Hearth's new to-go cup held in a hand against a blurry bokeh background


Crafting a café brand that leads with its values and is grounded in community

Coursework, 2019


A renamed, rebranded café that serves as a hub for artists and the community and supports local farmers with each order


Research, Strategy, Branding, Web


Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, XD


Adventure and Exploration, Conservation and Sustainability, Kindness and Positivity

A café that serves a lot more than just coffee

Linnaea’s Café is a San Luis Obispo, California staple. They’ve been serving up made-to-order café drinks, vegetarian meals, and house-made treats and goodies for decades, and are a gathering place where all different kinds of people—community members, students, families, businesspeople, and everyone in between—come to relax, work, and connect with one another.

They’re small in size but large in heart; and with new coffee shops popping up more and more frequently around them, it’s sometimes hard to distill what makes Linnaea’s different amid all the noise. This project came about as a result—a new brand that helps Linnaea’s lead with their values and intimately roots them in the community and art scene, plus supports the local businesses and farmers that have helped them grow all these years.

Hearth's new to-go cup held in a hand against a blurry bokeh background

Fostering space for creativity, kindness, and connection

Hearth takes Linnaea’s founding values and leads with them to create a warm, welcoming space with great food and drinks made with care.

Where are we now, and where are we planning on going?

The new brand needed to help Linnaea’s showcase who they are, what they serve, and what they stand for. First and foremost, they’re a café and coffeehouse, but they’re also an integral part of the San Luis Obispo community and a space that is welcoming, warm, and open to all. I dug into researching where they are now—their history, customers, and what they stand for—and built out three goals to help them get where they’re going.

Goal One

Foster a space that’s warm and welcoming

We want to become a larger part of our customers’ lives by providing a warm, comforting place where all feel welcome.

Goal Two

Connect with local artists and creatives

We want to become a more integral part of the San Luis Obispo creative scene, serving as a space for local creatives and makers to connect with other members of the community and showcase their work and talents.

Goal Three

Encourage conscious, sustainable lifestyles

We want to encourage the expansion of sustainable and locally-sourced food, as well as promote a more conscious lifestyle focused on connection, creativity, and nature.

Crafting a brand: values are crucial, so let’s lead with ours

Conveying their values—creativity, connection, and sustainability—loudly and clearly was paramount, as was leaving the impression that this is a place where guests can see themselves belonging, no matter who they are, and that Linnaea’s means quality. They make sure their food and drinks not only taste fantastic, but are also made with locally-sourced ingredients that support farmers and create a stronger, more resilient community. All of these qualities needed to be reflected in any new brand identity.

Hearth's website displayed in a laptop against a blurry brown background

Make yourself at home

Hearth leads with its values on all its platforms, from the café itself to printed promotions, merchandise, and the Hearth website.

Just like home, but with better coffee

Meet the new brand

A lot changed during the rebrand, including the name, but the spirit and values of the café stayed constant throughout. The new name itself—Hearth—was chosen to reflect those values, just like the warm, comfortable gathering space around a fireplace where conversation, laughter, and sharing between friends and strangers happens. In its entirety, the new brand spanned logos, a business system, a new website, print promotions, café cup designs, and a revised strategy for the business as a whole.

You can take a look at the brand in its entirety in the Brand Standards Manual PDF below, or check out the Creative Brief above that started the whole project in the first place.

Hearth's identity system, including business cards, envelope, letterhead, and brand standards manual

One brand across nearly a dozen pieces of print collateral

Hearth’s new brand brings a consistent, cohesive look across all of its print pieces, from a branded letterhead to business cards, posters and flyers. Hearth’s Brand Standards manual, shown in the top-left, details all aspects of the new design system, like typefaces, colors, and graphic elements, as well as imagery, writing guidelines, and usage examples.

A bag of coffee with Hearth's new branding

The same coffeehouse you know and love, now in your kitchen.

Hearth’s take-away packaging, like to-go cups and coffee pouches, now reflects the same playful warmth as its print and digital collateral. And you can brew your favorite cup anywhere with all-new bagged coffee blends inspired by the wild places in San Luis Obispo County.

An event postcard with Hearth's new branding

Connecting with local artists, musicians, and creatives

We’ve always featured local artists, authors, musicians, and other creatives through live shows and displays in our gallery—now we’re promoting them too, with event posters, postcards with details on upcoming live shows, and an online ticketing option for paid events.

Three pages of the Hearth website displayed in three laptops, lined up side-by-side

A website that tells the Hearth story

Since Hearth’s values and close ties with the San Luis Obispo community are so central to its identity, the Hearth story is featured front and center on its website. Explore the menu, learn about upcoming events, and hear first-hand from Hearth’s employees on its new blog titled, appropriately, Hearth Stories.

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