A branding, digital marketing, and e-commerce design project with the goal of creating a sustainable ink alternative

drInk - Senior Capstone Project
- Design & Creative Direction
- Spring 2023
- University of Toronto

How we started
During my years in Toronto as a student, I often found myself visiting coffee shops to break up the monotony of working from home. Becoming a regular and befriending baristas gave me lots of insight into the coffee shop industry. I learned that used coffee grounds were always thrown away and was curious if there was a way to stretch their use. And that's how the idea of coffee-based ink came about!
At the University of Toronto, it's typical to wrap up your degree with a capstone project culminating your progress and learnings up to graduation. Some of my friends  thought it would be a fun idea to work together on something that had aspects of both digital and physical design. The idea of a pen that used coffee-based ink presented itself as an option where we could explore designing a physical product along with a digital e-commerce experience.

12-week semester (from design start to project presentation)

Establishing a vision
The prompt for the capstone project was open ended resulting in us being able to decide what deliverables we wanted to create. Coming into this understanding that the idea would most likely be an e-commerce product, we decided on the following deliverables:
- 3-dimensional pen render
- Digital marketing posters
- Online shop prototype

What I did
‍‍As 1 of 3 students on our team, I was responsible for designing and rendering the pen using Blender, taking all of the photos used throughout the entire project, making the digital marketing poster, and providing design aid and creative direction for the website prototype.

take a sip of our prototype

Things to consider
While the project deliverables shown reflect most of the design aspects, a large portion of our project also included creating an extensive business roadmap and analysis over our products use cases and external systems involved. If you'd be interested to hear more about that, shoot me an email!

How we finished
We concluded the project with a capstone presentation where we showcased all of our deliverables to our professors and cohort members.
- Rainy day scenarios are just as important to consider as happy paths
- Working with friends is really awesome
- Understand target users needs and tendencies

Working on this project, even though it was for a course, felt really personal. Being able to come together with my friends to work on something we were deeply passionate about felt really nice, especially knowing that as we'd go on to work at various places, it might be one of the last times we could practice design without as many real-world constraints.

Big thanks to my friends Julia and Min who worked on this project with me, along with 135 Ossington in Toronto for supplying their used coffee grounds for me to experiment with.