Starbucks Red Holiday Cups History

We now it’s holiday season when the Starbucks Red Holiday Cups arrive, and this year they are already here! but this time they are not coming just with a Peppermint Mocha latte, they are also serving a senseless war created by some people who think Starbucks is boycotting Christmas by  remove the graphics from its cups. OMG, Really gurl? So, I thought it was a good time to have a look at what Starbucks Red Cups over the years looked like.

But first a little bit of history and info about the design process. (I know you just want to see the pictures but I don’t care, read!) The Starbucks red cup thing, because it is a thing, started in 1997 with a jazz themed design and since then every year it has told a different story: from vintage ornaments to snowscapes and abstract illustrations, the red cup has evolved over time.

Starbucks Red Holiday Cups 2015

According to the Starbucks Vice-President of Design + Content, Jeffrey Fields, the red cup was created especially for the holidays because it’s the one time of the year when there is a unified/shared sense of appreciation for one another. And because this is the only time in the year when they change their classic white cup, the design process has to be perfect. Therefore this is one of the first projects of each year to be made and it takes months and months of preparation and manufacturing, but always keeping the “Starbucks red” and the happy and energizing mood.

So before going back in time, here it is what all the fuzz is about. This year Starbucks decided to create a simple and minimalist design for its red cups, and instead of focusing in a single story of theme they choose to keep it simple with “a two-toned ombré design, with a bright poppy color on top that shades into a darker cranberry below” in order to have a white (red) canvas so that customers can make their own stories, like some creative minds that draw in the cups (this is an insight they used, for sure) .

And it seems that some people got offended by this simplicity because they think they are ruining the Christmas spirit by not putting snowflakes and other winter stuff on it, and they are uploading photos and videos complaining about it. Ugh! I can’t deal with that, Whatever…

But leaving behind this cheap gossip, in my precious graphic design world I think this design is clever, the cup is known for being red not for being full of   illustrations, that’s why it is called “Red Cup!!!” And if you didn’t know that, as I didn’t, now all the world knows that they are called Starbucks red cups, so at the end the gossip was free advertising for the brand and design, and I’m sure this will lead to an iconic design for history, like the “little brown box”.

But well… at least this is my f opinion.

1999 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2004 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2005 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2006 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2007 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2008 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2009 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2010 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2011 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2012 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2013 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2014-1 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion 2015-1 Starbucks Red Holiday Cups my f opinion facebook

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2 thoughts on “Starbucks Red Holiday Cups History

  1. Pingback: Graphic Designer Gift-Wraps |

  2. Pingback: Starbucks 2016 Red Cups – My F Opinion

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