Introduced in 1972, Mr. Coffee was the first domestic automatic-drip coffee brewing machine in the market, replacing the percolator, the previous accepted mode of making coffee at home. Being first to market and then having the New York Yankees’ Joe Dimaggio as a spokesperson the year after launch helped cement the product as a staple of home appliances. Owned by Sunbeam Corporation since 1998, Mr. Coffee now comes in a variety of models and complexions for the growing and more demanding home brewer. Earlier this year, Mr. Coffee introduced a new identity designed by Kansas City, MO-based Blacktop Creative.
The iconic home coffee maker company had not made any significant brand moves in over 40 years and were looking for change. Their buying audience was aging and they wanted to appeal to a younger consumer base. We created a new mark invoking the idea of an actual signature from Mr. Coffee as well as new brand standards and packaging. The result? A brand given a proper wake up call.
I’ve never been too demanding from my home-brewed coffee and have owned a basic, twenty-dollar Mr. Coffee brewer for the last 16 years. Not the same one, but maybe three — at one point I bought a $150 machine that took hours to understand and made shitty coffee so I returned it and got another twenty-dollar Mr. Coffee one at Walmart. My parents I believe also had one and the old logo has been around for so long that it’s hard to see it change but it’s understandable.
When I see the old logo I think of an office product more than something you would bring into your kitchen. I love the rhythm of the “F”s and “E”s but I guess a condensed Optima wordmark won’t carry any product into the future home of millennials. The new logo goes for the person’s signature approach that rarely comes across as genuine, especially when the wordmark looks like lettering and not an actual signature, so the concept missed the mark in the execution. As a piece of lettering, it’s passable. It’s not the best script wordmark we’ve ever seen but it’s also not the worst. There is a strange inconsistency in the beginnings and endings of the letters, sometimes they are curvy, sometimes swashy, sometimes blunt; like it lost something in translation from drawing to vector.
Not a big fan myself of all the stuff going in the image above but it’s fine, the problem is that if you look through Mr. Coffee’s Instagram and Facebook accounts they have completely misinterpreted the above mood for really cheap and cheesy executions that they’ve probably been developing in-house. For all the recent love in-house teams have gotten on Brand New, let us not forget that that can be the place where good guidelines go to die.
The packaging is a decent change. Even when the old one felt too serious and heavy-handed it looked right for a coffee maker. The new one looks happier and friendlier but it doesn’t transcend coffee-brewing packaging in any way, and that’s fine. It is what it is. Overall, the change makes sense — the identity is more youthful — and the script logo makes it feel less like a boring machine but, for an entry-level product, perhaps it will miss the slight bit of gravitas that the old logo provided.
Thanks to John Dorcas for the tip.