Designer: Kendra Schemmel
Project Type: Student Project
School: Ball State University
Course: Visual Communications
Tutor: Shantanu Suman
Location: Maria Stein, Ohio, USA
Packaging Contents: Coffee
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Several Types of Paper, Corrugated Cardboard, Paint, Graphite, Wood (Stamp)
Printing Process: Digital Printing, Handwriting, Wood Stamping, & Vinyl

When taking on the challenge of this project, even though I know some marketing basics, I did not know the first thing about a mobile truck business. Therefore, I knew that even before I started furthering my research with The Caffeinery as a business I needed to learn how food trucks functioned in order for me to even think about design solutions. While researching, I realized the fine details and characteristics within mobile trucks, from what type of restaurant you want to portray and the environment that creates to high quality and easy food options with affordable prices yet profitable to even the critically engineered menu and how they are all key elements to success when designing and even running a mobile truck.

After that, I researched The Caffeinery as a business as well as working with the owner, Frank, in order to get the inner scoop about the Caffeinery rather than relying on outside perceptions of the company. With this I was able to figure out the characteristics and goals of The Caffeinery from a deeper businesses aspect ranging from their restaurant concept type to overall business goals and focus to target audience to social experience of the company and identity as a whole. Basically everything that I would need to take into consideration when making design decision, that also correlate with the food truck limitations presented to me through that research.

Through all of this extensive research I was able to find out what I needed in order to start my design process. The Caffeinery’s Mobile Truck Identity was thus ultimately designed based on the strong brand identity The Caffeinery holds as a current restaurant as well as their focus and goals as a company. I modernized the brand in order to create a timeless aesthetic, allow the mobile identity to correlate with the downtown shop but also be seen as a slight separate identity to represent the differences between the two services, also helping in marketing and advertising situations. I also wanted to make sure that it truly communicates to its target audience, the makers, shakers, and doers of all walk who set out to conquer their day as well as family and friends looking for a fun place to relax and appreciate the finer things in life, and give off the vibe that everyone and anyone is welcome whether they are in a suit or sweats. The very structured, well thought out and simplistic design with the touch of an expressive characteristic was incorporated to portray the very professional yet comforting and relaxed atmosphere they supply their customers with.

With the mobile truck design, I really wanted to focus on their audience, aesthetic and social environment they wanted to create which explains the very different architecture and surrounding structure of the food truck I have designed. Focusing on these characteristics was a another way to set them apart from other food trucks while also embracing the socially based atmosphere that coffee shops’ fabricate, as well as making it clear that they are a coffee shop and not to be confused with the American term Café. One of the biggest struggles however, was the menu. Since it is for a mobile version of a coffee shop I had to take into consideration the number of limitations that the current downtown shop location would not and design the menu with care and develop it with quality-centric while also keeping in mind the limited space and supplies a food truck creates, while also making sure to follow key elements to engineering a successful menu.

All of the deliverables where designed based on different aspects of the mobile brand identity and was created with simplicity to enable memorability but more importantly allow the company to create affordable yet necessary packaging materials to enhance their brand identity as a food truck. The coffee cup design gives the main logo a little more expressive aesthetics, but the main reasoning for this was to make it stand out from everything else and emphasize that coffee is The Caffeinery’s specialty. The logo also relates to the coffee making process by it is created with a stamp giving it a hand-made aesthetic just like how the coffee is made at the Caffeinery. The other packaging is a different and more simplistic orientation from the coffee cup design allowing it to receive less attention from the coffee cup, in order to emphasize that they are a coffee shop rather than a Cafe.

Overall, I realized that all of the research I have done throughout this whole process has only made my identity design even stronger. It allowed me to create a mobile truck identity for The Caffeinery that was not only suitable for the description of the business as a whole, but also supportive of all the factors and limitations mobile trucks create. The research not only altered my ideation within the design, but actually was a form of guidance in design decisions and the structure, purpose, and functionality of it as whole.

All of the items I have entered here are of the The Caffeinery’s food truck deliverables and packaging, it does not include the menu or truck design itself but I have explained some of the them along with my overall process so that you could get a more well rounded and clear understanding of it as a whole.

What’s Unique?
One thing that I find unique about my packaging is the personal and hand-made aspect I portrayed through it. The stamp I made in which is used for the coffee cups help demonstrate the home-made aspect of the brand that correlates the home-made and high quality of the coffee The Caffeinery serves, as well as making the brand demonstrate the professional yet laid back personality to help drive this to their audience and draw them in for more. I have also demonstrated these characteristics through the food packaging on the brown paper bags with the top white panel being designed to be used as a customizable part for each customer. It provides an area for the employer to write what the customer has ordered in order to not only make sure they receive everything they ordered, but to also supply them with clarity and a more personable experience with the company to really drive the social environment they want to create.

Another thing that I find unique but also my favorite part of this packaging was that I myself have made, printed, set up, and photographed all of the files I have submitted including the stamp used for the coffee cup.

In addition, with this food truck design, I worked with the local business, “The Caffeinery” in Muncie, Indiana, in order to gather necessary business information in order to design according to their current brand as well as the limitations that a food truck withholds in order to create an overall successful brand identity. With this being said, I did have permission to use and modernize their current designs and I have recreated them all myself using Illustrator with my own twists.