The Pursuit of Perfection
The Pursuit of Perfection
Ueshima Coffee Company is one of the world’s largest coffee brands but one that you’ve maybe never heard of.
There’s every chance you’ve enjoyed a cup from Ueshima. It’s Japan’s No.1 coffee brand, founded in Kobe in 1933 by Tadao Ueshima – ‘the Father of Coffee’ in Japan. Today, Ueshima supplies a host of household brands across the world, while in Japan, it’s at the forefront of a coffee culture whose richness rivals those of Paris or Rome.
While Japan is often associated with tea, coffee is the nation’s favourite drink. It’s an obsession. Japanese coffee masters have been refining their craft ever since coffee was introduced by Dutch traders in the 17th century. Techniques like pour-over, siphons, and flannel-dripped coffee emerged here long before they were the calling card of your local hipster barista.
Ueshima has been central to the story of coffee in Japan, helping to develop its bold flavours and shaping its distinctive taste. Blending artisanal craft with pioneering innovation, Ueshima distils the Japanese philosophy of Takumi – the pursuit of perfection without compromise – into every cup.
A true coffee pioneer, Ueshima also holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s first ready to drink coffee – the world’s first coffee in a can.
At The Clearing, we’ve worked with other Japanese companies for a number of years – both in Japan and with their European headquarters. We drew upon this knowledge and the cultural understandings we’ve gained to develop Ueshima’s first consumer-facing brand for the European market. It’s a brand that stands for authentic Japanese flavour. The packaging bucks the market norms with a brighter aesthetic and a magnetic pop of red to draw the attention. Its new logo underscores the Japanese provenance of the products while building on the company’s heritage.
We commissioned Japanese calligraphy artist KASHUŪ to create the illustrations for each pack. Born out of Japanese Shodo calligraphy, the illustration style adds an artisanal flair, evoking the flavour and drinking experience each blend provides.
From beans and coffee bags to ready to drink and self-service machines, we’ve developed the packaging and design to communicate innovation and quality across the entire range. Modern materials and premium finishes reflect the exceptional coffee, while adhering to the brand’s commitment to sustainability ‘from seed to first sip’ and beyond.
The tone of voice is considered and crafted, with flourishes of creativity. Taking cues from Japanese culture, like haikus, we have infused colour and life into its language and showcased Ueshima’s meticulous attention to detail.
And the identity translates seamlessly across video, print and digital, painting a vivid picture of Ueshima’s roots – the scale and beauty of Japan, a creative crucible where ancient history and cutting-edge technology collide.
It’s this balance that the identity embodies. A fusion of old and new. A tension of restraint and expression. And a respect for rituals passed down through generations blended with an unerring desire to push the boundaries of creativity. Because that’s what Takumi is about – the pursuit of perfection without compromise.