Key tips for coffee shop branding.



As a full-service creative design agency, we know the importance of coffee shop branding design when starting your new business venture. With our knowledge of branding, web design and content creation, this article will discuss key tips and pointers which should help point you in the right direction.

When setting up a new coffee shop, aspiring entrepreneurs focus on their vision. Part of the dream of owning their own establishment is creating an original space that serves great coffee and perhaps food alongside it to attract happy customers.

When it comes to actually setting up the business, it can be easy to get distracted with essential parts of the process such as leaseholds, licences etc. Consequently, this can mean that the branding, website and content can be put aside, and the coffee shop opens without having a definitive personality.

This is where issues can arise from the beginning. We’ve seen plenty of coffee shops which have struggled due to the lack of clear branding. Building a strong, clear brand is vital if you want to set yourself apart from your competition. Allowing yourself to differentiate yourself from others can be the pinnacle of your success. Great coffee shop branding will help you become recognisable and memorable. It will increase the likelihood of your name being mentioned when talking between friends about great places to get coffee.

Below are a few steps which can help you build a distinct, recognisable coffee shop brand…

Have a clear vision

Before you go about creating the brand for the business, it’s important to establish the concept and what you want to achieve. To do this, you will need to discover the purpose behind the brand, understand your place in the market and establish a mission statement.

So, when it comes to the purpose behind the brand, this should be what makes your establishment unique and sets you apart from others. This is not only about what you’re setting out to achieve, but also how your company and employees should portray the brand. This can also cover what you want your customers to experience and the impression you leave on them once they’ve left. The working culture of your staff, and even how the business may have had an effect on the surrounding community can also be a part of this.

The next thing is to really understand and in turn make clear, what it is that you are offering, and where you stand in the market. This is essentially your plan for the future. It’s important to know what you want your establishment to become and how you want it to differ from others.

Then you should think about a mission statement. This is basically how you intend to reach your vision. Before you build a brand that your target audience can trust, it’s important to know what value your business provides. The mission statement basically defines a purpose for existing. It will inform every aspect of your brand building strategies. Everything from your coffee shop logo to your tagline, voice, message and personality should reflect that mission.

Location is key

No matter how good the coffee shop branding is, if it doesn’t fit in with the location then this can have a huge effect on its success. Research the location of where you want to set up. Get to know the kind of demographic in the area and what the footfall is.

Look at existing hospitality businesses in the area. What brands are doing well? And most importantly how and why?! It’s natural that you don’t want to copy your competitor’s brand, but they can inspire you to create something different which will work.

Having said that, don’t let this be the be all and end all. There may be an opportunity to introduce a new coffee shop that a town or village hasn’t seen before and it could be successful… just because the locals aren’t used to a certain brand doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy having it.

It’s about balance. Create a place that people will like and enjoy going to, perhaps nothing too out of the ordinary.

Target Market

Across all industries, when it comes to brand building, the first thing marketers look at is their target market. It’s the same for the hospitality industry. It’s crucial to get an idea of the sort of people that would enjoy what you’re selling and who would like to come and visit your coffee shop.

A good way to simplify this it to think about specific people you know and how they fit into the culture of your target audience. This could be yourself, family or friends. Imagine you are building a brand specifically for them. It’s also a good idea to ask them what brands they like and what they look for in a hospitality brand.

The Brand Name

The name must reflect the original concept. The name needs to be consistent with the rest of the brand for it to look right and work well.

With huge numbers of coffee shops out there, it can be difficult to find a name that’s original. But it must be original. Check that the names you have come up with are not trademarked as this can lead to legal difficulties.

An effective way of achieving something original can be to play around with punctuation and the spelling of your name. This can make your name original and avoid copyright infringements. Be careful with this as you don’t want it to look like a spelling mistake or a name that nobody understands.

Place names can be a good idea, for example the name of the address or location. This can be effective as it can be easier for people to remember where the coffee shop is (and to tell others about it). Moreover, sharing the same name as the place can help you become a memorable part of the community and location.

In some cases, a pun can work for a name as it can put a smile on your customers’ faces, stick in their minds and get them talking about you. However, there is nothing worse than a bad pun as you don’t want to portray yourself as gimmicky.

Try to keep the name simple. Try to avoid the name being something hard to pronounce or too long to remember.

Visual Content 

Once the name has been established, the next thing to think about is the branding. Your visual identity will include the logo design, shop front signage, menu, website etc. Your brand identity will also help the interior design and layout.

