In Australia, coffee is more than a morning staple. It’s a culture. A ritual. And more than that, it’s a community.
Award-winning distiller, Philip Moore and coffee enthused creative Tom Baker, founded Mr Black in 2013. They shared a common belief that coffee (when done well) is delicious, drinking it is a lot of fun, and we should put those two things together more often.
Since 2013, Mr Black has raised the coffee liqueur bar, through the superior quality of their product, the strength of their brand, and having a passionate talented team driving it. Along the way they’ve rallied a growing base of like-minded coffee lovers who care as much about their coffee liqueur as they do. They’ve made waves in drinking culture, helping to resurrect the Espresso Martini and other coffee-inspired cocktails.
We partnered with Mr Black at a time of rapid growth. The brand was shifting from fledgling start-up towards its global commercial pursuits. To stay ahead of this growth and become the coffee icon it’s become today, the brand needed to embolden its positioning through packaging and a more meaningful expression of its personality.
Capturing the spirit of Australian coffee culture, Mr Black invites people to take their love of coffee into evening drinking occasions. Moved by these brand and cultural truths, our design found its energy in the idea of Coffee Worship.
To capture the brand’s characterful spirit, we collaborated with NYC illustrators, The Young Jerks, to execute the illustrative elements on pack. Recognised for their definitive style and custom typography prowess, it’s a partnership that has endured for a consistent, ownable aesthetic.
Mr Black continues to lead the coffee liqueur category that competes with both superior product and brand engagement from fans.
In addition to their core range, Mr Black has a steady rotation of limited edition coffee liqueurs. We were briefed to create packaging for an exceptionally rare coffee liqueur, made from the most prized coffee in the world, the Panama Geisha. With only 289 bottles produced and only purchasable through ballot, we created a design befitting of its rarity and exclusivity.
We found inspiration in Panama cigars and their intricate designs that convey craft and quality. Linking this concept back to the core brand, we repurposed the night owl illustration Mr Black is known for, adapting it to reveal a Panama Owl.