Hwajung Jin A Whole Journey Behind Your Coffee

  • Tauira / Student
    Hwajung Jin
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Tammie Leong, Don Chooi, Pritika Y. Lal
  • School
    Media Design School

‘The Whole Journey Behind Your Coffee’ (‘TWJBYC’) is an illustrated interactive experience that tells the journey that coffee makes from the plantation to the consumer. The project is aimed at millennials and is meant to inform and educate about sustainable and ethical practices in one the world’s largest commodities. As a creative concept, ‘TWJBYC’ is intended to bring attention to the chain of production, distribution and retailing coffee – and how we choose and consume coffee has a reverse-ripple effect back to the coffee farmers. The illustrations itself are colourful, wholesome and visually engaging. This experience hopes to bring an awareness to the practices of the coffee trade, in order to help us, as consumers, make better buying decisions.

The design challenge was to design an experience that spoke to, and sustain, the attention of the target audience, who at times, appear jaded and cynical. It needed to be an honest representation in its purpose and messaging which was to address transparency and traceability in the supply chain. It also needed to be easily accessible. Thus, the overall design language, tone and illustration style needed to cater to the target audience. A storytelling method was developed to help guide the user, with a visual style that is compelling to ensure optimal engagement.

The design solution was developed for a comfortable viewing and experience level. This is paired with a colour palette that complements the tone of the story. The interactive experience gives focus to an educational narrative and the website can be accessed with a tablet or a smartphone via a QR code. This is printed on the side of a takeaway coffee cup, a medium that is familiar to the target audience.

The act of expressing one's convictions through consumption is emerging as a major trend, and the 'sustainability' activities of premium brands considering the future society and environment are drawing particular attention. This is no exception in the coffee market. For millennials and generation Z who value ethical consumption, social values, and the environment, the brand philosophy gives the perception of meaningful and good consumption. This project’s intention is to help make consumers realise how valuable their position is to producers, and also, to present a direction to change consumption patterns with good conscience.

A design thinking methodology was engaged for the research and design process. Much of the design decisions came from user testing and feedback. Considerations were applied to the illustration style to encapsulate the project’s messaging for sustainability, eco-awareness and ethical practice. The story flow provides customers with information of where these coffee beans originate from, and the people who grew them, by using blockchain technology to track the supply chain. In order to connect the target audience and the medium, a QR code and the website link is placed on the takeaway cup.

The outcome is an interactive storytelling website that contains information about the origin of countries and the story of farmers who produce coffee beans.