Client Showcase:
Branding Newcastle’s newest cafe, Culture Club

It’s no secret that our office is fuelled by coffee. So when Culture Club approached us about creating a brand for their Newcastle cafe, we were 110% onboard.

Located on King Street, just around the corner from our office, Culture Club is a vibrant cafe that required a bold brand befitting its fun personality and deliciously punchy coffee.

Meet the new kids on the block

“When dreaming up Culture Club, we wanted to create a space where people could grab something fast and healthy to eat on the go or back at their desk,” says owner Lauren Skrzypnik about their vision for the cafe. “That said, we also wanted to make our interior fresh and inviting for people who want to chill out for a while and escape it all.”

One of the biggest challenges facing Lauren and her husband Pietro was repositioning the cafe to attract new customers after purchasing a business that had been operating for many years.

As Lauren says, “Our brand identity had to be strong to send a message that we were the new kids on the block. We really want to be a part of the community here and to listen to what people around us want.”

The husband-and-wife team has a lot of passion for what they do – ask them the secret to the perfect coffee and they’ll tell you it’s to use coffee from roasters who put love into every bean. For us, this is the essence of the cafe that had to stand out in the brand.

Bringing the brand to life

We all go to a cafe to have a good time, so we started the process by creating a bright colour palette that oozed personality and feel-good vibes. These colours had to be fresh, inviting and fun, and also different to other venues in the area.

The brand needed to pop and be versatile enough for various applications, including signage, menus and social media. Though we already had an innate knowledge of the area, we refined the brand concept by visiting the space and exploring the neighbourhood to see what else was happening in the market.

The logo born from this process features a bespoke hand-drawn font that can stand on its own, but is designed to sit within the supporting pattern in most instances. That’s because the pattern has quickly become the recognisable element of the brand, in place of an icon. A secondary stand-alone logo that includes “On King” was also developed for use in more official documents such as letterheads.

“One of the most exciting things for us was being able to walk into Design Bug and have our ideas instantly understood,” says Lauren. “People are loving all the colour, which was something that was important to us.”

Tips for cafe branding

When Lauren and Pietro came to us, they had a strong idea of the cafe they wanted to create. That meant we were able to create a brand that not only stands out, but also represents their personality.

The cafe market in Newcastle is highly competitive, so it’s important to embrace what makes you unique rather than following the pack. From here, your designers can make recommendations based on their research and practical considerations like signage and menu design.

“Be confident in your ideas,” Lauren recommends. “Branding is what represents you – it’s as important as dressing well for a job interview. Often it’s the first thing people notice and how you get noticed.”

The other important consideration is timeframe. Lauren and Pietro renovated the cafe and were open for business in two weeks. By purchasing an express logo package, they were able to have their brand ready in time for opening day.

Want more logo inspiration? See more about the process and other brands we have created by checking out our logo packages.