Tour A Lil’ Mom and Pop Shop In Seattle

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A really, really interesting read over at Industrial Brand Creative recently: a tour through Starbuck’s Design Studio HQ. While in town for the Icongrada Design Week (they’ve got some excellent coverage there too, if ours wasn’t enough for you), one of IBC’s pals, Michelle Sourisseau, was invited to take a tour of where the design work that lands in a bazillion places all over the globe, is made. Even though this writer goes to the greatest coffee shop in the world, The Perfect Cup, every morning (4700 N. Damen, Chicago, IL 60625), on those countless occassions we’ve found ourselves in Starbuck’s we’ve always been pleasantly pleased by how good the design work is. And the IBC piece, while the Creative Director she wanders around with does make the place sound very corporate-cum-artsy, it’s evident that they take it seriously. Here’s some:

“We do have a list of corporate fonts (Clarendon, Trajan, Bembo and Trade Gothic) and an unchanging logo, but otherwise the world of creative possibilities (within this criteria) is open. Saying this, at the completion of each proposed design, even if someone on the creative team has an intuitive feeling that the work ‘just isn’t Starbucks’, we try something new.” He wasn’t kidding. I flipped through a Powerpoint presentation on display of a coffee packaging design process which there was at least 100 design iterations before arriving at the final design.