The Underground

Identity for Brown University’s only student-run coffee shop

Solo Project

→ Identity Design
→ Social Media Branding

→ Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects

The Underground is a not-for profit, student-run and operated coffee shop at Brown University, located in the basement of the Campus Center on the Main Green. It was established in 2015 to build a welcoming community space offering affordable, high-quality coffee. It started out as a scrappy, volunteer-run, pop-up cafe limited to drip coffee and tea. Over the years, the menu has expanded alongside a growing team of passionate students who have built it into a full-scale, financially self-sufficient operation. I was a barista at the Underground during those initial years, and it holds a special place in my heart for giving me some of my closest friends and fondest memories.

The goal of the branding strategy was to create a consistent identity that would be known across the Brown community and maintained by future generations of baristas. This became especially important when the Underground re-opened in October 2021, having been inactive since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A significant portion of the Brown community had never experienced the Underground, and we needed to re-build its identity while maintaining its original character and founding principles.

The core tenets of the Underground’s philosophy are craftsmanship, warmth, community, and scrappiness. We’re committed to creating an inclusive and supportive community space while providing exceptional coffee that’s affordable to all students, and we’re proud of the team behind the operation.