Few beverages are more contentious than coffee. People are passionate about how they like their beans brewed. And strong opinions about coffee translate into loyalty to brands and businesses.
In most cities and towns, customers have a variety of great places to buy coffee. It takes impressive branding to get people to break from routine and come into your cafe. Why not start with a great coffee shop logo design that speaks to your customers?
There’s just one problem. The cafe market is so crowded these days that many coffee shop logos are too “on the nose.” Cafe owners reuse a lot of generic imagery, and you don’t want to get lumped in with all your competitors. Instead, stand out with a logo design that reminds customers how much they love your coffee.
Focus on what makes you different
Coming up with coffee shop logo ideas will be challenging if you don’t know what your brand stands for. Look around at your competitors. What are you doing differently from them? Why should people choose your shop, and what unique customer experience do you provide?
Try thinking of words and phrases that describe your brand identity and positioning. Is your coffee shop small and cozy? Coastal and airy? Bright and whimsical? Modern and tech-oriented? Folksy and Bohemian? Differentiation can be simple, as long as it’s accurate. Don’t tell people you’re about fun, family-friendly dining, and then create a slick, impassive logo.
Tell a compelling story
Envision the story behind your brand to brainstorm strong symbols. What images or shapes come to mind when you think about your brand values and origins? If you’re just picturing a steaming coffee cup, go back to the drawing board.
You’re guaranteed to find a host of other cafes with the same basic idea. Coffee cups aren’t bad, but they’re too obvious and leave little room to distinguish your brand. Ask the right questions to guide your ideas.
- How and why did you start a coffee shop?
- What is the most significant thing about your menu or product experience?
- What is the most important message you want to convey?
- How do you want customers to perceive your brand identity?
Now, use your answers to consider shapes and images that relate to your brand. Imagine an internet cafe and gaming lounge. The coffee shop is modern, edgy, and tech-friendly to appeal to customers with laptops and tablets. A good logo design would use bold geometric shapes, simple fonts, and colors that relate to technology.
Mine your business name for ideas
The effort you put into creating a great business name should pay off when you design a cafe logo. If your business name is unique, it’s a good source of differentiators. Here are some points to consider.
- What words and objects relate to your business name? A sun makes perfect sense for a coffee shop called Wake Up Cafe. On the other hand, a mustachioed cat is better if you’re called Hip Cat Coffee Shop.
- Does your business name contain clever wordplay? A name like Morning Grounds is a play on morning rounds and coffee grounds. It immediately makes you picture coffee beans.
- Is a personal name included in your business name? If your business is named after you or a relative, a simple caricature makes a distinct mascot logo.
Experiment with color schemes
Choosing the right colors is crucial for restaurant logos. You want to create positive associations with food and avoid colors that send the wrong message. For example, brown and tan are common colors for coffee shops because of their warm, earthy feel.
Ultimately, your brand imagery and values should dictate your color scheme. What characteristics describe your brand, and how do they translate to color and emotion? Blue can work for a coastal-themed cafe, while yellow or orange is ideal for an upbeat, energetic brand. Muted shades of red can have a friendly, inviting vibe.
If you’re using more than one color, make sure different hues pair well together. In most cases, you want one color to stand out more than the secondary colors. You can also use black and white to add depth to your design without packing in multiple hues.
Choose a logo style
Pick a logo style that matches the tone of your brand. For instance, an aged texture and neutral colors pair well with heritage logos. Looking at logo styles while you brainstorm can help you choose an aesthetic to shape your design. Check out these common styles for inspiration.
- Wordmarks/Lettermarks: Logos made up of a word or monogram
- Pictorial Marks: Logos made up of graphic symbols and pictures
- Emblems/Crests: Badge-like logos with traditional elements, such as shields and crests
- Abstract Marks: Logos containing conceptual symbols that aren’t real objects
- Minimalist Logos: Ultra-simplified logos made of fundamental shapes and color schemes
- Line Drawings: Simple sketch-style logos made up of line drawings
As you research logo styles, you should notice traits that overlap with your brand identity.
Customize a typeface
Just like every other element of your brand, the typeface should stay consistent with your identity. Should your typeface be thin or bold? All lowercase or all caps? Simple lettering or hand-drawn script? Whatever you decide, aim for readability. A complicated font will be hard to reproduce for different sizes and media.
Modifying a typeface is one of the easiest ways to stand out. Most big brands make changes in letter width, height, spacing, and other elements to customize their wordmarks.
You can also go a step further and add effects. Let’s say you have a business called Cracked Mug. Using negative space to create cracks in your lettering would make your wordmark stand out. Whenever possible, use white space to make designs, rather than applying a complex textured effect. The simpler your design, the easier it is to print.
Throw out the bad ideas
Avoid getting too attached to your coffee shop logo design early in the process. You’re likely to make several changes before the final draft, and you must be willing to edit objectively. Ask yourself:
- Is the logo design simple? Does it look effortless?
- Does the logo accurately reflect the brand identity?
- Does the logo convey a story or message about your business?
If you can’t answer “yes” to all these questions, you aren’t finished yet. Try to create a clear focal point that will draw attention to signs and merchandise displaying your logo. If you work hard to get your design just right, you won’t have to update it for years to come.
Ready to design a coffee shop logo? Browse thousands of designs with our free logo maker.