Dark Matter Coffee adheres to a philosophy where quality coffees are sourced based on traceability, innovation, and social responsibility. Not only are they focused on sustainability and fair trade, but they also push the creative limits. Their core brands of Unicorn Blood, A Love Supreme, Starry Eyes, and Machete were due for a design update, and with the help of Kentucky-based Zmmr, they've created an identity that speaks to sci-fi lovers, time travelers, and galactic thinkers alike.
Each bag of coffee is colorfully patterned in its stylistic way that plays right back into the creatively named beans. I'm convinced that drinking a cup of Dark Matter, no matter the blend, will leave you feeling energized enough to jump between the planets. The branding is psychedelic and playful where other brands are afraid to venture. These are the boldest beans around.
Dark Matter Coffee’s long-established core brands–Unicorn Blood, A Love Supreme, Starry Eyes, and Machete–make up the foundation of their Portfolio Blends and are diehard fan favorites. (If you know anything about Dark Matter, it’s that they are continually pushing the boundaries of coffee while still consistently nailing the classics.) After many illustrious years without a design update, these four coffee bags were due for a reboot. Cue the mind-bending, galaxy-hopping, sci-fi-centric, creative brief.
Ever the visionary company, Dark Matter framed up the rebrand to Zmmr with a dual purpose: to captivate new customers with unstoppably beguiling visuals, and to retain their existing, loyal customers who had come to know and cherish their favorite coffee bean packaging. The cherry on the top–to make these designs a category disruptor.
Staying true to Dark Matter’s playful, unconventional spirit was another mandatory. So for this project, we did a deep dive into research. We developed rich stories behind each of the four blends complete with complex, layered visual references, out-there symbolism, and detailed color palettes. After identifying all these elements, we worked closely with artist Raul Urias to craft the intricate illustrations shown on the final bags. Every design element on the package ties back into the overarching portfolio story, that of a New Worlds Fair–a fantastical vision of the future of coffee and possibly, dare we say, the planet.
Jim Zimmer: Designer
Jessica Zimmer: Executive Creative Director
Nathan Weaver: Creative Director
Raul Urias: Illustrator
Richard Gary: Photographer
Adam Grimshaw: Retoucher