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Unpacking Coffee with Kandace and Ray: Camber Coffee


Unpacking Coffee’s new look for Season 4. If you were looking for a non-geometric sans, you’re free to look elsewhere. Image courtesy of Unpacking Coffee/Needmore Designs.

Unpacking Coffee, which has been exploring the packaging and design work of some of the world’s loveliest roasters over the course of 69 episodes and counting, has unveiled a brand refresh of its own for the new Season 4.

Here’s some background directly from the K-Ray design-braintrust:

Truth be told, we are always dreaming about typography. Years ago, we focused on a pleasant pairing of typefaces that would work for our internal projects. Specifically, we selected the combination of Galaxie Polaris and Galaxie Copernicus from the Constellation type foundry (designed by Chester Jenkins).

Over time, however, we found ourselves appreciating Polaris less and less. We’re fickle like that. The weights didn’t quite work for us and we are drawn designs that are a bit more geometric. We couldn’t help but notice that we’d been using fonts like Futura and Avant Garde whenever we got a chance, eschewing Polaris. It felt like time to revisit our design decisions.

That’s when we discovered Cosmica. Conceptually, Cosmica fits into the same Galaxie design skeleton, but it happens to be a geometric sans. A geometric sans! Just what we were looking for — a typeface that fits in with Copernicus but has a more geometric character. And boy, it does have character.

That’s right: A geometric frigging sans! Deal with it.

Armed with this delicious new typeface, Kandace and Ray recently sat down with David Yake, one of the three founders of the Bellinhgam, Washington-based roastery Camber Coffee.

With its labels that delicately scream “French wine!” and a beautiful food-forward cafe in Bellingham — not to mention a stellar reputation for quality sourcing and roasting — Camber made a grand entrance into the specialty coffee world in 2015. The roaster found fans not just in Bellingham, but in multiroaster cafes and high-profile wholesale accounts throughout the United States.


Camber Coffee. Photo by Unpacking Coffee/Needmore Designs.

“It all starts with the green,” Yake told K-Ray. “Andrew and our team are constantly getting green samples, and that’s really where it all starts. You can’t take sub par green coffee and make a great cup of coffee. You just have to have the best green and we’ve always been willing to pay for that and support farmers in that way.”

Later in the episode, Yake discusses the small but mighty coffee scene in Bellingham, forthcoming designs for Camber bags that may or may not include a thick linen material discovered in a file cabinet in China, and the exciting challenge of running a roastery and a full-service cafe.

Also, there’s this:

Ray: Did you say don’t make it weird? I’m making it weird.

Kandace: No, I said it’s a wine label.


Unpacking Coffee is a show discovering new coffee roasters one episode at a time led by Kandace and Ray of the Portland-based studio Needmore Designs, which specializes in coffee, wine and lifestyle brands.


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