The Lost Canvas – Coffeeshop, Painting Parties

Summary (tl;dr)

  • Handled the marketing and social media for the business.
  • Designed logo, branding, and printed materials.
  • Designed/developed their home page for their coffee and painting parties.
  • Manage their Facebook page.
  • Ran ad campaigns via social media platforms, building an impressive facebook following and increased brand awareness among local customers.
  • Created a web app to help manage their Painting Parties.
  • Designed and implemented improved menu boards to go behind the coffee bar.
  • Developed solutions within their small shop to help them utilize the small space better which required a lot of problem solving.
  • Helped them create a simple but custom solution for the gift cards they offer which utilizes a custom point of sale app which I created.


The Lost Canvas Gallery is a small coffee shop and art gallery started by my mom in October 2014. They also sells things like art supplies and hand-made items from local artists. Of course I was willing to help her out in getting things set up but I also saw this as an opportunity to leverage my design, problem solving, and technical skills. I wanted to help make her business succeed by standing out in an area where many small businesses are not doing great. I attribute the lack of success of many of the other small businesses in the area to lack of or poorly executed branding, marketing and poor maintenance. Because of this I knew that she needed nice branding and outdoor signage. I designed these as well as business cards, gift cards, hanging price tags, website, google maps presence, and more.



Branding and Outdoor Signage


The outdoor signage was a challenge because it was my first time designing for a sign. Despite the challenge, I mocked up an example and positioned everything to size to make sure it was right. Since the shop sells a variety of items including coffee and artwork – I chose to separate the sign into two parts to allow more flexibility in product emphasis and offerings.

The next step for this part of the project is to create some signage for the Facade.

Business Card & Other Printed Items


The pieces in the image above include: Gift Card, Business Card / Customer Loyalty Card combo, hanging price tags.

I do not consider myself to be a print designer but I knew that my design skills could translate into a design that could be sent to our low-cost printer and still come out looking pretty good, which they did.

Gift Card

Since overhead costs and management efforts need to be minimized, we needed a solution that was low cost and easy to manage. For a business this size, a fully electronic gift card system would be too hard to setup and manage and the overhead cost would be too high. My solution was to create a nice custom printed card with a place for the cashier to write in the customer’s value and a unique identifier code.

This unique code gets cross-referenced with a simple log containing a sequential number followed by a unique alpha-numeric code. This log comes from an online system I created using AngularJS. The user can load up the page, enter the last number in the sequence, generate the new log, and print it out. Part of the simplicity of this is that it the web page does not need to be secure because new codes are generated each time the page is loaded.

View the Gift Card Log Generator

Business Card / Loyalty Card

I challenged myself to create a business card that doubled as a customer loyalty punch card in order to keep costs down and keep things lean and to do so in a creative way. Ten punches equals a free coffee.

Problem Solving Challenges

The shop is fairly small yet there are lots of items to display. There needs to be room left for indoor seating and art classes which are taught there a few times a week. Yet it cannot look cluttered. One example of a solution to this problem are these shelves which I designed and built.


They are a great solution because they utilize space very well and take advantage of vertical space while maintaining an elegant appearance. To make them, I was supplied with various old coffee tables, end tables, and desks of varying height and width. I then cut each down he middle length-wise, and painted each piece the same color. After that I took measurements and created an Illustrator document containing each shelf part to scale. This allowed me to create a balanced layout and experiment before committing to cutting the table legs to length and drilling into the masonry.

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