Get to know the Finalists of the MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards

Tori Taylor
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January 23, 2024
coffee packaging, MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards, custom coffee bags, custom printed coffee bags

Packaging design is a critical component of any coffee brand’s marketing strategy. While the bag itself plays a pivotal role in keeping the product fresh, its design communicates the brand’s aesthetic, personality, and values. 

As the specialty coffee industry continues to boom, coffee bag design has emerged as a valid form of art for the modern world. Coffee bags have become canvases: allowing brands to partner with local artists, draw attention to important environmental causes, and promote transparency in the specialty coffee sector. 

This is why, in 2023, MTPak Coffee launched its Packaging Design Awards: to champion coffee bag design excellence across the specialty coffee industry. Businesses from around the globe submitted their packaging designs and shared the inspiration behind them in order to scoop up the coveted MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Award seal as an acknowledgement of their success. 

Read on to learn more about the finalists. 

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Introducing the finalists of the MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards

Firsthand Coffee, based in New Zealand, has a simplistic and uncomplicated design on recyclable coffee bags made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The stand-up coffee pouches are a deep navy colour, which ties into the colour palette used across the brand’s website and merchandise. 

Also based in New Zealand, Astro Coffee sought a packaging design that was simple and sophisticated to complement a brand name that “bridges the past and future.” The brand uses recyclable LDPE coffee bags that are a luxurious purple colour. The side gussets are customised with a bright orange abstract star on a white background. 

US-based Living Millennially uses side gusset coffee pouches with a bright, holographic finish. Notably, design elements on these custom coffee bags almost appeared layered, giving the design a 3D type effect. The brand believes the first step in breaking that stereotype is “having a coffee bag that’s as funky and enjoyable as the product inside.”

Owned and operated by US Navy veterans, Pinup Coffee Co. are launching new recyclable custom coffee bags inspired by WWII pin up art. The cream coloured coffee bags feature the US military symbol lightly in the top corner while the lines across the packaging are designed to resemble aircraft panelling. 

LongStory Coffee’s recyclable, flat bottom coffee bags were specifically chosen to highlight their dual design. When viewed from the front or back, consumers can only see the ‘old book’ style of the bag. However, when viewed from the side, only the ‘bookcase’ style is visible. Displaying the bags in an alternating sequence breaks the uniform front of the bags and creates a visually appealing shelf. 

“We’re big on being bright, colourful, and funkier than people are used to in the coffee space,” explains Gefen Skolnick, the founder and CEO of Couplet Coffee. The brand’s combination of holographic coffee bags and a glossy packaging finish emphasises the vibrant colours and fun, coffee-inspired illustrations. 

Firelight Coffee, based in Atlanta, US, collaborated with a local designer to create the look of its packaging. The custom coffee bags are made from recyclable LDPE and feature an illustrated campfire scene. “We wanted to create a picture of the future world we hope to see. A world where nature thrives in abundance, where the beauty of simple things is celebrated, and where everyone has access to quality coffee,” explains cofounder, Todd Johnson

Woman-run Salto Coffee uses recyclable side gusset coffee pouches that showcase a unique set of geometric patterns. Each set represents the vibrancy, movement, and energy of the brand. The refreshing colour palette reflects the surrounding mountain town and symbolises the aspen trees, alpine lakes, and granite rock of the region. 

Find out more about our finalists here.

coffee packaging, MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards, custom coffee bags, custom printed coffee bags

The design submitted by Black Acres Roastery is an original illustration inspired by an image of the Narino region in Colombia. “This is where we sourced our coffee for this project. We selected this bag design because of its vibrant colours and pattern, which match the taste profile of coffee,” explains brand founder Travis Bell.

South African brand, Banhoek Coffee Co. uses a fine-line geometric illustration on its coffee packaging to promote sustainability and support animal welfare. The design of its custom coffee bags is inspired by the natural beauty of the Banhoek Valley near Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. 

Black Hat Coffee is based in Germany and believes that coffee is as “individual a product as a tailor-made suit,” explains the owner, Inna Zamikhovska. So, the brand’s custom coffee boxes and bags feature different suit patterns, as well as illustrations of men dressed impeccably.

200 Degrees sells both retail and wholesale ranges, so the challenge was to create an aesthetic that could be carried consistently across multiple products. “The design of our packaging, and all the copy printed there, is written in a way to empower the consumer and give them a clear sense of the experience they will have when they drink that coffee,” explains Sinéad Bevan, the brands Communications Manager. 

Ukraine-based Kolo Coffee focuses on innovation, simplicity, and community. The brand uses a combination of flexible coffee bags and cardboard boxes. The boxes are wrapped in a bright orange nylon band with a cord lock, which is a symbol of how coffee helps connect people, regardless of age, circumstance, or race.

Inspired by the coffee branding of the 1800s, Victoriana Coffee Co. in Colombia offer black coffee bags adorned with gorgeous gold, antique illustrations. Each custom coffee pouch is an artwork of fine Victorian style details and decoration.

The designs used on the coffee bags from Birdy Coffee Co. highlights how the brand wants to be perceived: as lighthearted and inviting. “With the endless amount of birds around the world, we chose this design because of the limitless range of creativity and designs that can be made, and ultimately keeping our designs from becoming stagnant,” explains owner Ryan Walker. 

The team at Bernard Café wanted the brand’s coffee packaging to refer to the origin of its coffee, which has a long and striking history dating back to 1870. The brands coffee bags are a bold combination of rich reds, purples, and blues that blend to form a mountainous landscape.

Woke Artisanal Coffee Roasters, based in Malaysia, have design packaging that showcases the intricate art of the coffee tree. The brand combines coffee boxes and flat-bottom coffee bags that feature delicate decals of the branches, leaves, and cherries of a coffee tree on an ivory-white or lilac background.

All finalists of the MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Awards will receive the coveted MTPak Coffee Packaging Design Award seal. The seal can be added to brand websites, coffee packaging, and marketing materials, as an acknowledgment of their success. 

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