Stanza Coffee is a new coffee concept opening in Qatar this fall. Needmore worked with Stanza’s founder to develop a name and craft a visual identity that would serve as a warm welcome to locals and expatriates alike.

Stanza Coffee brand book cover with logo design

Rooted in History

Coffee has a deep history in the Arabian Peninsula beginning around 1450 AD. It is a symbol of hospitality and friendship, always brewed and poured during visits. Given that this hospitality is a way to welcome a friend into your home, much of the beauty of this experience hidden from the public sphere. Stanza Coffee looks to open up this welcoming hospitality to the the public.

Additional name ideas such as Roots & Wander, Ink & Gold

What is in a name, anyhow?

As we began to know founder Nasser Al-Marri and Qatari culture, themes began to emerge. We explored travel, wandering, exploration, and growth. We delved into the richness of Arabic poetry, storytelling, culture, and tradition.

What became evident is that poetry is not only an integral part of culture in Qatar, but that the beauty of poetry touches each of our hearts.  Throughout this exploration, the name Stanza emerged. Stanza, that basic recurring metrical unit in a poem which is universally understood. Stanza, a building block of understanding. Stanza, quite literally, a place to stand. Sanza Coffee then becomes its own beautiful poetry that Nasser will begin to write one cup, one smile, one welcome at a time.

Stanza Coffee paper cup designs

To-go cups bearing lines from In Praise of Coffee, an Arabic poem from 1511.

Dome of the Rock details

Giving Words a Shape

With a name in mind, we crafted a brand that is memorable and distinct while retaining a tie to its Arabic origins; we sought a fresh approach that remains rooted in a legacy. Patterns evoke the beauty of the Dome of the Rock walls. Colors evoke poetry (color of ink, coffee is our gold) and a tie to the bountiful sea.

Stanza’s wordmark uses Hoefler & Co.’s Gotham Medium and Falak. Gotham is that rarest of designs, the new typeface that feels somehow familiar. Pair this with Falak, an Arabic typeface inspired by the theme of Astronomy and natural science and that is reflected on the orbital curvatures given to most of the letters in addition to the spatial proportions of the typeface anatomy.

Stanza Coffee social icons Mockup of Stanza Coffee logo on sign

The world needs more poetry, more Stanza.

It was an incredible honor to work closely with Nasser to craft this brand that flows forth from an open, curious, and welcoming heart.