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Branding and Relationships: The Ross Street Roasting logo(s)

Branding and Relationships: The Ross Street Roasting logo(s)

First things first: In January 2019, we will be releasing new branding for Ross Street Roasting. Same name, same great coffee, but big changes to a lot of other stuff, including our logo. So in advance of that change, I thought I'd write a bit about the logos that have carried us through our first 3.5 years of business.

Before "Ross Street Roasting Co." existed as a legal business entity in the great state of Iowa, it was a name I made up while hobby roasting Specialty Coffee in an old garage on Ross Street in Toledo, Iowa, with my trusty "Heat Gun+Bread Machine" roasting equipment.

Prior to being a coffee roaster, my artistic/creative endeavors were musical in nature. For album projects that my bandmates and I worked on as home recording artists (see a trend here?), we would partner with friends that had more visual-artistic talent than us for album artwork. Adam Wagler - now Assistant Professor of Advertising & Public Relations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln - was one of those friends, and he's the person who designed the first iteration of the RSR logo in 2014...

Original RSR logo

This logo was essentially the only branding asset we had for our first year of business in 2015, and our coffee bag labels were basically this logo and hand-written product names. As we began to get into more grocery stores and our online presence started to expand, I had the sense that this austere, black & white approach needed a bit more color and visual splash. 

So in 2016 I began working with Eddie Gonzalez of Schleitheim Designs, out of Southern California. Eddie and I had collaborated on a book publishing project the year before and I was impressed with his artistic and design chops. The tweak he came up with on the original logo added some color and a "bounded" look that is helpful for logo recognition...

RSR logo 2016-2018

Eddie and his wife, Kimbrah, also developed the "pastoral scene" artwork that's been used extensively on our bag labels and website/social media profiles since mid-2016...

RSR farm scene

The design logic behind this image was the seamless melding of a Central American coffee farm (left) with a US-Midwestern farm (right). Artistic liberties are taken with roasted coffee beans "growing" in fields like heads of lettuce and like apples on trees in a warm, inviting pastoral scene. I've always loved this piece and I'll be sad to see it retired, though I'm sure we can continue to find ways to incorporate it in the new branding...


So where's the new logo?!

If you're on our email newsletter, you've already had a chance to see it. Nudge, nudge: Signup form is at the bottom of the page ;) - Here on the blog I'll be making another post before the end of the year to introduce the new logo and tell its story (it's got a cool story).

As we prepare to retire the logo and branding assets that have served us well these first 3.5 years, I'd like to thank Adam, Eddie, Kimbrah, Devin Green, Seth Shannon - and all the other folks that have helped create the visual aspects of the Ross Street Roasting Co. brand. Aside from amazing coffee, relationships are what I love most about being in the coffee business, and I take the kinds of relationships above as seriously as I take our coffee sourcing and customer service relationships. I can't take for granted for a second, these folks and their considerable talents, so I say again: Thank you and Big Love to all you folks who've helped so far - And I can't wait to show y'all what's around the corner in 2019!

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