Which roaster has the best designed coffee bag artwork you have seen? What kind of info did you consider essential on the bag of a specialty roaster to build value and set them apart?

 

We are a three-year old wholesale specialty coffee roaster that is about to make the switch from sticker label to printed-on-foil packaging. We work very hard on sourcing and roasting great coffees, so we want our bag artwork to be consistent with what is in the bag.I appreciate your insights and ideas, as design is really important to us.

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Joseph,

 

I too am a specialty roaster. We hand stamp all of our bags. We use 12oz kraft bags with a sealing poly liner and a valve. The kraft exterior allows us to stamp the bag. Our production has increased to a level at which we have to pay someone to do the stamping. We considered other options, (preprinting & stickers), but decided instead to streamline our current method by buying a letterpress. (we're still looking for one, so if anyone knows of a good deal on a press around the 10x15 size, drop me a line) Here's the stamp we use for 12oz., back and front:

This benefits us two-fold, it expedites the bag stamping as well as gives all of our printed marketing materials a real hand-made look and feel which complements the artisanal roasting aspect of our product.

That's a long way of saying  not only should what you print on the bag represent your product, but the materials and craft involved in the packaging itself can speak volumes about your coffee....At least i hope so!

I really love the look and feel of stamped kraft bags. My favorite design i have seen was done by Holmberg design for Bull Run Coffee. Very clever design and the look is fantastic. I like the kraft bags more organic feel and look than the foil. Just my opinion! My second favorite design is Stumptowns bags with the pull out cards, I'm super jealous of that design. Both of these have a standard bag design with different ways of telling you what's in the bag. Pretty great idea, so you don't have to have 8, 10, 27 different bags printed for each kind of coffee you roast. I'm not a roaster, but that's the way I would do it if I was!


It's nice to hear that people like the look of stamped kraft bags.  For our bags I was inspired by Blue Bottle's simple design.  I'm also a big fan of Stumptown's bags, the card is great to hang on to as a reminder of what you've had in the past.  Attached is a poor cellphone image of an early bag of ours.  I cut the linoleum myself, and have since changed ink colors, and cleaned up the linoleum cut a little.

Very nice, Greg

Greg Thomas said:

It's nice to hear that people like the look of stamped kraft bags.  For our bags I was inspired by Blue Bottle's simple design.  I'm also a big fan of Stumptown's bags, the card is great to hang on to as a reminder of what you've had in the past.  Attached is a poor cellphone image of an early bag of ours.  I cut the linoleum myself, and have since changed ink colors, and cleaned up the linoleum cut a little.

It might seem mainstream or starbucksish, but I am a big fan of Level Ground's bags, And to me the most important thing to have on the bag is the roast date, And it seems so few people do that. I also really love the glass container Idea that stumptown did with the hairbender jar.

Don't know Level Ground's bags but totally agree with you on roast date.  I won't buy anyone else's coffee if I don't know when it was roasted.

 

Casey Loseth said:

It might seem mainstream or starbucksish, but I am a big fan of Level Ground's bags, And to me the most important thing to have on the bag is the roast date, And it seems so few people do that. I also really love the glass container Idea that stumptown did with the hairbender jar.
They're from Victoria, BC, and their bags are larger than most similar to alot of bags that say dried fruit like Craisins come in. The're bags are printed with pictures of farmers from the origin of the specific coffee. They're colourful but not super in your face. They really put the emphesis on Direct Trade.

Greg Thomas said:

Don't know Level Ground's bags but totally agree with you on roast date.  I won't buy anyone else's coffee if I don't know when it was roasted.

 

Casey Loseth said:

It might seem mainstream or starbucksish, but I am a big fan of Level Ground's bags, And to me the most important thing to have on the bag is the roast date, And it seems so few people do that. I also really love the glass container Idea that stumptown did with the hairbender jar.

We have been using a roasted on date since we began 3+ years ago, as part of our commitment to transparency. Since we use it on our sealed bags that go on retailer shelves, it works well until there is a bag or two on the shelf that are a month or two old. Sometime those bags are hard for our retailers to move because folks occasionally stay away from them because they are "older' even though. I am thinking about moving the date on the side or back of the bag so it isn't so confusing. 

I have attached one of our front labels. I am not sure how I am going to transition this to full bag printed on foil artwork. Thoughts?

Attachments:

I dig the fact that Coava has embossed bags.  I think that's pretty sweet.

 

-bry

Artwork is Nice Joe :-)  Just a suggestion that seems to be working great for our company, instead of selling coffee by the pound, try 10 or 12 ounces...people tend to look at the price before the actual amount they are getting, we are now selling twice as much coffee as before!



Joseph Zimmermann said:

We have been using a roasted on date since we began 3+ years ago, as part of our commitment to transparency. Since we use it on our sealed bags that go on retailer shelves, it works well until there is a bag or two on the shelf that are a month or two old. Sometime those bags are hard for our retailers to move because folks occasionally stay away from them because they are "older' even though. I am thinking about moving the date on the side or back of the bag so it isn't so confusing. 

I have attached one of our front labels. I am not sure how I am going to transition this to full bag printed on foil artwork. Thoughts?

I really like yours!

 

Attached is what I use and designed.



Joseph Zimmermann said:

We have been using a roasted on date since we began 3+ years ago, as part of our commitment to transparency. Since we use it on our sealed bags that go on retailer shelves, it works well until there is a bag or two on the shelf that are a month or two old. Sometime those bags are hard for our retailers to move because folks occasionally stay away from them because they are "older' even though. I am thinking about moving the date on the side or back of the bag so it isn't so confusing. 

I have attached one of our front labels. I am not sure how I am going to transition this to full bag printed on foil artwork. Thoughts?

Attachments:
Thanks for the nice words on our design.

We have struggled with the bag size since we began over three years ago and have stuck hard to 16 oz bags and occasionally do some half pound bags. Here is why:transparency. We feel that one pound bags offer our customers the most value, reducing packaging and labor costs for us allowing us to sell if for less per ounce. Coffee prices have went up dramatically and we feel that being honest to our coffee drinkers means keeping the bag size the same even though the price goes up. Maybe we could sell more coffee if we floated between 10 and 12 oz bags to keep the bag price" insulated, but this is what seems to work for us. I think the main thing is picking a bag size and sticking with it. I find that the 8 oz bag works well when you have an expensive coffee you would like to showcase and keep the sticker shock down. Our coffees are have been retailing for between $14 and $17 per 16oz bag and because of our quality folks buy it.

I would appreciate your or anyone else's has more thoughts on bag size.

Heather Delia said:

Artwork is Nice Joe :-)  Just a suggestion that seems to be working great for our company, instead of selling coffee by the pound, try 10 or 12 ounces...people tend to look at the price before the actual amount they are getting, we are now selling twice as much coffee as before!



Joseph Zimmermann said:

We have been using a roasted on date since we began 3+ years ago, as part of our commitment to transparency. Since we use it on our sealed bags that go on retailer shelves, it works well until there is a bag or two on the shelf that are a month or two old. Sometime those bags are hard for our retailers to move because folks occasionally stay away from them because they are "older' even though. I am thinking about moving the date on the side or back of the bag so it isn't so confusing. 

I have attached one of our front labels. I am not sure how I am going to transition this to full bag printed on foil artwork. Thoughts?

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