5 Takeaways on Logo Design from Branding Great Circle Coffee

Food & Beverage

Known for revolutionary work in the toys, gaming and entertainment industries, Pilot also has experience in branding for food and beverage; most notably category-leading Angry Orchard Hard Cider. But when the Pilot team had the opportunity to work with a burgeoning craft coffee company out of Miami, we kicked it into high test territory.

Here are our top five tips for food & beverage logo designs:

  1. Reflect the organization’s mission in the logo

The story of great circle revolves around delivering premium, quality coffee to customers while benefiting each part of the coffee supply chain. Their company mission brings into perspective the human element of the business and clearly defines the unique selling point for great circle coffee. At Pilot, we tried to put this in visual context in the logo by centering a heart in the middle of the type.

2. Develop cues for easy recognition

The main purpose of the logo was to develop a unique identity for the company and the brand for years to come. Cues such as the heart in the center of the type and the color of the type itself creates a visual identity for the brand. When we designed the logo for the Soaring Rhino, for example, the cue for consumers became the stretched wings. In the case of Great Circle we developed the cue by centering the heart and the coffee bean in the logo.

3. Incorporate brand personality

Serving the humanitarian effort of great circle in the logo was important to give the brand a stronger visual identity. At Pilot, we assign brand pillars as forms of personality attributes to the brand. Great Circle had it’s own set of attributes. One of the ways we incorporated these in the logo was by including a coffee bean inside in the heart that contributed in creating a friendly and positive brand appeal towards Great Circle.

4. Think like the customer

When you want a brand to identify with the customer at some level, it is important to think like a customer viewing your logo for the first time. We believe phrases such as “great circle” give the name a depth as the viewer visualizes a circle before it recognizes the actual visual imagery placed in the logo. The goal is to separate yourself from the marketing clutter surrounding a customer and find a way to remain in the customer’s memory for longer.

5. Make the logo adaptable

Optimizing the visibility of the logo included making the logo compatible with different marketing products, whether it’s a t-shirt or a product packing label. The logo needed to be compatible in representing the brand in different forms of product merchandising.


We are incorporating learnings to our new projects, including the International Portuguese Music Awards (coming soon). Please stay tuned to ‘From the Flight Deck’ for more tips, tales and triumphs.