We want to take you back, back in time, to a land of 2020, pandemics, uncertainty, and.... two socias with a burning fire for starting our long-dreamed-of business! One of the first things we needed was a logo that could capture this women- and immigrant-owned, Guatemalan-inspired, bilingual café of a dream that we knew we could make a reality.
Our name was decided long ago, long before 2020: Convivio Café. A convivio is a get-together where we gather, share, and connect—usually over food and drink. Everyone is welcome, and everyone has something to share.
As they say in the marketing world, your name should reflect exactly what you are. And as it turns out, we love bringing diverse cultures together over food and drink to connect and share. So, we nailed it with the name.
The next step: how do we translate that visually?
Inspiration: el arco de Santa Catalina
One day, scribbling on some note pads in Kristin's house, we started "throwing all the spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks," as they say. What inspired us? What do we picture when we think of a convivio? What about our experiences in Guatemala have brought us here?
Aside from the lush, green volcanoes, the Santa Catalina arch is one of the most recognized landmarks in Guatemala. It perfectly frames the Volcan de Agua behind it, towering over the beautiful cobblestone streets of Antigua. Have you seen it?
In 1609, four Augustinian nuns started a women’s convent. As the convent grew, the sisters wanted to expand their building and the closest property available was directly across the street, so they built this beautiful, iconic footbridge arching over the street in 1694.
The arch has been through a lot since then - earthquakes in every century, abandonment of the convent only to rebuild it years later, and the addition of the clock tower in the 1940s. Today, thousands of people from indigenous Maya to mestizos to latinx to Americanos to europeans and more walk under the archway, back and forth.
Boom - it hit us! We scribbled down some doodles of the archway.
For us, the arco is a visualization of how we can all pass through to other sides. We can walk through windows and archways to other cultures and learn something new, taste something exotic, pronounce something difficult, and share something beautiful.
The bridging of two sides is what has fueled the partnership between us, the socias. Vivi is a chapina (Guatemalan) living in Denver, and Kristin is a Denverite that lived in Guatemala. In both places we have walked through metaphorical archways to be warmly welcomed into new worlds. And now here in Colorado we carry those experiences with us.
The arch, and our cafe, is a physical representation of bridging two sides - in our case two cultures, two languages - and making a space for interaction, expansion, enjoyment and togetherness.
So, we dove in working with a Guatemalan graphic designer. We wanted something resembling the arch, or a window, where many could feel welcome "walk through to the other side." We also wanted nature represented, as an emblem to our madre tierra and the farmers that tend the land to bring us the food and drink we love. And... a coffee bean perhaps?
So many ideas! Below are some of the very early color palates and pictures our designer came up with.
Someone once told us, "You've gotta love your logo. Love it so much you would consider getting a tattoo of it." None of the images above stuck with us like a tattoo. So, we kept moving forward.
A dear friend - who happens to be an amazing local Denverite artist of graphics and textiles, check her out here - offered to help us take it to the next level. She not only immediately understood our concept, but had also spent time in Guate and had been supporting our dreams 100% since day one. She knew how special this needed to be.
The arch was already there. She helped us understand we needed a feminine depiction of nature, to honor the women farmers we were working with and our own wiznass (our coined term for women-owned business, for those who don't know). We also needed a color palate to feel the organic, natural, soft tierra of Guatemala combined with the intense, saturated colors that represent the bold diversity of Guate.
Below, a few more evolutions along the way.
A final dream come true!
Today, weeks away from opening our first brick-and-mortar café, we have a perfect logo we love.
The arch (or window) framing beautiful coffee plants, the sun (or moon) that rises above all of us, and the soft, welcoming lines with our name.
And this, friends, is the story of our logo, and really the story of so many other pieces of our wiznass story. Our business essence has always been about collaboration, community and evolution. We're so grateful to have amazing creators around us, infusing their encouragement and excitement in our work to make a dream a reality.
Our logo reflects what we are, but also all the possibilities ahead of us.
And we just may get a tattoo of this one folks.