Sorry Starbucks, the only way this is going to happen is if I’ve stayed up all night:
Has everyone settle down over the faux outrage over the red cup yet? Why yes, I am feeling snarky about the entire non issue. Talk about much ado. It became embarassing listening to the prattling. Even after being told it wasn’t a Christmas cup, some still insisted there was some great conspiracy afoot. Cue eye rolling. What they missed was the artwork on the green cup. The more I looked at it, the more I enjoyed it. Too bad it was only in the US … not that I would have saved a paper cup. But you get my point.
So the new cups rolled out last week, right on schedule. And some of the designs are … well … delightful. This year Starbucks tapped people from around the world and used their work. An unofficial poll in my neigbourhood tips the Christmas Sweater design as the best. Designed by Alisa in St. Petersburg, Russia, the sweater cup invokes a sense of cosiness and comfort: I’m leaning to the cup designed by a hometown woman, Anna from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The art has that same feel of being enveloped by the design, as the sweater cup. It’s busy and I see different things each time I look. Anna is originally from the Soviet Union. Her abbreviated bio doesn’t really offer a lot of details except to say she trained in traditional Ukrainian folk art called petrykivka. Instead of dissecting the cup, just enjoy it. And if you’re Anna, drop me a note. I’d love to see more of your art.
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