Caffeinate your conscience

March 18th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

While shopping for groceries at Whole Foods this week I walked past a store display and noticed the new Allegro coffee they were pushing—Organic Peru Codemu Special Reserve. I was definitely drawn to this bag because of the type. I’ve always liked the Allegro Coffee logo in its hand-drawn script. Although I’ve always wondered why the “alle” was so far away from the “bro” in the letters. Are they trying to emphasize the pronunciation? The upward tail of the o, am I supposed to read that as a crescendo? Nevertheless, I like the script—it’s almost as if someone quickly wrote it, like if they were signing their name. Your eye can certainly follow the gesture of the hand as it wrote out each intersecting letter. The thing I like about this whole paring of type is that the Allegro is distinct, it isn’t diluted by setting other type in the same script. It’s simple which means it translates well to all mediums as you don’t have to worry about how the logo will be changed to accommodate threads for embroidery on items.

Allegro Whole Foods Store Display

Founded in 1977 as The Brewing Market in Boulder, Colorado by Jeffrey Cohn, the small shop roasted its own beans and brought specialty coffee to the masses for the first time. In 1985, after many years of success, The Brewing Market was sold and subsequently the Allegro Coffee Company was created after noticing the increasing demand in the wholesale market. In 1995, Whole Foods Market acquired the brand.

Allegro prides themselves as being mission driven, building relationships with the growers of the beans and giving back to the communities. Very human centered. But most of all, they just want to deliver a really great cup of coffee. Stated on their website they “purchased and roasted approximately 7.1 million pounds of coffee in 2011” and they “currently source from 80 farms and cooperatives worldwide in 22 countries in the Americas, East Africa, and Pacific Rim.”

Allegro Coffee Bag

Allegro Bag Closeup

A Google search led me to Design and Image, a branding firm in Colorado who is responsible for the initial Allegro design. The talented in-house design team has been responsible for ongoing implementation. After seeing the older design from Design and Image, I noticed that the logo read as “Allegro Handcrafted Coffee” and the lockup of letters had “handcrafted” on the left of the g while “coffee” was on the right hand side. It almost looks like the space between the e and g was intentional to get the correct amount of space for the lettering below. Since then, “handcrafted” has been dropped from the logo.

Allegro Logo

The word Allegro means brisk, rapid, or lively in tempo and is associated with music. I found that definition carries itself through all of their packaging and design (including the logo.) On this particular bag of coffee, the type is hand-drawn (a trend on this blog, I know) and very colorful. I love the blend of wide and tall type on the label and the outlines of the type. A blend of serif and san-serif adorn the packaging—but is extremely balanced. There is a beautiful lightly screened design of leaves and beans all over the bag and every time I picked it up to look at it from a different angle I caught a whiff of the richness inside.

A good cup of coffee indeed.


Allegro Coffee

Design and Image