Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride

Fat Miilk needed to stand out in the Vietnamese-American coffee market. Los Angeles agency Truffl explains how they did it.

If there was ever a crowded marketplace, it’s coffee. But the good is that true lovers of caffeine prize quality, so there are other ways to succeed in this business than just racing to the bottom on price.

Still, getting attention and conveying the quality of your brand isn’t easy. And even having a point of difference like your national origins isn’t always enough to be distinctive.

That was certainly the case for Fat Miilk. The company was founded by Vietnamese-American Lan Ho, a daughter of immigrant political refugees, but was not the only Vietnamese coffee brand in the US by any means. So, it needed to take an original route to promotion compared with its rivals.

To do so, they turned to award-winning LA branding agency Truffl.

Concept and design

“The Fat Miilk brand is conceptualised to make Vietnamese coffee accessible and relatable, blending rich heritage with a vibrant, inclusive ethos,” explains Truffl founder Raphael Farasat.

“Whereas others focus on educating consumers about robusta beans and the plight of Vietnamese coffee growers, Fat Miilk instead celebrates the energetic kick and robust flavour intrinsic to its products while embodying the resilience, swagger and cultural pride of the brand’s immigrant roots.”

Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride
Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride
Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride

With that in mind, the brand identity is built around the concept of rebellious sophistication. A minimalist, dark colour palette is complemented by bold typography and disruptive text treatments, echoing the spirit of an aspirational streetwear brand.

The logotype, meanwhile, is confident and legible, while the fluid, illustrated ‘FM’ logomark symbolises milk swirling into coffee, extending to secondary brand marks and a series of patterns.

Packaging and photography

Fat Miilk’s packaging is a delicate balance of minimalism and intricate detail. Premium card stock, embellished with deep embossing of the brand’s FM logo and spot UV highlights, transforms each unboxing into an immersive and tactile experience.

Moreover, each package, with its hidden messages and tear strips, tells a story of heritage, strength and authenticity. This design approach is not only visually captivating but also symbolically rich, embodying the brand’s narrative.

Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride
Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride

The packaging distinguishes each flavour with colourful coffee drop-shaped stickers that appear to drip from the logo, adding a playful yet sophisticated touch.

Meanwhile, the sides of the box feature spot UV-finished logos and tasting notes. This design language extends across ancillary products, including the Phin Filter, Mug, and Vietnamese Coffee Kit.

The photography vibrantly portrays the brand’s bold character and the dynamic impact of its products. To embody the brand’s mantra of ‘flavour in your face,’ the imagery dives into dynamic shots of Fat Miilk products in action.

Coffee splashes out of a cup, beans are captured mid-fall, and milk explodes mid-mix, capturing the raw, unfiltered essence of the brand. “These shots are unafraid to get messy,” explains Raphael, “perfectly mirroring the brand’s audacious spirit.”

Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride
Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride
Truffl's branding for coffee brand is packed with swagger and cultural pride

It’s all great work and testimony to the studio’s approach of working with passion. “As a firm, we are most inspired by the founders and teams that hire us,” enthuses Raphael.

“Rather than coming in with an agenda, our purpose is to uncover the purpose of our clients and make sure this shines through in every design and every detail. We spend months on every project to listen, learn, and guide with the hopes of delivering a project that is an expression of the people behind the brand. “

©