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Second year Graphic + Digital Design (GDD) students take on Vancouver for a caffeine-infused design crawl.

This fall semester, Brand Identity students were assigned a project on rebranding the Mission coffee shop, Grab-a-Java. Dave Perritt, owner of the independent coffee shop, spoke to students at the beginning of the semester on Grab-a-Java’s unique selling position within the coffee world. The students toured the roastery and watch Strong Coffee, a documentary highlighting positive change in the practice of coffee farming by a group named Cafe Femenino. Founded in 2004 by women farmers, Cafe Femenino is coffee grown and produced by women only. Dave is a strong advocate for the group’s motives of creating and encouraging social change in their community—as he serves the Mission community this delicious coffee.

The GDD students toured a handful of Vancouver coffee shops and roasters to analyze the design esthetics, potential target audiences, geographical locations and of course, great coffee. Students visited Revolver Coffee in Gastown, Forty Ninth Parallel and JJ Bean on Main Street, and Matchstick Coffee and Roaster near Fraser & Kingsway.

The students ended the coffee crawl in Burnaby at Swiss Water Process; where they toured the plant to see how coffee is decaffeinated. Swiss Water Process removes caffeine from the coffee been using a gentle water process instead of harsh chemicals, leaving the coffee bean 99.9% caffeine-free (and chemical free). The team at Swiss Water Process showed the GDD students the cupping lab, a special room dedicated to tasting the final product ensuring it is true to the flavour characteristics of the bean.

Armed with insights into the coffee world, students will be creating a visual brand identity based for Grab-a-Java’s community-focused personality and story.

Stay tuned for concepts and brand pitches near the end of this semester.