Story Of The Red Cups Of Starbucks

13 winning designs on the Red Cups of 2016

I am not a patron of Starbucks. I am not even much of a coffee drinker. But what I am is a lover of art – in any form. Because art is the interface between the average Joe and the world.  And that’s why I am not bashful about splashing these Starbucks red cups here. It is a work of art, indeed — contemporary, modern and a yoke between people and their environment.

The tradition of the Red Cup began way back in 1997. Starbucks had then introduced the special red cup to rekindle the magic of the Christmas holiday season. The ‘red cups’ of 2016 are unique It has impressive artwork by 13 people from across the world — from a college student in Germany to a hair stylist in Philadelphia.

Last December, Starbucks invited customers from around the globe to use their red cups as a canvas and share their designs on Instagram. 1,200 entries later, 13 winners were selected. And they created exclusive pieces of art, ranging from bold and graphic to old-fashioned storybook themes. The cups featuring these designs will be served in more than 25,000 Starbucks stores in 75 countries. Here’s a look at some of them:


Candy Canes by Jennifer, United States. When she moved from the Philippines to Dubai, she made a hobby of drawing on Starbucks cups. She has more than 75 hand-drawn cups. Her design has hanging ornaments and feathers reminiscent of dreamcatchers.


Evergreen forest by Bronwyn from Moscow. A student in the US, Brownyn’s inspiration for this design was a December hike along a favourite mountain trail. “Everything was still and snow-covered. The contrast was beautiful – it was almost like a black and white photo all around us. The simplicity of the image transferred easily into a wintery design,” he says.



Holiday Lights by Maria, New York City. This aspiring artist loves bold and graphic patterns. Her inspiration for the design was the Christmas tree in her house. “I thought about how beautiful the lights were,” she said.


Poinsettia by Christina, California. She is a student of landscape architecture, who is currently working on a public art installation in Germany. “Part of the job of a landscape architect is to connect people to the environment by creating a sense of place. I decided to evoke the Christmas spirit by creating a design with a plant that is symbolic of the season,” she says.



Sleigh Ride by Eun Joo, South Korea. Tiny snowmen adorn a field of overlapping circles. About her design of Santa’s sleigh on a starry night, she says, ” “There are many people – like different patterns of overlapping circles – but everyone can have happy memories with a cup of coffee.”



Snowflake Sweater by Alisa, Russia. Her inspiration came while drinking a gingerbread latte. The design features snowflakes and reindeer patterned after a cozy sweater


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