We saw this wheat-pasted poster on an electricity utility box on Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood on Monday. And we thought “Hey, street art!” The poster was cool-looking and cryptic. The image was a simple back-and-white Sharpie-like drawing of a guy or girl with shoulder-length hair and dark sunglasses. Under the drawing, in a neutral sans-serif font it read “Minor Figures Oat M*lk.”

Ah, “mysterious, esoteric, coded messaging,” we thought. And there’s an asterisk for where the “I” should be in “Milk.” “This is cool.” And then we thought, “Wait a second! This seems familiar. Wait, wait, wait… Minor Figures… Oat Milk… It’s a coffee brand!” And apparently an oat milk brand, too. Aha! Marketing! This ain’t no stinkin’ street art! It’s advertising! Ugh. (Full disclosure, we work in the advertising industry as a producer for an agency, but have no affiliation with this brand.)

As brands go though, Minor Figures is cleverly and beautifully designed. And their merch is cool. This may be one of those cases where the design and merch are better than the actual product itself. But we can’t say for sure since we haven’t yet tried any of the Minor Figures coffees. Once we do, we’ll report back here. In the meantime, we’d love to get our hand on one of their graphic tees. See below.