I sauntered over to the Starbucks website to check out the latest overblown conspiracy regarding their mission to destroy Christmas, one disposable cup at a time. Their new green cup – which has nothing to do with Christmas by the way, so save your breath – has an interesting appeal, if you are willing to ignore the hysteria. People obsessed with the mythical plot are missing the amazing art on the humble little cup. Artist Shogo Ota’s design is intriguing and hard to pull off without making a hell of a mess.
The cup showcases a celebration of humanity titled "Stronger Together". In their press release, Starbucks explains their purpose in commissioning the artwork "During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other”. The line art interconnects 180 unique faces, “Just drawing everybody together in one line, … People together. That sounds pretty peaceful to me"1. I’ve tried to do something like this and let me tell you, it’s a lot harder than it looks. Check out the artist's work on his website2, especially the Starbucks artwork. Don't forget to take a look at the flattened out view of the cup on Ota's website3 and enjoy the individuality of each person. I have to confess, I searched around for a single loose thread in the image but couldn't find one.
So why a green cup? Simple: the line drawing wouldn’t stand out on a standard white cup. The green marks it out as different, with the white circle immediately drawing your attention to the artwork. It’s quite stunning and surprisingly complex. I tend to gravitate towards this style of art so I'd be happy to get this with a cup of coffee, which, alas, is available only in the US.
FYI: Nowhere in Starbucks' press release is the cup called their Christmas cup. In the past Starbucks’ Christmas cup arrives around the 10th of Nov.
1. Starbucks press release
2. Check out Shogo Ota's website here
3. To see the cup artwork start here