The Kawa Project | Creative Strategy and Visual Identity

In 2020, I worked with UCLA alum-founded startup The Kawa Project to develop a base creative strategy and identity to help get them off the ground with pitching to investors and developing key business connections. The science-based organization develops and operates biorefinery processes to convert wasted coffee grounds into a sustainable functional material, aka coffee oil, for use in products like candles, soap, and cosmetics. At the time I worked with them, The Kawa Project was less of a business and more of, well, a project - only in the stages of developing a coffee-based oil through recycled coffee grounds that could either be developed into a line of direct to consumer products or sold to other businesses as a supplier, so they needed to develop a brand voice and approachable identity that would appeal to both potential business partners and consumers. 

The team wanted the brand to feel earnest and active. The final logo was produced in many variations including a mark, logotype, full lockup, and seal so that the brand would feel like a dynamic and scrappy small business rather than a sterile corporate identity.

Some snippets of the brand guideline, encompassing tone of voice and communication guidelines as well as creative, that I developed to help the startup moving forward with their operations.

I worked closely with the team to develop their key brand personality drivers (seen above) and tone of voice during the strategy phase.

The tone of voice guidelines, though relatively small-scale, were essential in shaping the rest of the identity.

This diagram shows the essential ethos of The Kawa Project - rescuing used coffee grounds from a journey to the landfill, which contributes to climate change, and instead repurposing them for coffee oil-based products like soap, candles, and cosmetics. 

Some of the proposed social post designs I developed to show the team how the identity and branded content could be applied digitally in the future.

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