Great Grinds Drink Alike: Nick James - Red Bay Coffee

Great Grinds Drink Alike: Nick James

Red Bay Coffee is inspired by the many talented people we are surrounded by in Oakland. Our Great Grinds Campaign proudly features people we admire for their commitment and grind to their craft.

Nick James is a Brooklyn-based designer from Oakland, California. He utilizes his design talents as well as his educator background to help assist in the design and programmatic efforts for numerous nonprofits, businesses, and initiatives. Nick is the Head of Design at Red Bay Coffee.

Nick emphasizes culture and centers everyday people in his work. Inspired by the work of Black Panther Party Minister of Propaganda, Emory Douglass, and artist, Brett Cook, he hopes his work depicts the beauty and strength of people of color. He has designed all Life is Living Festival marketing for the past 13 years. A campaign where the people who make Oakland great are iconized for the great work that they do. Another design of his that sparked a lot of attention was his Octavia Butler t-shirt where he illustrated her in a space helmet. Paying homage to the mother of Black science fiction. 

Nick is responsible for Red Bay Coffee’s product design: designing our coffee bags, Canned Cold Brews, and wax print coffee cups. All designs incorporate textile patterns and symbols from the countries where we source our coffee. 

Nick has worked with The Apollo Theater, Stanford, African Ancestry, The Center for Cultural Power, Brave New Voices, Girl Trek, and Black biking group Red, Bike & Green amongst many more.

Nick is someone to look out for whether his work is on your screen or on a shelf in a store. If you want to know more about his work visit his website at and follow him on Instagram @iamnickjames.