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Pushing beyond the boundaries of coffee packaging to cause big smiles

Zenpack joined forces with creative studio Brandmonger to develop and produce otherworldly packaging for BIGFACE, the culture-shifting coffee brand founded by Miami Heat All-Star Jimmy Butler. In the NBA bubble of 2020, out of a passion for coffee and community, Butler began selling coffee to other players out of his hotel room. Taking the internet by storm, Jimmy’s support among friends and fans was overwhelming, and his side hustle began to take shape. Butler enlisted Brandmonger to contextualize his idea into BIGFACE, but they needed a manufacturer to bring their big dreams to life.

The Problem

Brandmonger’s goal was to push beyond the boundaries of coffee packaging to imagine the impossible, with renders too good to be true. The resulting concept truly seemed just that…impossible. They forged ahead searching far and wide for a manufacturer that would take on the challenge of creating a one for one recreation of a box that seemed it could only exist in the digital realm.

The Outcome

When all hope seemed eclipsed by technical absurdities and manufacturing constraints, Zenpack came to the rescue. With a new alliance, came a new hope. And pushing past a gauntlet of design-imposed obstacles and stringent construction constraints, we sourced the perfect materials, innovated embossing techniques, and did the unthinkable: We took their impossible box, and brought it into the physical world.


Ultimately, due to the ultra-precise nature of the design, the entire packaging system presented multiple challenges. We were determined to achieve perfect edges, hyper-tactile embossing, and unique bags while simultaneously keeping the beans fresh. We set out to create packaging too good to throw away.

The emboss proved our first challenge. The dimensionality conceptualized in the renders, combined with the thickness of material, required a not-so-standard precision tool to push the logos far enough out of the surface to create the desired effect. We tested this effect over 30 times with different inks, coatings, and materials until we found the perfect three that would become Silver, Black, and White boxes.

Rather than finding something off-the-shelf, we knew we needed to develop a completely custom bag to fit the unexpected proportions of the box. With an unconventional landscape orientation, the bag would surely stand out in a crowded coffee market, yet maintaining coffee bean quality was essential.

For the exterior labels, coffee lovers value detailed information about the beans. The BIGFACE labels are the one temporal aspect to the packaging and are designed to be rotated as coffees change seasonally. But that didn’t mean they couldn’t feel special with a combination of Pantones, finishes, and substrates to maintain brand potency. We focused our efforts on developing a system for perfect sticker placement, every application.


The depth of the logo emboss at scale created a problem of its own. The embossed areas could be pushed back in if mishandled. We explored beyond packaging and enlisted a special technique similar to puff embroidery, filling the negative space with paper pulp, ensuring that the raised areas stay raised, forever.

That covered the front of the box, but where other boxes may rely on the front to do all the work, this box needed to pull its weight from any angle.

Painstaking precision was paid to every facet, using double folded corners that are knocked flat to create perfect edges, seams, and closures resulting in an effect usually reserved for luxury electronics packaging.

We used a matte PP film to soften the feeling of these larger-than-life boxes, bringing a premium aspect to the finished products. An anti-scuff coating ensures that a material like the mirrored paper, which would otherwise show every scratch or mark, remained pristine after handling.

The resealable bags fit perfectly into the boxes, providing an extra unboxing surprise. The tolerances for the bag corner radii were so specific, consistently precise production required a custom mold to stamp and further fuse the seams, ensuring an airtight seal. A one-way degassing valve, affectionately titled the “airlock” allows for any gases produced by the coffee oxidization process to escape to maintain peak freshness.

We experimented with various transparent materials and treatments for the perfect balance between translucent and opaque, creating a space-age visual effect for the BF-IO.F (Filter) & BF-IO.E. (Espresso). For BF-X (Blends), we took a different approach and utilized a mylar-type material to create a bag that could bounce light and even serve as a mirror for your smile.

Each of the three boxes is designed to give the customer a slightly different experience. When the Silver Box—which obscures a lighter roasted filter coffee—is opened, the eyes are met with a pleasing and unexpected semi-translucent white bag, offering the perfect foil to the reflective outer shell. The matte Black Box, on the other hand, contains an espresso roast, doubling down on the dark side to reveal a semi-translucent black bag. The White Box holds a multi-origin blend of coffees, delighting the beholder with an intensely reflective foil bag that distorts and bends light like a wormhole.

The Labels on the exterior of these boxes are designed to give just enough information to the consumer: coffee farm/name, tasting notes, country of origin, and process.

For full analysis the consumer is directed to a unique QR code that leads to more information around the coffee including satellite imagery of the farm. Each exterior label is hand-applied using a custom-made jig, ensuring precise placement across all boxes.

Finally, we developed The Failsafe Security sticker—which serves a secondary purpose of displaying the roast date—through many iterations to deliver the perfect tearing experience worthy of any ASMR enthusiast. Upon breaking the Failsafe seal and lifting the top of the box, the customer is greeted with “WE HAVE LIFTOFF”.


The packaging is so audaciously ambitious it must be seen to be believed. Every aspect of the package was considered, ensuring a second to none customer experience in the coffee space. Since launching, BIGFACE continues to orbit the planet, delivering perfectly roasted beans and dropping collab after collab. In addition to their roasts, BIGFACE released a bespoke streetwear line, reusable drinking vessels, and limited edition coffee scales, drippers, and grinders with Fellow. The packaging itself was awarded Gold at the iF Desgn Awards, Platinum and Gold at the Pentawards, Third Place at the Dieline Awards, and Runner Up at the Core77 Design Awards.

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