Designing for Relative

Designing for Relative

Bryant Banker-Scannell

Relative Coffee wasn't the first concept from the get go. There were plenty of speed bumps along the way, a few brand identity crisis', and more. In design it's easy to get stuck in an echo chamber, and you just need someone to give you some much needed advice. 

Read on for some concepts and other design shenanigans! 



Mistake: Brand before research

Before Relative Coffee Co I was stuck on the brand, Prism Coffee. Eager to start I moved fast on the little things and forgot to look at the bigger picture - are other companies named Prism? Of course, I found many. Are any trademarked? Could I still legally use the brand name? Be aware of this, but I stopped my search with Prism because my goal is not to push down results of one brand just because I was drawn to that brand name and legally I might be able to use that name as a brand identity.

Process: Concept, design, repeat

I am a huge fan of color. Specifically color blocking of the 90s. A base color that is muted with one or two loud colors. While not appealing to everyone in fashion, it's rooted in balance, and there is reasoning behind the blocking. 

Color theory was a direction I wanted to head in and found out very quickly the color combinations I cringed at, or ones that referenced holidays and were just outright bizarre. Below you'll see combinations I settled on and started experimenting with space using the same shapes, and eventually getting tired of square monotony and branched out to lines and triangles. 

Mistake: Buying domains before settling on brand name

More, "cart before the horse," tales of woe.

It took three brand names and three domain purchases for me to setting on Relative Coffee Co. The good news is, domains are cheap. The bad news is, it's an irritable process and can be easily avoided by just doing your research before finalizing the bigger picture.


Process: Getting a second opinion

It can be hard to ask for help, but it's needed. You can't do things alone. My process is to get a mockup of everything I'm working on to s be critiqued before I search for help. It can mean a long process, but time is on my side.

My friend Paul Stallings, who is a creative director in the ad industry, graciously spent some time going through my mess of ideas for Relative Coffee Co, and helped out where I was getting stuck.

When you get to the point of not knowing what is good or bad, reach out to someone and get back on track.


Summary: Go through the process, make mistakes, get lost, have fun.

Making mistakes is part of the journey, and sometimes they can be the best mistakes you've ever made. However, it can be nice to avoid some speed bumps here and there. If anything maybe this will help someone skip a few along the way.

Enjoy the coffee! 


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