Sumerian Coffee Roasters, Shanghai Studio Rushton-Smith Front of Establishment
A 400% caffeine shot for sales

The brand refresh and digital activation for Shanghai-based coffee importer and roaster Sumerian engaged a new profitable B2B audience and boosted online sales by 400%.

The Brief 

Sumerian coffee was one of the first companies in China to begin roasting their own coffee on site. Business owner Dave Seminsky knew his exceptional artisanal blends had appeal beyond his own coffee shops and would appeal to Shanghai’s best hotels. He just needed the right tools to make this happen. 

I was tasked with a brand refresh to help increase the appeal to this high-end audience and design the sales channel in the form of the website.  


Sumerian Coffee Roasters, Shanghai, China


Strategy, Branding, Digital, Collateral

The Answer

Stage 1: The brand refresh 

I began by refreshing Sumerian’s core branding, simplifying it, creating a visual language that works across different touch-points from packaging, online, and even instore. I created two patterns, a muted one and bolder option, taken from the logo as inspiration. This form language carries across into diagrams, icons and even infographics. It was important to be distinctive and clear, as educating customers about coffee is core to its ethos. For the coffee packaging, I used the simplified pattern, giving a subtle sophisticated design. I then created a flexible layout that would work with different content and a design solution that helped with hand labelling. 


Stage 2: The website

The website would be the key sales channel for the brand’s expansion. 

From art direction, layout, responsiveness, diagrams to icons, all aspects were carefully planning to build trust and authority with new customers. 

The site now showcases products and educates customers with content-heavy pages, all within a complex navigation system that works across desktop, tablet, and mobile. I continue to work on their brand; other projects include tmall site, custom coffee cups, custom ownable pattern, and coffee bags – to name a few.

The Outcome

Following the rebrand and site launch, retail sales increased nearly 2x and online sales volume increased 4x. Web traffic grew from an average of 100 per day to 500. Time spent on our site increased from 3 minutes to 16 minutes. In addition, Sumerian’s wholesale client base grew by 43%, and the business continues to grow, expanding into new venues and markets.

What they say;

“Our branding was nailed immediately, that was goodu003cbr /u003eas we didn’t have much time to do it! It was a new concept in Hong Kong and we needed a very strong identity – which was achieved.”

Bex Pawsey – Studio Hong Kong, Marketing Manager

“As the owner of Sumerian Coffee Roasters, I cannot say enough as to how pleased we are to have the opportunity to work with Victoria. We will continue to seek her support in all future projects and initiatives.”

Dave Seminsky – Sumerian Coffee Roasters, Owner

“While I consider myself to be both design and brand conscious, I don’t think I had a clear understanding of how branding could actually better my business.  I now understand that it is the glue that holds my business together – whenever I waver on a business question, I ask myself, “does it fit with my brand?”  Or perhaps more importantly, “how would Victoria feel about this decision?”  In a way, she has been my guiding light as I navigate being a new business owner, and the importance of remaining consistent, unique, and identifiable.”

Piper Stremmel – The Jesse Hotel & Bar, Owner

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