Tamp and Tap is a coffee and beer house that opened in Downtown Memphis in 2013. Farmhouse was approached by the owners early on in the planning stages. They had a space and a name, but nothing else. They were set to home in four months time.

Every new business has some explaining to do. Consumers want to know: What is this place? What do they do? Why do they do it? Is it for me? What’s a similar business? Are they doing it better? Are they doing it different in some way that is better for me? Being able to answer these questions quickly and completely is the job of a good brand. Hence, building a brand is different than designing a logo. Designing a logo is part of building a brand, but a complete brand should tell a story.

The story we needed to tell at Tamp and Tap was: What is a coffee and beer house? These are common in other larger cities, but in Memphis, this would be the first. We needed to explain to people that this is a venue for you if you are wanting coffee to get going or beer for settling down. Our first order of business was developing the slogan… Grind or Unwind. This slogan was born from a multitude of brainstorming sessions where we were trying to quickly and accurately define the name of the business… Tamp and Tap: A tamp being the item you press coffee with and the tap being where beer is poured.

In our brand story, Grind or Unwind means you can begin your daily grind or you can begin your nightly unwind. We wanted consumers to understand that morning or evening, this is a place for you to frequent. It’s worked.

After the slogan, we needed to develop the rest of the brand story. With the use of the words Grind and Unwind, we pictured other things that Grind and Wind. Gears are an obvious answer for us. Gears mean work, motion and industry. For the Memphis market, this rings true because they do consider themselves a blue collar city. In fact, the Memphis Grizzlies utilize the word Grind in much of their advertising. The visual of gears for our brand story was an easy choice. At one point in history, gears and mechanics functioned everything… watches, factories, turbines, etc. The visual held a very turn of the century feel.

From the onset, creatively we had used a poem for inspiration. “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” was written by T.S. Eliot at the turn of the century. The poem has a line that we were very attached to:
“Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”
The poem is about a man who lives a dichotomous life of excess in the evenings and returns to his monotonous drudgeries of toil during the days. He literally grinds and unwinds. The time period of the poem and the language of it fits right into the Industrial Revolution motif we were considering with the gears. We used the line of poetry in a mural on the main wall in the dining room.

For the logo, we designed a custom font. We wanted the finished item to look very much like a turn of the century public house, but with a fresh, modern approach. The design lent itself to creating a coffee rim with steam rising from it, and of course the wheat (for beer) was placed as an accent. The logo has versions that are not encircled, but the encircled version is the most widely used.

The response to the branding has been incredible. Farmhouse won a Gold Addy Award for Best Branded Environment which judges the merit of extending the brand story throughout a physical space. The business has enjoyed great success. They are opening a second location in 2015.


To see more of this brand and brand story, visit this page.

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