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The Coffee Experience: First Impressions

In order to completely follow through with this guide, you first need to determine the spirit and personality that you are trying to project.  Is your coffeehouse modern, retro, fun, loud, classy, industrial, or quirky?  The design of your storefront is directly related to the experience you are trying to create, and if it does not communicate the same feeling you create in the store itself, it becomes awkward and uncoordinated, even if it is on a subliminal level.

We often consider a first impression the first time we meet someone face-to-face, but at Branch Street we feel that a true first impression happens even earlier.  When we meet someone at a party, we already know a great deal about that person far before we are introduced.  There is a subtle communication that conveys things like height, eye color, posture, and attitude.

With this in mind, we began designing our experience from the outside of our store.  Our first impression begins when you pull up to the traffic light and look over to our storefront and the sign above it.  Something as simple as signage design should require a lot of thought in order to convey what you are trying to say to your audience.

Consider color palates, boarders, letter size, font and brand logos when creating your exterior design.  Color tone and contrasting colors can convey feelings and emotions in a viewer, so careful consideration should be given to these characteristics.  There is an extensive amount of information available free of charge on the internet relating to this topic, and I won’t spend any more time on this particular facet because the specifics of design will be so drastically different from one design to another.

There is one universal truth to keep in mind throughout the whole exterior design process, and you should try to avoid the most common mistake when choosing your look.  It is tempting to try and grab the attention of every person passing by with a “Loud,” or “eye catching,” sign.  While this may initially bring attention to your business, it may also give off subtle negative feelings.  Think of the one guy at the party who from across the room, long before you have been introduced is bellowing and grabbing the attention from everyone around him.  Sure he may be the life of the party and you may have a great time, but is that the person you want to constantly be around?

So please take the time (and spend the money, if necessary) to make sure your initial impression is one that you want to express, and one that you will use throughout the design of your whole buildout.