Sweetwaters Café


How do you stand out in today's café market place, and identify a warm and inviting place for friends and neighbors to meet over a specially prepared coffee or tea? That is the challenge the team at Pryor Design Co. faced when asked to create an identity system for the Sweetwaters Café.

When Sweetwaters Café approached the team at Pryor Design, they had 2 locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a budding brand. Scott Pryor described his team's approach to building the Sweetwaters Café brand:

They're known for having a uniquely Asian feel, but they've been careful to retain a personal, neighborhood quality. Above all, their offerings are of the highest quality featuring an extensive line of coffees and two lines of specialty teas. Overall, our goal was to creatively and strategically position their brand identity and their products to reflect the tone of the Sweetwaters Café experience.

The result, a mark that reflects the Asian heritage paired casual with tasty typography for a inviting yet modern feel.


In addition to the cohesive brand identity, Pryor Design developed packaging for the Sweetwaters line of Coffee and Teas. According to Pryor:

We felt as though packaging was a crucial carrier of the Sweetwaters brand identity because it's the most mobile part of their brand. Being able to indulge in the café experience is one thing. Being able to literally take home an artifact of such an experience is quite another.


The coffee packaging reflects the individual varieties, through soft, subtle imagery while remaining true to the Sweetwaters experience. To speak to the fine art of Tea:

… we created a uniquely simple line of tea packages that felt "tea-like" and "Sweetwaters-like" at the same time. We first found appropriately sized tins and then created labels that can be easily applied in-store. The need to "flavor" each label was addressed by creating a series of stamps that can again be applied at the store level. The ability of the packaging to be customized at the store level adds to neighborhood appeal of the Café.

Since launching the initial packaging, Pryor Design has also created additional packaging for an extended line of teas. This new packaging incorporates a chipboard tube with all over graphics that speak to the heritage of the product. It's refreshing to see a system of product packaging that uses variety in design to it's advantage, while maintain a constant feel that reinforces the brand.


Thank you to Scott Pryor and the rest of the team at Pryor Design Co. for their insight into this project.