Design — Logo for Kaapi Channel

Black coffee

My friend gave me the above slogan for an upcoming YouTube Music Channel in Malayalam.

“I need a logo. Can you help me?”

“Yes, yes. What’s the name of the YouTube Channel?”

“We haven’t named it yet!”


The one who MUST be named!

Kaviprasad is my friend of 20 years. Prasad and I started brainstorming to name the new YouTube channel. The slogan reminded us of a popular Malayalam movie teaser trailer that connects romance, songs and rain. The search for a drink/food that is consumed during a cold rainy season, evoking nostalgia, led us back to the slogan itself — ‘Coffee!’ In Malayalam language, ‘Coffee’ is ‘Kaapi.’

Then it dawned on me that Kāpi is a popular rāga in Carnatic music as well. This connection will be a pleasant surprise to music aficionados. Kaviprasad was thrilled on this and instantly fixed the name. I narrated the story of ‘Vayali Bamboo Music’ logo designed by me — using the Malayalam letter ‘വ’ (‘Va’) of ‘വയലി’ — ‘Vayali.’ This led to the idea of incorporating Malayalam alphabet ‘‘ (ka) for the channel. The name was initially stylized as ‘കാP’ — but a survey convinced us to use the spelling ‘കാpi‘ in Malayalam and Kaapi in English.

A hot, steaming coffee…

I started doodling to explore the possibilities of stylizing the Malayalam alphabet ‘‘ (ka). It immediately took shape of a coffee cup and morphed into a glass mug. In the doodle, the musical notation ♪ is used to represent the steam coming out of the mug.

Kaapi doodles – exploration

As always, ideas on paper evolves into a simple form when converted to digital format. Experiments with the weight, strokes and curves resulted in the following options.

The musical notation ♪ of the doodle underwent evolution to Crotchet rest alt plain-svg.svg (Quarter Rest).

‘Quarter rest’ note resembles more like the steam from a coffee mug. The logotype is stylized as കാpi as seen in the Kaapi Channel.

Malayalam ‘ka’ () + coffee mug + steam = കാpi logo
കാpi — Horizontal and vertical options

Mockups always help people in visualizing the logo in the real world. Here are mockups on merchandise and a seal.

Drawstring bag mockup with the logo
Kaapi seal
Kaapi seal


Channel art and video thumbnail were created for YouTube. I will be writing soon about the process and will upload PSD templates for you to use.


Fortunately, the YouTube channel art worked perfectly as Twitter header image as well.

Kaapi Channel — Twitter


Just like any other creation, design is always subjective. I happened to see some comments in YouTube interpreting the logo in ways that I never imagined! I’m happy on the overall positive response to the design.

All the best, Kaapi Channel Team!