Work Life /// Designing a New Label For Mello Coffee Roasters

While my day job is in marketing, I occasionally take on freelance design, editing, and writing projects when I have the time and when the project appeals to me.

Recently, I had the pleasure of working with my friends at Mello Coffee Roasters in Davidson, NC, to create a new label for their coffee bags.

Owners Samantha and Max Mello began roasting coffee as a backyard hobby in 2013, and from that grew a deep passion for creating quality coffee. They expanded their business with the purchase of a one kilogram gas coffee roaster designed by Mill City Roasters in Minneapolis, MN, and started cranking out more and more orders — even expanding into the wholesale market.

This isn’t my first time working with Mello Coffee Roasters, though. Nearly two years ago I helped Samantha build and launch their e-commerce website. I also helped make minor tweaks to their existing logo so they could use it in more ways for marketing purposes. I am always happy to help them out and not just because they compensate me in coffee.

Mello-Coffee-Roasters

What I love about MCR:

They’re Local /// Buying coffee from the Mellos means you are helping support their family.

They’re a Homegrown Business /// As I mentioned above, roasting coffee began as a hobby for the couple and then became a business. From the tiny details (Sam hand stamps each bag of coffee) to the big ones (Max roasts out of their garage at home), they put great care into each bag of coffee they sell.

The Product is Incredible /// Coffee is roasted to order and beans are ground to customer specification. They only use specialty grade, single origin, direct, or fair trade products. You can tell a difference in MCR coffee and what you find at your grocery store.


In November, Sam and Max approached me about updating the look of their bags. They use a natural, kraft-style bag for their coffee and hand-stamp each one with their logo. I love their packaging and think it fits their business branding well.

However, they felt that there was one important feature missing from the front of their bags: The origin of the coffee inside.

They brought some great ideas to me to give a visual of the look they hoped to achieve with a custom label on the front of each bag. Plus, they wanted to keep their hand-stamped logo on each bag and place the new label under the logo.

Because Max roasts the coffee to order, it was also very important that the label be created in a way that Sam could easily add origin information and flavor notes and print labels on an as-needed basis.

Easy enough.

With all those things in mind, I created several mock-ups for Sam and Max to look at. Upon review, they wanted to combine two of the designs I sent them and change the color from green to red.

MCR Label Mock-Ups

I made the changes they requested and sent it back to them one last time for review.

Final MCR Label

At that point, Sam and Max were pleased with the finished label, and after working out some kinks with the printing, they were ready to use them in production.

New Label for Mello Coffee Roasters
I must say, their coffee bags look amazing with the new label.

If you want to try coffee from Mello Coffee Roasters, you can order directly from their website. Or, if you’re local to the Charlotte area, you can find bags of their whole bean coffee at High Branch Brewing in Concord and Davidson Beverage Company in Davidson. 

Dammit, Hali

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