Talor&Jørgen Coffee by Bielke & Yang
Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 3 February 2017
Talor&Jørgen is a Norwegian speciality coffee roastery and coffee subscription service delivering small boxes of freshly roasted beans, sourced from across the globe, to subscribers based on their drinking habits rather than to a schedule. Product naming focuses on bringing to the forefront flavour notes rather than bean provenance, variety and preparation (although this is online and on pack) with the intention of making speciality coffee far more accessible and addressing the divide that exists within the Norwegian market. The range changes seasonally and currently includes Apricot & Black Tea, Blackcurrant & Sugar Snap Pea and Elderflower & Butter, sourced from Kenya and Ethiopia. Talor&Jørgen’s packaging design, developed by Oslo-based studio Bielke & Yang, expresses the accessible intentions of brand and freshness of its coffee in the distinctive pairing of a small robust structural choice that holds 250g, and the tone and content of Janne Iivonen’s illustrative work.
Bielke & Yang’s packaging for Talor&Jørgen is unexpected and distinctive in its strategic rearranging of speciality coffee conventions. Where many rosters focus on origin and preparation, and often articulating this in an austere and exclusive way, Talor&Jørgen draws to the forefront flavour profile and favours a more convivial and personable brand personality. This is effectively acknowledged in Bielke & Yang’s collaboration with Finnish born and London-based Janne Iivonen.
Janne Iivonen characterises his work as fun and optimistic. Frequently featuring unique characters in a variety of everyday situations inspired by people and life around him, adding a sense of relevance and realism. Here, Janne Iivonen brings together the shared experience of coffee drinking, the partnership that is the foundation of Talor&Jørgen and establishes a celebratory whimsy that also channels something of Belgium’s Hergé. It is a style that works well to bring together the mechanical qualities of coffee roasting and the social element of its consumption, with the proximity of the two, although odd, conveying freshness. The quality of illustration, the specificity of its content, and light tone, works well to give a more accessible tone to a high quality product without confusion.
Flavours, producer or cooperative, country of origin, the varietal, processing method, roast date and customer address appear as a label that bisects the illustration on the back, and neatly finishes as a colour block tied to flavour on the front. The box is a laminated cardboard and contains a recycled plastic bag containing the beans. This will be replaced with a biodegradable plastic bag in the future.
Structural design and illustration are a great pairing, finding a comfortable balance between visual interest and robustness for delivery. Bielke & Yang get a bit more visual equity from illustration by cropping founders Talor Browne and Jørgen Hansrod and setting these across the back of their respective business cards.
The work is distinctive in both tone and rendering, in the pairing of image and structure. There is a strong sense of brand character without the need for logo, although there is one. The simplicity and bold impact dictated by today’s supermarket shelf gives way to plenty of detail up close, acknowledging the subscription and delivered nature of service, functioning as a continuation of web experience (the articulation of story, founders and their personality) and adding memorable character. 6000 boxes were printed in the first run, with the next batch due to feature another illustrator, making way for alternative takes and a visual freshness. More by Bielke & Yang on BP&O.