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About Non-Industrial Branding

a creamy cappuccino set in front of a futuristic coffee roaster

Anyone with a basic grasp of branding understands the importance of storytelling in building a strong brand identity. It's about narrating the product's or service’s story, the challenges faced, or the creator's vision. The key is to ensure that the story is authentic, accurate, and valuable.

ansā's story begins with a vision of creating an alternative for coffee roasting—a vision aimed at creating a better future for coffee, ensuring the freshest and most sustainable brews possible. The name "ansā" originates from a Japanese term, adopted from English, signifying "answer," specifically aiming to provide an alternative “answer” to traditional coffee roasting. This vision comes to life through the utilization of an autonomous micro-roaster, roasting coffee on demand right at the point of consumption. At the same time, ansā sources specialty green coffee beans directly from select farms worldwide, ensuring the highest quality and ethical standards.

All of these values we defined, led to our brand positioning. During the brand presentation, I offered three main concept positioning. One of the concepts that I followed and chose by our three founders was "Non-Industrial”. This concept aims to tell ansā's story as a new coffee company offering an alternative to traditional industrial roasting. It promotes a green solution that minimizes environmental pollution throughout the coffee supply chain. Another principle in this concept is that the coffee is packaged only once by the farmer i.e. untampered with, using eco-friendly packaging and adhering to fair trade principles. Out of this "Non-Industrial” vision, I can start telling the brand story.

Branding Process

In the initial step in developing the "Non-Industrial" concept, I explored two images on one slide: on the left side, a traditional roasting machine that pollutes and emits thick smoke, and on the right side, ansā's micro-roaster — compact, clean, and environmentally friendly. This led me to brainstorm words and values that define ansā's solution compared to traditional roasting methods, such as purity, cleanliness, simplicity, compact, impact, sustainability, green, nature, innovation, and technology. These words helped me and guided the envisioning of graphic elements, removing those associated with the industrial world, such as metals, glossy finishes, heavy and dark colors, and rough shapes.

Left photo credit: Ivo Pauls Photography

Visual inspirations I found included coffee-related concepts like jute fabrics, natural wood, eco-friendly packaging papers, coffee fields, and the origin of coffee beans. From these inspirations, I derived a color palette to create a visual language that captures the brand's essence.

To convey a non-industrial story, I crafted a clean logotype from a self-created font, featuring round and soft shapes inspired by the natural world. The lowercase letters evoke a simple, sustainable, and precise image. In addition to the logotype, I developed a symbol to act as a brand seal of quality and high standards for the coffee that ansā offers. 

One of the branding challenges for me was to harmonize two seemingly opposite worlds—the sensory and romantic coffee world with the technological realm. Throughout the design process, I maintained this balance, ensuring the representation of both aspects harmoniously. Another challenge, in the visually rich and competitive coffee industry, was finding a way to stand out and to be original. Designing a custom logotype with unique lettering, and developing recognized graphic shapes and elements resulted in achieving a memorable and distinctive look.

Three years after launching ansā's brand, we have developed products and elements that align with the brand's language, messages, and tone of voice; Our micro-roaster machine, Variety e23, features rounded soft corners, and minimalistic elements, incorporates wood parts and designed to be as compact as possible. Our NYC concept store, designed according to the brand guidelines, features a warm light color palette throughout the decor, round soft corners, light fixtures mimicking sunlight, signs with our brand font and brand messages, coffee plants, and even a large inspiration wall showcasing sketches from the brand design process and machine design process. 

We are sustainable in everything we do, even our coffee cups are made of coffee, and always prefer not to use disposable cups. In addition, our coffee bean packages are designed with sustainable materials, and we consistently opt for digital marketing materials over printed ones.

Throughout these three years, we have refined the brand with more precise messages and I’ve enriched ansā’s visual elements, all while staying true to our original vision—ensuring a good cup of coffee is always on the table :)

Liz Sella Tunis

ansā's Art director

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