Starbucks debuts 2019 holiday cup designs covered in festive 'typography'

If Whataburger’s cheeseburger-emblazoned Christmas sweater isn’t festive enough for your seasonal needs, allow Starbucks to try and fill the void with its latest coffee cups.

This week, Starbucks debuted the four new designs adorning its annual batch of hotly-anticipated holiday cups, which are set to debut in stores across the U.S. and Canada on Nov. 7.

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This year’s designs — each of which is “worthy of that first sip of Peppermint Mocha,” according to Starbucks — include “Polka Dots” (a red cup with green polka dots), “Merry Dance” (a white cup covered in the words “Merry” and “Coffee”), “Merry Stripes” (with vertical text designed to look like “green vintage wrapping paper”) and “Candy Cane Stripe” (like a candy cane, topped with a Starbucks logo and showered in Starbucks “wordmark”).

Starbucks' new designs, seen here, include (L-R) “Merry Stripes,” “Merry Dance," "Polka Dots" and “Candy Cane Stripe.”

Starbucks’ new designs, seen here, include (L-R) “Merry Stripes,” “Merry Dance,” “Polka Dots” and “Candy Cane Stripe.”
(Starbucks)

Starbucks says its designers wanted to evoke the feeling of “uncovering a present” with its 2019 cups, and to accomplish that, chose a very somewhat unusual “illustrative element” as the theme: “Typography.”

“We played with this idea of typography being art and the green dot of the Starbucks logo,” said Jen Quotson, vice president of Starbucks Creative, in a press release. “We just thought that was a very sweet expression of the brand, but still felt very holiday.”

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Along with Starbucks’ four new cup designs, the chain is once again offering a limited-edition reusable red cup, decked out in the words “Merry” and “Coffee.”

This year's reusable cup will be free for the first customers who offer a “holiday beverage” at participating Starbucks locations on Nov. 7, but only while supplies last.

This year’s reusable cup will be free for the first customers who offer a “holiday beverage” at participating Starbucks locations on Nov. 7, but only while supplies last.
(Starbucks)

The reusable version will be free for the first customers who offer a “holiday beverage” at participating Starbucks locations on Nov. 7, but only while supplies last. Any customers who return to stores with the reusable cup between Nov. 7 and Jan. 7 will be rewarded with 50 cents off a grande holiday beverage, such as the chain’s Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte or Eggnog Latte.

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Starbucks’ cups, however, have stirred their share of controversy in the past. In 2015, critics accused the cups of being too politically correct, citing that year’s lack of ornaments or reindeer in favor of a simple solid-color design.

At the time, Starbucks’ vice president of design said the company was merely celebrating “the simplicity and the quietness” of the store, which customers view as a “place of sanctuary” during the season.


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