“Sampa” is a concept coffee brand based in São Paulo, Brazil. As I grew up in this wonderfully massive city, it felt right to create a project that reflected that part of my life I believe made me who I am today. With this in mind, representing the city’s culture and atmosphere was the first priority. I tend to see identity as something that never changes in essence, but can take different shapes over time, leading to fluid branding systems. With Sampa, everything was thought so that it could be as versatile of a system. The city of São Paulo is one
of the biggest in the world, at about 21 million people that make up its population. Representing its culture seemed impossible without its people, in my eyes those are the ones that make up the city’s character and core essence. I aimed at portraying the diversity of São Paulo’s people,through an abstract representation of the face designs creating an endless possibility for combinations.

The details of the identity also carry their own meaning, beyond the faces. The name “Sampa” is a carrying nickname of the city to its people. The identity’s slogan is “Café Paulista”, in english, “coffee from São Paulo”. However, the word “paulista” further indicates those born in the city, while its residents (not necessarily natives) are “paulistanos.” This simple use of language heavily implies the strong ties of the identity with the city, a connection that anyone from São Paulo would recognize. Additionally, the use of Hobeaux (Oh No Type Co.’s version of the classic Hobo) was carefully inspired by the street signage that covers the streets of the city, usually handwritten in black and red ink in a yellow background. Different people make these signs, so each is different and unique, while at the same time having an extremely recognizable style due to their vast use. Hobo’s reputation as an easily recognizable and widely used typeface seemed like a perfect match to reference the popularity of these street signs.  

About the Designer

I am Pedro, a Brazilian designer, currently living in Austin, Texas. I strive to create design that holds meaning with as few elements as possible, prioritizing functionality, which gives my work purpose. Often, this process of simplification brings in abstraction, giving the design an interesting versatility that I embrace and use as a tool to break through barriers of language and culture.