In a sea of cold brew coffees in the grocery store coolers, how can we make Soldadera stand out? Soldadera Coffee is a cold-brew coffee startup based in Grand Rapids, MI. The company had seed funding and a contract with a regional grocery store chain, but despite having prominent placement in the coolers, they struggled to stand out from their competitors.

Soldadera Coffee
Brand and Design

Our Approach

Soldadera is not simply cold brew, its flavors are derived from Mexican coffee flavors. In fact, their best-selling cold brew, “Cafe De Olla,” is a traditional coffee style in many regions of Mexico. With it’s brown sugar and cinnamon flavors blended with the strong high-quality coffee flavors, these flavors are something entirely different from the rest of the cold brew scene. It meant that standing out from the other cold brew coffees was not only good for product placement, it was necessary so that people who tried the coffee wouldn’t be surprised by the unique flavors.

This meant that, much like the coffee itself, we needed to draw on the heritage of the coffee. This involved returning the brand to its cultural roots and letting the Mexican flavors blend with Mexican-inspired designs.

To achieve this, we took inspiration from the art and cultural scene of Mexico City, the colors and energy of traditional Mexican art, and worked with the Soldadera team to develop a visual language that would feel uniquely Mexican. We developed scenes inspired by the bold flavors for each can, creating something that stands out on the grocery shelves.

Culturally-focused Brand System and Outreach Strategy

The coffee scene is often snobby — the focus on minimalism and purity was antithetical to the flavors and vibes that you get from the Soldadera team and the Soldara flavors. We wanted something that felt proud and boisterous, colorful and active, something that not only stood out but also felt like the character of the people behind the brand. This coffee isn’t about purity, it’s about flavor; it’s a drink that speaks in fluent Spanglish and mixes the Jamaica cold brew with some tequila.

Our Senior Designer, Colleen Bruce, hand-crafted the lettering and iconography to create a joyful vibe more for the beach than a stuffy office. The lettering was later turned into a custom brand font so that the Soldadera team could use it for their social media posts — with all the accents and punctuation so that they could reinforce this Spanglish vibe throughout their brand marketing.

The Results