Category Archives: Logos

Harmony at holiday for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

We had the plea­sure of working with this Los Angeles-based coffee chain to develop their ’09 hol­iday pro­mo­tion. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf—with 750+ loca­tions in 22 coun­tries — desired a com­pre­hen­sive visual lan­guage to trans­form their stores during the hol­iday season and be cost-effective for fran­chisees to implement.

By the time all was said and done, Elixir had designed icons, cups, java jackets, menu boards, gift cards, hang tags, gift bags, sea­sonal décor and pack­aging for 36 retail skus. We’re proud to report that The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf sold through all hol­iday mer­chan­dise and had very strong par­tic­i­pa­tion among franchisees.

Athleta goes for the Gap


Athleta has been acquired by the Gap after a decade of designing women’s ath­letic apparel. The pur­chase was com­pleted last Fall, and Athleta’s web­site recently relaunched under the Gap umbrella of brands…

Elixir worked directly with Athleta founder Scott Kerslake from the ear­liest days, col­lab­o­rating on the name and cre­ating the still-in-use iden­tity. Also, Elixir’s cat­alog con­cept sup­ported ini­tial fundraising efforts. Over the next seven years Elixir evolved the brand’s strategy, cat­alog design, and art direc­tion. Back in the late 90s, both the nascent brand and its cat­alog were inno­v­a­tive, pro­viding a new per­spec­tive by focusing on the con­flu­ence of per­for­mance and fashion.

Our con­grat­u­la­tions to Athleta on its splash into the big brand pond. Go team!


Elixir’s bean selected!


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has tapped Elixir to develop their Holiday 2009 pro­mo­tion. The theme will waft into The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s 700+ loca­tions around the globe this fall, infusing all aspects of the sip­ping, sit­ting, and shop­ping experience.

Elixir will start by estab­lishing a pro­pri­etary brand visual lan­guage that aligns the essence of the Holiday pro­mo­tion with the brand story — from atti­tude and tone to palette, icons and sea­sonal décor. In-store appli­ca­tions will deck the walls, dis­plays, col­lat­eral and pack­aging and extend to rec­om­men­da­tions for gift mer­chan­dising and in-store music.

On the design radar


The March/April Communication Arts (CA) cel­e­brates the magazine’s 50th anniver­sary, and Elixir is hon­ored to be men­tioned twice in this ret­ro­spec­tive issue. CA, which orig­i­nally stood for “com­mer­cial art,” pre­dates most of us. It has always been there: fresh work beau­ti­fully repro­duced, plus forward-thinking, history-respecting per­spec­tive. But in 1959, the mag­a­zine was blazing a trail in the CMYK wilder­ness and being perfect-bound by hand!

The cur­rent issue fea­tures two big-picture infor­ma­tion graphics: a 20-page 50-year time­line and a Visual Communications Genealogy. The logo Elixir cre­ated for New Leaf Paper appears on the time­line {top of page 82}, which starts with, not sur­pris­ingly, the cover of the first issue and ends with Mad Men and Barack Obama.

And we are included in a Visual Communications Genealogy, which Editor Patrick Coyne describes as a work-in-progress: “to pro­vide an under­standing of the impact of men­tor­ship on design and adver­tising.” Elixir is in very exalted com­pany in the hon­ey­comb of San Francisco design on page 126.

In addi­tion to rem­i­nis­cences and reflec­tions, the issue is rich to the last spread with enticing resources: from book reviews to Swiss font fur­ni­ture; from a photo-sharing site that encour­aged us to strew our photos across the floor, to an appli­ca­tion that con­verts dig­ital photos to their Polaroid equiv­a­lent. This issue is a mega-maga-matic of our moment in time.

Bridal brunch brava!

Wedding Chic, Gump’s recent show­case for brides, was a grand suc­cess. Elixir designed the col­lat­eral for the February 8 event, including a custom logo­type used in print ads and the e-nnouncement. Consultants from Gump’s wed­ding reg­istry and spe­cialty pur­veyors were on-hand to tour brides-to-be through the dis­plays. Elixir has designed and evolved the Gump’s cat­a­logue since 2005, evoking in print the dis­tinc­tive in-store shop­ping experience.

Elixir’s custom logo­type for the event dressed up the win­dows on Post Street.

Wine and con­ver­sa­tion sparkled as guests cir­cu­lated throughout the store.
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Here comes the… bridal event

Gump’s recently invited Elixir to design col­lat­eral for Wedding Chic: a custom logo­type, plus print ads and an e-nnouncement with a pho­to­graph from fre­quent Elixir col­lab­o­rator John Dolan. The bridal brunch on February 8 will present the ulti­mate in ele­gant, rel­e­vant home­wares, sup­ple­mented by dis­plays and demos from spe­cialty pur­veyors. The Wedding Registry at Gump’s has enchanted and inspired gen­er­a­tions of Bay Area brides. Elixir has designed and evolved the Gump’s cat­a­logue since 2005, evoking in print the dis­tinc­tive in-store shop­ping experience.

T for Timely

Just in time for hol­iday meals and fes­tive toasts! Golden Star Tea Company’s White Jasmine Sparkling Tea is now avail­able at all Whole Foods loca­tions in California. The Elixir-designed bottle {which won Golden Star a Best Iced Tea Packaging award at the 2008 World Tea Championship} will stand tall on any bar, buffet or table. This inno­v­a­tive product {which won Best White Flavored Iced Tea at the show as well} is also fil­tering into San Francisco spe­cialty shops, including Plumpjack, Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant, and BiRite. You can shop on-line {} too. Here’s to non-alcoholic, fine-food-friendly hol­iday cheer!

A cage of one’s own

Communication Arts selected Elixir’s logo for Castor Architecture for their 2008 Design Annual. CA received almost 8,500 entries, selecting only 240 for pub­li­ca­tion (including 16 trade­marks). Elixir also designed the sta­tionery system and website.

Prior to starting his prac­tice, Daniel Castor spent time in Rome, making many ana­lyt­ical draw­ings of Bramante’s Tempietto — many of them sug­ges­tive of the bird­cages he col­lects. As the archi­tect com­ments, “Tradition is a beau­tiful cage with an open door. We are free to come and go as we please.”