We talk to designer Steven Monti of Artpresso Design about collaborating with Jimmy Butler on BigFace-themed La Marzocco espresso machines.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Artpresso Design
In recent weeks, NBA superstar Jimmy Butler has been shining in the NBA Playoffs, leading his Miami Heat to the doorstep of the NBA Finals. While Jimmy has been showcasing his athletic artistry on basketball’s biggest stage, he’s also been engaging in an exciting artistic collaboration with his coffee brand, BigFace Coffee.
Collaboration: BigFace and Artpresso Design
Jimmy has teamed up with Steven Monti, the owner and designer of Artpresso Design, to create customized espresso machines—a La Marzocco Strada and a La Marzocco Linea Mini—and barista accessories exclusively for the BigFace brand.
The collaboration began when a member of the BigFace team, who had seen other customization projects Artpresso Design had done with La Marzocco machines, reached out to the design company. Steven Monti says he was instantly intrigued. “The approach they are taking with BigFace is disruptive and leading, which inspired me to want to contribute to the brand,” Steven tells Barista Magazine Online.
He continues, “I was given a BigFace Coffee brand identity guide, which included the statement, ‘Our vision is a world with better coffee, big dreams and bigger smiles.’ They had me at ‘better coffee.’”
The Design Process
Embarking on designing the Strada, Steven’s challenge was to ensure that the customization remained true to the machine’s beautiful form and function while incorporating the BigFace brand identity and Jimmy’s passion for coffee. Steven presented different artistic concepts to the BigFace staff, who would then select their favorite features.
Next, Steven created prototypes to see what the designs would look like. Among the customizations were laser-etched clear glass side inlays that show the inner workings of the espresso machine, as well as a distinctly shaped cup rail. The machine was topped off with a white powder-coated finish and the BigFace logo in red—an homage to Jimmy Butler’s NBA home with the Heat.
The customized BigFace Strada has been installed in a pod-like unit that will travel to different locations and events to showcase the BigFace brand; it is currently in Miami.
In addition to the Strada, Artpresso Design customized a La Marzocco Linea Mini for Jimmy, with a BigFace logo on the machine’s top plate, “BIGFACE” printed on the portafilter handle, and many other features. Steven says Artpresso built a case to protect the Linea Mini, and Jimmy travels with the machine “so he can pull a great espresso shot wherever he goes,” Steven adds.
While the Artpresso-BigFace collaboration started with the two espresso machines, it won’t stop there. Steven and his team are collaborating with BigFace to create a range of customized accessories for behind-the-bar coffee workers, including tamper and distribution tool sets, towels, and milk pitchers.
“This collaboration with the BigFace brand has been an incredible journey so far,” concludes Steven in a press release about the partnership. “We are excited to continue bringing innovation and style to the world of coffee craftsmanship. Stay tuned for more exciting developments this fall.”
You can check out Artpresso Design here, and for more on the BigFace brand, head here. Jimmy’s Miami Heat play the Boston Celtics tonight at 8:30 p.m. EDT in Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.