Wine of the Bean

Posted September 17, 2014, under Ad Absurdum

Coffee is so universally loved by humanity that the person said to have invented it was made a saint. It’s been waking us up for centuries, and it’s hard to imagine how tired parents, students, and graphic designers could possibly function without it.

As such, we can scarcely believe that any advertising beyond “We have coffee” is even necessary. Fact is, a lot of advertising is just that. Sometimes modified to “We have lots and lots of coffee.”

There’s Too Much Blood in My Caffeine System

According to Wikipedia, that most august and trustworthy of sources: “The word ‘coffee’ entered English language in 1582 via Dutch koffie, borrowed from Turkish kahve, in turn borrowed from Arabic qahwa, a truncation of qahhwat al-bun ‘wine of the bean’.”

The same article indicates that coffee’s been around at least since the 15th century. One can only imagine what folks from back then would’ve thought of the ubiquity of Starbucks — or the proliferation of its competitors.

Our office in Pasadena is literally surrounded by coffee joints — fortunately for us!

But because coffee has become a basic human right, restaurants use it as a loss leader. To use McDonald’s as an example once more:

Huge coffee: Free. Pallet Jack to transport: $500.

But that’s just wrong. Coffee deserves to be the star of the show.

Keurig (above) correctly equates coffee with all that is good in life, although it forgets perhaps the most important part: being awake.

This ad puts forth what might as well be the secret motto of graphic artists: “Great ideas always come. You just have to stay awake.”

But we guess that could work for theoretical physicists, too.

Stella Coffee — which ironically shares its name with the woman who successfully sued McDonald’s (them again!) for hot-coffee-related injuries — take the tack of combining caffeine with the stuff of nightmares to keep us up.

Then there’s Folgers. They had the brilliant idea to mock up a steaming Manhattan sewer lid to look like a steaming cup of java.

But because they couldn’t change the smell coming out of there, the result was more like a steaming pile of—


Rigney Graphics is a Pasadena graphic arts company that can help you create an impact with design and marketing solutions for print and web.