Caffeine Machine

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UGA Senior Thesis Branding Project

This was the final project in my Graphic Design program at the University of Georgia. The Caffeine Machine is a hypothetical food truck that serves coffee and bagels in the greater Atlanta area. The Caffeine Machine process book shows project development from start to finish, and you can view the pdf at the link below.

Caffeine Machine Process Book PDF

Collectible Insulating Sleeves & Cup Design

Other than coffee and bagels, these cups would be the main product of the Caffeine Machine truck. There is a 12oz cup and a 16oz cup. The insulating sleeve around each cup contains half an image that complements a matching sleeve to make a graphic. A sub-theme of my branding project was “reusing is recycling,” and the matching sleeves are a way to give value to something that would otherwise be trash. Each cup would be sold with one random sleeve encouraging customers to come back to buy more coffee and find the matching sleeve. There are 16 matching sleeves that combine for a total of 8 images. The images all interpret the Caffeine Machine “what fuels you” tag line in a visual way, depicting various machines fueled by coffee cups.

Concept Graphics for the Caffeine Machine

What Fuels You?

The name “Caffeine Machine” has a double meaning: first, the truck as caffeine serving machine, and second, the customer as a machine that requires caffeine as fuel. Following this concept, the phrase “what fuels you?” became the tagline to my Caffeine Machine brand. This ad is a visual reflection of the meaning represented within the name. The O is an anatomical heart made of the gears and pipes and being powered by a cup of coffee in the center.

A Poster That Folds Into Its Own Mailing Envelope

This set of posters was designed to be mailed to locations where the Caffeine Machine is catering events. The posters promote the brand with an eye-catching graphic and a QR code that links to the website with more information. The posters have spaces to write in the event information such as date and time as well as the mailing address. They can then be folded into a mailing package and sent to the event promoters to hang at their venue.

Coffee Bean Packaging

These packages were designed to sell whole bean or ground coffee for home brewing. I liked the visual aesthetic of a curved score fold and designed the structure of this package myself. The package has flat front, so it will appear uniform when multiple are aligned on a shelf, but a rounded back, so it will have an interesting shape when standing alone. The box has a clear, sealed cellophane bag on the inside to keep the coffee fresh and allow a view the coffee through a window in the front left corner of the box. The conical design allows the boxes to be nested within one another for shipping from the box manufacturer to the roaster. The package includes brewing instructions, information about the blend of coffee, and a QR code link to the caffeine machine website.

Packaging a Half Dozen Bagels with Cream Cheese

This package was designed to hold and transport six bagels and an 8oz package of cream cheese. The bagels fit into slots on the inside, and the cream cheese tub fits in its own slot at the end, held down by a flap. The box is made of two separate pieces: the outside structure of the box with the graphics and a divider insert that splits up the individual bagels. Both pieces fold flat for shipping and can be assembled in the food truck just before being sold to the consumer. The package has nutrition facts and on the back and QR code links to the Caffeine Machine website. The logo on the front has the coffee bean die cut out for a more dimensional aesthetic appeal. Please Recycle.

A Mobile Optimized Website for a Mobile Vendor

The Caffeine Machine food truck needed a website that can be easily accessed on a mobile device so the customer can find the vendor. This was the very first website I ever made, so it’s not quite up to modern standards, but I’ll let you take a look at it anyway. The background features a tiled pattern of the machine aesthetic that became a motif in my branding theme. The pattern is a png 24 of outlines filled with transparency to allow a browser calculated gradient to show through them. The sides of the steam are also png 24s that tile vertically to allow the page to be as tall as it needs to. Since I only used two colors for these, the color indexing of the pngs allowed the file to be very small and load quickly through a slower mobile connection. The mobile site contains a full menu, a link to find the Caffeine Machine, and polling page where users can vote for the next month’s specialty coffee.

Caffeine Machine Website


James Bradford is a UX Designer and UI Engineer currently working in the Visual Analytics Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory making web apps for cybersecurity, geospatial, and data visualization.

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