Playstead is purpose-driven and dials in creative strategies and designs for progressive specialty coffee companies to create deeper connections between them and their communities, improving equity for all involved.​​​​​​​
The brand identity process at Playstead involves researching, analyzing, and distilling rad solutions that build brand awareness and recognition by wielding human narratives to shape experiences aligned with its mission—valuing untold experiences of underrepresented producers in coffee. 
​​​​​​​Initial challenges meant bringing together various elements to form its identity. It included uncovering their brand ideals, differentiating advantageously with their art historical background, highlighting their personal and professional experiences in specialty coffee, positioning the brand as a strategic design company creating transformative solutions, and defining their core idea. 
Ultimately, the solution required positioning the brand through specialization instead of a jack-of-all-trades and creating processes that reference past sociocultural events to relate brands with period styles in meaningful ways today, nodding to their art historical background. The latter point of difference is crucial to developing meaningful identities for their clients. 
Part of the solution included baking the logomark in semiotics that visually forms the founder's initials, NP (Nathan Plaisted), and results in an abstracted monogram unlike any other. The company name, Playstead, identifies brand values while also creatively acknowledging the Plaisted last name. Even still, it's detached from him, so it's primed for future growth beyond a team that includes its founder, positively associated as in a place where one plays, and is legally protectable. The tagline, Research, Analyze, and Distill, identifies the brand process and outcome, simultaneously—RAD solutions.
Design Annual 2022, Graphis Inc.
Design Annual 2022, Honorable Mention, Graphis Inc. 
Playstead has worked with specialty coffee companies hungry for social and environmental change and happy to challenge conventions since starting in 2020. Collaborations resulted in rebuilding communities devastated by natural disasters, supporting non-profit organizations determined to create globally inclusive health care, and investing in local initiatives that alleviate poverty.
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