Facing the Future

Java House Group

The Project

In mid 2013, Nairobi Java House was rapidly expanding into other markets in the region. Behind the scenes the brand had evolved, and was continuing to do so, in many ways. The expansion created urgency in the need to convey this evolution externally. We recommended a brand identity refresh: something welcoming, relevant and future-facing.

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The existing identity had dutifully differentiated Java since its inception in 1999. Still, it was inevitable that some of its features had become redundant over time.

The Heritage Brand


The sun was iconic to the brand. We were careful to retain this familiarity with subtle tweaks. We enhanced her physical features, making them more African and feminine: to disclose the African spirit of warmth, care and hospitality.


Name and Wordmark

New presence beyond the capital’s borders dictated that Nairobi Java House transitioned to Java House.

The retro typeface symbolised an established brand but wasn’t future-facing. We designed a more modern, cleaner typeface that borrowed from the previous logo’s layout. It enabled a smoother transition to the new look. Essential brand qualities of charm and recognition were successfully retained.


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Extension and Application


The new look and feel was augmented to create a beautiful and functional experience across all customer touch-points.

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Redesigning the menu involved a thorough study of the existing one to understand what worked, and what could be improved. The resulting new menu improved usability, legibility, content flow and brand alignment.

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The new site was now responsive. Large, hi-res images were used to give the online brand experience a personable and quality feel. We developed brand language to be more conversational.


Brand Launch

Success of the new brand uptake was pegged on an inside-out approach to its launch.  On a fine October day, the tables were turned when Java House staff attended an exclusive launch party as guests. Deservedly so, they were the first people to see the new brand – thereafter enjoying an exclusive, live Sauti Sol concert.

The rebrand was rolled out in tandem with the Love is Here campaign, launched across East Africa.