New Grounds Food

Brand and packaging design


Spring-Summer 2014





Information Design

There once were two guys from Northeastern.

They said hey, we like coffee, let's eat some.

Then they made CoffeeBars,

but the brand was subpar,

so they used Scout and now no one can beat 'em!

When Johnny and Ali first approached Scout at IDEA's fall 2013 NEXPO, it was love at first taste. CoffeeBar is a super-tasty, all-natural energy bar made with real espresso beans. The product was awesome—but their brand identity and packaging was, well, a bit lacking.

When Scout started working with CoffeeBar, the first thing we did was figure out name hierarchy. The co-founders have big dreams for where their company could expand in the future, beyond energy bars. (You might say they hope to explore new grounds;) We arrived at the company name New Grounds Food, whose inaugural product is a line of CoffeeBars. Its premiere flavor is Mocha Latte and the slogan for the product line is "Eat your coffee."

Before diving into sketches, our teams analyzed a lot of energy bar packaging currently out there. We found that most companies do two of three things really well: convey tastiness, energy or healthfulness. CoffeeBars sat right in the middle of all three, so we needed an aesthetic that did too.

Left: Brand exploration using the what-how-why method

Right top: Early stamp sketches

Right bottom: Early visual directions

Left top: New Grounds Food logo

Left bottom: Johnny and Ali are from LA, so the line in the New Grounds Food logo, in addition to looking like a mountain (explore new grounds), is the driving route from LA to Boston, where New Grounds Food was founded.

Right: Eat Your Coffee tagline in its stamp form, as used on packaging, social media, etc.

The primary packaging (bar wrapper) was the first thing we designed, and it played a large role in figuring out the branding system. Natural colors and the burlap texture are associated with health and wholesomeness, while the diagonal splay of ingredients and punchy burnt orange color convey a sense of energy. Finally, seeing the raw ingredients (including chocolate chips) and the overall warm tone of the wrapper appeal to your taste buds.

Final packaging file for CoffeeBar's first flavor, Mocha Latte.

Left: stamp tagline with custom bitten coffeecup icon.

Right: final packaging mockup

In September, I realized designing/project leading for Scout was no longer possible as there were larger managerial obligations and responsibilities to see through. We brought on another designer, Julia Wilson, to complete the secondary packaging (shelf box).

In addition to creating an attractive brand, we knew the business goal was to help Johnny and Ali reach their Kickstarter fundraising goal. In November, they raised over $40k and secured 1,000+ backers. Not only did they exceed their goal, New Grounds Food was also written about in The Huffington Post, USA Today, The Boston Globe, Oprah Magazine and more. Johnny and Ali also appeared on CNN! Of course their drive and brilliance is garnering attention, but I can't help but to smile everytime I see the packaging Scout designed at our local cornerstore or recieve a text from someone who spotted CoffeeBars in the wild.

CoffeeBars in their box.
Secondary package design by Julia Wilson.

Other projects

Information Design

Various class projects

Eat Right Now

Brand and social campaign


Website design


Founder and CEO