As well as the name, you must think about your location and target market when creating your brand visuals. It should also reflect your original concept and the services you want to deliver.

It can be useful to conduct some research into your favourite brands outside of the hospitality industry. If you can do some research in your target audience, look at what kind of brands they like, and what visuals do they include that make them appealing. This can be great for inspiration.

There are some methods that most marketers use when creating brand visuals. This can include colour. Although different brands use different colours, most only use two or three as more than that can be overwhelming for the viewer. Furthermore, using colours which work across shop front, menu, website etc will make your brand look more consistent.

Try to stick to subtle, softer colours, as bright, brash colours can make the brand look cheap and deter the customers from visiting.

The logo design is another key feature for brand visuals. The benefit of having a great logo is that it can be put across everything that encompasses the brand – including shop front, menus, website and social media. Also, business cards, and take-away bags are great as these are items your customers will walk round with, so having an effective logo and name on them can be great for marketing your brand, and, effectively it’s free!

This means that the logo needs to be adaptable so that it’s applicable for different mediums. It needs to work well with both colour and no colour, scaled up or down to different sizes etc.

Another rule to abide by for the logo is balance. Most logos you see are symmetrical and this is done purposely. A well-balanced logo looks cleaner and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Website and Content

Having an easy-to-read website which is clean and consistent and ties in with the brand can be the making of the business. We get asked by many customers about whether they need a website or not and our answer is always yes. Having a website with engaging content attracts the viewer, it sparks interest. If the information is clear, concise and easy to follow, it retains their attention and results in conversation, but most importantly it engenders trust in the brand.

Great branding can be the difference between a successful business and a business which fails. It’s important how you present yourself to your customers and how people recognise you. Make sure it’s professional, recognisable and memorable. Branding doesn’t need to be over the top it can be simple – sometimes the ‘less is more’ approach can work wonders… but understanding why and how your business is branded is essential.

The future of coffee shop design.



All of us at Liqui are heavily involved with the coffee industry and we have been for many years, so it’s not unusual that the question “What is the future of Coffee Shop design?” comes up constantly in discussion or as we work on our client’s projects.

We know the coffee industry is ever-changing and adapting, so it is really important to us that we understand the sector to help our clients stay ahead with their business planning, branding, and interior design. This ensures we’re always producing the most forward-thinking design solutions and giving our clients an unfair advantage in this very competitive market.

Over the years we’ve done a number of talks at the Los Angeles Coffee Festival and London Coffee Festival on the future of coffee shop design. We thought it was about time to put some of this into writing so you can get an insight into where we see things heading from our unique position as coffee shop designers.


Where we were

So in recent years, it’s clear that the coffee industry has become more sophisticated and consumers have become better informed; subsequently looking for higher quality coffee and richer experiences. With the boom in high-quality artisan coffee bars, there’s a continued interest in high quality roasted coffee, brewed to high standards and employing elaborate methods of extraction.

There is no doubt that coffee shop owners and consumers have changed the game when it comes to coffee consumption. We do not see this changing any time soon.


Some coffee shop trends

Here are some of the trends we see enduring and are set to mold the coffee industry over the coming months.


There is a more informed consumer base using their purchasing decisions to support companies that reflect their values.

This has resulted in a lot of the trends we’ve seen in 2019 and looks to continue into 2020 and beyond.


One trend we see enduring is the move towards customers wanting to eat more healthily, with a focus on coffee being pure and natural. This is being driven by the heightened awareness of wellness.


Another trend we see that will continue to endure, which is important to us, is sustainability. For the coffee industry, it will become about sustainability beyond just the coffee bean. Consumers are beginning to understand that it means more than focusing on environmental conditions at origin – encompassing issues like packaging, waste management, and the support of coffee communities.


We also think that the love of premium coffee is an ever-growing trend. For coffee lovers, premium means quality, of course, but it also means uniqueness, and story. That can mean a unique taste experience, a rareness of product, or a special processing method.


The only trend that really matters

These are a few examples of trends that we think will endure. There are others. We believe, however, that there is one overarching trend that affects everything. That trend is the pursuit of quality and authenticity.

Quality and authenticity in coffee, in food, in service, in brand, and, in terms of the future of coffee shop design, in interior as well.

There is a driving force behind the importance of quality and authenticity.

