops opened by a local couple who, like me, grew up listening to punk rock in the 90s and 2000s. The Southington shop is the second of four, with Middletown opening first, West Hartford third, and recently a store in Branford. While all four shops have the same general punky, skateboard, “coffee to wake the dead” vibe, each is branded slightly differently for the community which it serves. Southington is a mid-size, upper-middle-class town in Central CT. The median age is 45 and it has a thriving, funky downtown full of restaurants and bars. Perkatory Southington is located in an old factory that also houses an escape room, a cupcake bakery, a dog bakery, a confectionery, a brewery, a barcade, and ax throwing.

For this exercise, I focused my branding on the personality of the Southington store, in all its middle-class glory. And what is more 90s middle-class than skateboarding? Nothing.

I focused on using black and white as my main colors but also chose to use HEX #8A624A as a third color option. For this assignment, we used the web-based graphic design program CANVA, which I have quite a bit of experience with. CANVA is great if you want to throw a quick something together, but I struggle with the fact that the graphics often don’t match – I might like a skateboard with one line weight and style and a coffee cup with completely different line weight and style. That said, I absolutely enjoy using CANVA to mock up a logo or image because of the easy search function for graphics, images, and fonts.

I stopped into Perkatory Southington and chatted with the baristas for a few moments while ordering an iced tea. Speaking with them about the store, plus viewing their social media and website, helped me create a brand message, description, and voice. Specifically, they described Perkatory as a welcoming, inclusive, RADICAL place where coffee was for everyone.

I took what I learned through my research and conversation with the employees and created a mood board that includes the logos, colors, fonts, and the three words the baristas chose to describe the company – authentic, inclusive, and radical.

You can see my full company branding plan here.

Doing research that includes talking to people isn’t my idea of a good time, but I’m glad that I took the time to chat with the baristas at Perkatory Southington. They were able to give me great insight into the company, the clientele, the services they provide, and most importantly, what they strive to represent to the community.

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