He loves coffee. She loves Hawaii. Amazingly, they made it work. This year, Vikram Singh and Melanie Korn left windy Chicago and took ownership of Pele Plantations, an organic, single-estate Kona coffee farm in South Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Their coffee business is built partly on that farm and partly on sourcing from surrounding plantations. As Vikram is a true coffee aficionado, he’s made sure that 100% of the Pele brand is sourced from Kona. Translation: this is the real deal in the realm of some of the most sought out coffee on the market today. After sampling several bags of the stuff, we can tell you that Vikram and Melanie have created a great company dedicated to quality above all else.
A fun aspect of this company is that Pele Plantations has been an established coffee grower for 20 years. There was an existing brand and some pretty fantastic inspiration behind the Pele story, that being the legend of Pele, the fire goddess credited with creating the Hawaiian Islands. We knew immediately that Pele would have to be a prominent figure in the brand. On top of that, we knew that Hawaii itself – its culture and traditions – needed to play a prominent role in the brand story as the Kona District and its landscape are really what makes Kona coffee, Kona coffee. We worked closely with Vikram and Melanie to develop this approach, especially in understanding some of the nuances of the Hawaiian words used in their product line (such as the Hawaiian use of a little-known piece of punctuation called the ‘okina … totally not an apostrophe).
We had an equally fun time developing this beautiful color palette and simple typography. And we really got creative with a series of tribal tattoo-inspired bands unique to each coffee blend. Again, we looked to Hawaiian culture for our cues, as well as the amazing flora that makes up the beauty of the Big Island. So much collateral! So much fun! In all, we developed a complete brand story that Vikram and Melanie will use to help Pele Plantations see another 20 years of amazing, delicious coffee.
Special thanks for Alicja Colon for capturing these photographs.