Nerve Collective
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Fresh, no-nonsense, artisanal branding

Big Shoulders Coffee was one of the first boutique roasters to appear in Chicago, around the middle of 2010. The concept was straightforward: deliver great-tasting, attitude-free coffee for busy commuters in a sleek, carryout-oriented retail environment. 

Nerve joined the team in the startup stage, helping to design Big Shoulders’ brand strategy and bringing the “modern vintage” feel they envisioned to life. The look we created expresses the sensibility: a sleek mark blended with images of Chicago circa 1890.

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 As Big Shoulders has grown, we’ve grown with them, applying the brand and to an expanding range of products and marketing vehicles: ready-to-drink coffee products, custom packaging, ads, signage and B2B sales collateral.

As Big Shoulders has grown, we’ve grown with them, applying the brand and to an expanding range of products and marketing vehicles: ready-to-drink coffee products, custom packaging, ads, signage and B2B sales collateral.

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 We even created a first-of-its-kind branded digital sign that tapped into the Chicago Transit Authority’s bus and train tracker system (to help alleviate anxiety for time-pressed customers waiting in line). This extra geeky touch earned kudos from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who’s a regular Big Shoulders customer.

We even created a first-of-its-kind branded digital sign that tapped into the Chicago Transit Authority’s bus and train tracker system (to help alleviate anxiety for time-pressed customers waiting in line). This extra geeky touch earned kudos from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, who’s a regular Big Shoulders customer.

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