How to Create Imagery for a Coffee Brand

Coffee imagery is one of the most eye catching and innovative niches out there. 

With a saturated market everybody’s competing to be the best and the best is often the brand that has beautiful, funny, engaging, [insert adjective] coffee imagery. 

But it’s not an easy feat. There are many angles you can take this down and it really does depend on your brand, values, product and audience, but creating coffee imagery that entices people to become your customers has never been so important.

So, join me as I take a dive into what I have learnt makes good coffee imagery and how I go about creating it for various coffee brands. 

Creating imagery for a coffee brand can feel like a mountain to climb, but it’s an enjoyable process once you know where to start and it will get your creative juices flowing. 

To truly stand out in the competitive coffee market, we’ll need to have unique and captivating visuals that not only reflect your brand’s identity but also appeal to your target audience.

So firstly, a bit of market research and a little nosey what your competitors are up to. 

It’s vital to identify both current trends and potential gaps in the market to create a competitive edge. 

Then, we’ll explore the preferences of our target audience and see what floats their coffee boat. This will help develop a strong brand personality that resonates with your consumers.

Next, we’ll look at actually creating the visuals and all of the logistics around how, where and what. 

We’ll then look at how your brand’s imagery translates across various platforms, such as coffee packaging, website, and social media, to ensure it maintains visual consistency throughout the entire customer journey.

Market Research Into Coffee imagery

Before you start designing anything, whether it’s infographics, a coffee logo or photography one of the most important steps is market research and taking a look at what your competitors are doing. 

To do this, firstly decide what sort of imagery you’re looking to create, for this example we’ll look at ‘lifestyle photography for a coffee roaster’. 

Now visit the social accounts and the websites of your competitors and take a screengrab of some of their most popular lifestyle posts (on socials) and prevalent images (on their websites).

Note: Don’t just search in your country, although coffee roasters in Japan may not be your direct competition you can still learn a lot. 

Now you have compiled a few screengrabs it’s time to head to Canva and create a mood board.

Coffee Imagery - Mood Board

Take your time and enjoy the process. As you collect and create, start thinking about what you like and what jumps out at you. Let these images sit in the back of your head and simmer as you create your mood board as this is where your ideas will sprout. 

Your Coffee Brand’s Identity and Audience

Brand Vision and Voice

It is now time to look at your coffee brand’s identity – basically, what you’re all about. 

If you haven’t already done this, start by defining your brand’s vision and voice. 

For example if you’re developing a brand identity for a coffee roaster, you’ll need to determine your core values, personality, and overall message. Are you friendly and welcoming or sophisticated and upscale? 

Deciding on the brand vision and voice will help to create consistent messaging and imagery that resonate with customers.

Target Audience 

Next, let’s focus on the target audience. 

Knowing who you want to reach and what they are looking for in a coffee brand is crucial in creating imagery that appeals to them. 

For instance, if my audience is millennials that want to buy light roasted specialty coffee with all sorts of wacky flavour profiles I may look at creating bold but colourful images that appeal to them. 

On the other hand, if my target audience is slightly older with a more traditional coffee palate, I may look to portray more luxurious and smoother imagery with an aftertaste of quality. 

Identifying the target audience will allow me to tailor the visual aspects of the brand, from the colour scheme and typography to the photography and illustrations used in marketing materials. 

By understanding the nuances of brand identity, it’s easier to create a compelling and memorable imagery for a coffee brand that stands out in the market.

If you don’t know your target audience yet head over to your social media channels, website platform or GA4 and have a look at the age, sex, geographical area, etc of your most common visitors. 

If you don’t have any data yet and you’re just starting off head to Google Trends or use tools such as SEMrush to analyse keywords in your coffee niche. 

Foundations of the Coffee Visuals

Whether I have been designing coffee imagery for my own brands or someone else’s I’ve consumed a lot of different styles and approaches while trailing all sorts of visuals for an array of brands. 

These are the building blocks for an effective coffee brand identity in today’s market.

Coffee Logo Creation

When I design a perfect logo for a coffee brand, I focus on making sure it’s unique, memorable and reflective of the brand’s values. 

To achieve this, consider the following steps:

  • Research: Understand your target audience, competitors and the coffee culture associated with your brand.
  • Sketch: Roughly sketch your ideas before jumping into digital design tools.
  • Experiment: Play with shapes, fonts, and graphics to see which combination best communicates your brand’s message.

Remember, simplicity is key. A simple, yet distinctive logo design will resonate with your customers and make a lasting impression.

To learn more about this head to our guide on creating a coffee logo

Colour Palette Selection

Colour plays a prominent role in brand recognition, and I’ve found that choosing the right colours significantly impacts how a coffee brand is perceived. 

When selecting a colour palette, consider the following:

  • Emotions: Different colours evoke different emotions. For a coffee brand, you might want to use warm and inviting colours like browns, tans, and soft reds. Or completely the opposite if your audience is looking for a fun and colourful experience.
  • Consistency: Make sure your chosen palette is consistent across all your marketing materials and packaging.
  • Visual hierarchy: Use contrasting colours to highlight important elements of your designs. For instance, use a light-coloured font on a dark background for better readability.

For more information checkout our guide to choosing a colour palette for your coffee brand.

Typography and Iconography

Once you’ve got your logo and colour palette sorted, it’s time to focus on fine-tuning typography and iconography. Here’s what I do to refine them:

  • Fonts: Choose one or two fonts that complement your logo and establish brand personality. Avoid overcrowding your designs with too many font styles or weights.
  • Readability: Make sure your chosen font is legible, even at smaller sizes. Additionally, ensure there’s ample spacing between letters, words, and lines.
  • Icon style: Icons should have a consistent visual style and match the overall design language of your brand. Stick to simple and easily recognisable shapes.

To learn more read How To Choose a Font For a Coffee Brand.

In a nutshell, well-designed visual elements are the key to creating a strong coffee brand identity. 

Keep it simple, consistent and aligned with your brand’s values, and you’re well on your way to brewing success.

Creating the Imagery

Now there are lots of different types of coffee imagery and so many different angles that you may want to go down. 

Here’s an example of how I would go about creating a lifestyle shot for a coffee roaster. 

First you’d want to draw inspiration from the mood board that you’ve created. I’m not saying to copy your competitors, but see what angles jump out at you and how the coffee is positioned in the shot.

Now, have a go at creating a mockup on Canva, Using the stock photos and potentially some copy in your chosen font also try to incorporate your brand colours if possible 

Depending on the image and where you want to use it this may now suffice, however this is a perfect example to hand to a photographer or attempt to create yourself.

Photography and Imagery Guidelines

To complement your brand story, you’ll need eye-catching visuals that truly represent your coffee brand. 

High-quality photography and imagery are crucial in capturing an audience’s attention and driving your brand message. Here are some guidelines I’ll follow:

Coffee Photography and Imagery Guidelines

With a strong brand identity and eye-catching visuals, you can stand out in the competitive coffee market and make a lasting impression on coffee lovers.

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