Vancouver, B.C. (August 16, 2005) – As the next step in Caffè Artigiano’s mastery of the fine art of coffee, Subplot Design Inc. has developed a packaging system for their new line of specialty whole bean coffee roasts. The new coffees hit the caffè shelves in the first week of August 2005.


Artigiano means “artisan” or “craftsman” in Italian, and Caffè Artigiano has demonstrated its dedication to the art and craft of fine coffee. Founded in 2000 by brothers Vince and Sammy Piccolo, Caffè Artigiano has soon become a Vancouver legend for its coffee brewing and “latte art”. Not only has the caffè grown to 5 stores around the city in 5 years, but the staff has consistently won local and international barista championships which judge the flavour, appearance and serving finesse of key espresso drinks in a competition format. Sammy Piccolo has proved the “barista master” by winning a silver in the 2004 World Barista Championship in Italy, as well as a bronze in 2005.


Although Caffè Artigiano had their coffees custom-roasted for them by a leading company in Chicago, they wanted more control. They decided in late 2004 to open their own roasting facility with brother Michael Piccolo taking on the challenge of Roast Master. In addition to using the coffee in the caffès, the Piccolo brothers knew that packaging would play a large role in the new retail sales opportunity of their coffee and in bringing the Caffè Artigiano brand to their consumers’ homes.


“The Caffè Artigiano brand is so strong in the caffès, there has actually been very little work done with any brand or retail communications to date”, say Subplot Design partner Roy White. “This meant that, while the brand had some key equities, there was a large opportunity to create something new and compelling to drive the packaging system and really communicate with their consumers.”


The design system answers both functional and brand identity objectives by expressing the Piccolo family’s engaging history and dedication to fine coffee. With 16 coffee origins in the initial run, the design system had to be affordable and modular. The 1/2 and 1 pound bags carry the common Caffè Artigiano story and brewing instructions, with each origin represented with a unique label. The labels emphasize the “craftsman” quality of the brand, with tasting notes and a rating scale to guide consumers through the many choices. And each label features an archival photo from the Piccolo family album, with a witty and colourful caption that gets to heart of the family’s personality.


“What Subplot was able to do was to bring out the personality and character of our family in a way that we had never conceived of in our caffès”, says owner Vince Piccolo. “It brought a dimension out that our consumers love, and really helped to emphasize our personal passion for great coffee. We have had such positive feedback and great sales; we are thrilled”.


Subplot Design has also created in-store POS and mini-coffee menus to help drive awareness of the new coffee. The 20,000 business card sized folded menus feature all of the blends and an overview of the new coffees, and are handed out to consumers with each purchase for the first month. Future plans include special-edition roasts and possible entry into retail grocery chains.


About Subplot Design Inc.

Subplot Design Inc. is a leading brand design firm with international experience in creating category-defining corporate and consumer brands. We specialize in powerful ideas that build intelligent, relevant, stand-out brands and communications in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. From our Vancouver, BC owned and operated offices, we do this with breakthrough creative brand design including Logomarks + Identity, Brand Packaging, Product Design, Print Communications, Annual Reports, and Retail Identities + Environments.