Birds & Beans

Going green without greenwashing

A Scarlet Tanager perches in a tree next to a Birds & Beans bag of the same name. A second bird sings in a bush, and a third sits atop a next among the trees. There are a variety of trees and plants as well as a waterfall. The entire image is hand illustrated with the exception of the bag.


Half of the people in the US have a cup of coffee every day but few understand the environmental impact of coffee. Even fewer understand how coffee farming affects people, farms, forests, and birds all over the world. In 2009, Birds and Beans started a coffee business focused on slowing bird population decline and the importance of the Smithsonian Certified Bird-Friendly® certification. They’ve since become an established Bird Friendly® coffee destination, and the company’s success has come from its loyal customer base. However, the customer base tended to skew older. They wanted to captivate a younger audience, so they came to Headword.

Services Provided

  • Digital Design
  • Packaging
  • Research & Strategy
  • Retail
Three social media ads are side by side. All are hand illustrated and feature different birds and the corresponding roasts. The first is the Scarlet Tanager. The second is the Wood Thrush. The third is the Kingbird.
The Smithsonian Bird Friendly® certified logo is on a black coffee mug. It features two birds flying by a tree. Surrounding the mug there’s a hand illustrated forest with a waterfall in the background.


Many products, particularly coffee brands, have a false ‘green sheen’ to them. Unfortunately, most coffee farming deeply harms the environment. We wanted to put a hopeful spin on Birds and Beans’ mission and show coffee consumers that supporting Smithsonian Certified Bird-Friendly® coffee can feel good and taste even better.

Six Birds & Beans coffee bags sit side by side. The image extends beyond the outline of an Instagram post illustrating how this image could be used as a carousel.
The colors of the bags inspire the colors in images. The first social post shows the Baltimore Oriole with its signature yellow belly. The second post is the Baltimore Oriole bag with a yellow stripe around it. The third post features women in history praised for their conservation efforts.


Coffee tastes better when it does no harm. This campaign and organic social themes connected coffee lovers with better-tasting coffee that does better for the world. We included campaign illustrations reflecting the different varieties of coffee and correlating birds, using vibrant colors to reflect their habitats. We developed an organic social strategy that helped users understand the importance of supporting Bird Friendy® coffee.


The campaign has resulted in greater awareness outside of the typical “birding” audience and engages a younger demographic. We have a happy client and some very thankful birds as a result of the campaign.


Ready to take that next step?
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