We look set for an enduring era for the coffee industry, where high-quality boutique chains will be a major feature of the market. These will be professional; have comprehensive branding; fast and efficient service; high-quality food; and it goes without saying – the highest quality coffee.

These businesses will have sustainable and profitable brands with a comprehensive and advanced set of business practices. They’ll strive to be the best in everything they do. They will deliver an authentic, artisan experience – at scale. From coffee and food to customer service, interior, and brand.

We would argue, along with others, that this era is being driven by huge competition in the coffee market. Whether it is big coffee shops, bakeries, or fast food outlets, everyone is offering coffee. As a result, successful businesses have to respond to this crowded market. They will need to go to greater lengths to consolidate and grow their market share.

Therefore, there is the need to stand out from the crowd and make customers feel like your coffee shop is their place to go. It’s not just about the coffee, the whole experience is important. It’s about the quality and authenticity of everything.


Coffee shops and design

So this brings us on to the future of coffee shop design which will be progressively more important for those looking to attract an increasingly savvy, time-pressed customer base in this highly competitive market.

We would, therefore, say that with this focus on quality and authenticity the future of coffee shop design will be about creating memorable experiences; communicating a brand; and getting across what’s important to that business in a way that aligns it with the customer base they want to engage with.

In this evolved market, maintaining a distinct brand identity, with an interior to match, is so important in setting a coffee shop apart. Especially in this visually aware, social media world we now live in.


The design trends

So with this in mind here are the design trends to take into consideration.

Do it for the ‘gram…

One trend we’re seeing, that will continue to thrive, is the creation of photogenic interior spaces. It is an ideal way for coffee shops to market themselves to a social media savvy customer base.

Today’s customers are using the physical world to connect with a digital audience. Interiors will be designed with a touch of spectacle appealing to photo-driven social media. Elements such as natural light, giving higher image quality for daytime photos, will be more prevalent, as well as statement fixtures with an installation look that will create popular focal points, making them ideal for sharing occasions on social media.

Creating an “Instagenic” interior is such an important tool for creating brand awareness.

With this, we’ll see coffee shops becoming more playful.

In terms of interior design, we’ll see the use of elements with a bold character, combined with pastel tones to create a relaxed atmosphere.


Another rising trend is the rise of sustainable coffee shop design. Something we are passionate about. This will become increasingly important as sustainability becomes a greater priority for a growing number of consumers. There will be a stronger need to reflect this through the interior for those forward-thinking sustainable and ethically focused brands. We will subsequently see greater use in techniques and materials that limit the strain on natural resources.

Materials and colours

Forward-looking coffee shop interiors will continue on the path to be fresh and warm, using natural textures.

Colour will continue to be important – Colour pallets have drifted away from cold greys and ivories. Pastel colours balanced by strong jewel tones are now showing up in interiors.

We will continue to see colours being used in refined and thoughtfully balanced ways.

The dark reclaimed wood we’ve seen in the past is now being substituted for materials like White Oak, Ash and Birch. These will be used to great effect – creating cosy and inviting spaces.

Interiors will increasingly be fresh, light and bright. An interior that is positive lifts the spirits. The dark heavy spaces of old are gone.

This more colourful, luxurious feel will also be reflected in furniture.

Tactile fabrics such as velvet will be used more. Colour on chairs, table bases, etc. will add a vibrant and fun edge to coffee shop interiors.


One trend that has been gaining momentum over the last few years, is the use of greenery within an interior space. This is not going away anytime soon.

Multiple studies have shouted about the advantages of integrating greenery within interior spaces. Plants purify the air and add a heightened sense of wellness and relaxation.

We will continue to see more and more living walls, hanging planters and potted plants in coffee shop interiors.


Our conclusion

So, to summarise, people are looking for comfort and warmth – to have memorable moments they can share with others through an engaging brand that aligns with their values.

We would therefore say that the future of coffee shop design is focused on quality and authenticity to create multi-sensory interiors that create memorable moments.

With quality coffee being offered everywhere – coffee shop goers today look beyond just what is being served. They opt for places with a fun and fresh ambiance.

A thoughtfully designed interior that creates superior experiences will encourage repeat customers and word of mouth recommendations. It will also generate publicity through other avenues which is a powerful tool to have in this market.

So with all this said, if we were only allowed to impart one piece of information, it would be the pursuit of quality and authenticity in everything. It is this that will be the defining mark of those successful coffee shops – these will be the ones that stand the test of time.

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