How do we go about naming a new coffee shop in San Francisco, a city rife with artisan third-wave yadda yadda?

It isn’t just about assigning a sobriquet or nickname; rather, it’s a process of looking for an appropriate moniker that stands out in a crowded marketplace. Our initial effort was an all-out barrage of good and bad ideas, which allowed us to generate possibilities without a limiting critical filter.

The final name was inspired by the Bibliothèque Mazarine, the oldest public library in France. It is the oldest place in that country to have been set aside for the general public to congregate, to read, to research, to work—and to, in turn, write things that others might, over time, come to read.

These connections to literature and learning drove the development of Mazarine’s identity. We drew inspiration from leatherbound books and illuminated manuscripts for the logo. The final mark has French-inspired custom lettering and a diamond shape that mimics that of an open book.