1 December 2015

Why I Love The 2015 Starbucks' Red Holiday Cups

Did you hear that the 2015 Starbucks’ Red Holiday Cups have received a lot of criticism? Yes, some people even said the new cups represent a “War on Christmas” as they don’t explicitly say “Merry Christmas” on the side, nor do they have any immediate visual links to the festivity. According to the critics, Starbucks is not embracing the true spirit of Christmas. 

Here’s my opinion: I love the new cups. 

The only war these cups might be fighting is a fair war against crappy design. Unlike in previous years where Starbucks designed more traditional holiday cups, this year they opted for a minimalistic approach. A simple red cup, no “Merry Christmas” on the side, no stupid fonts, no snowflake, no decoration. Yet, the new cups look seasonal, because the colour is highly associated with Christmas. 

2008 Starbucks's Red Holiday Cup - Simon Schoeters via Flickr 
Starbucks vice president of design said: "This year we wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.” To me, “purity” is the word that better explains the idea behind the new design. 

This year’s holiday cups are a great example of “less is more.” Starbucks’ designers have managed to achieve the result everybody expected (a seasonal look) with less (a simple red cup). 

In a Fast Company article In Defense Of Starbucks' Red Holiday Cups, John Brownlee nicely explained why he loves the new cups:        

“I love the new Starbucks Red Holiday Cups. I love them because they don't have a cartoon character of an anthropomorphic reindeer with a clear intellectual disability on the side. I love them because they don't say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" on them in some tacky novelty font where every ascender or descender is covered in fake snow, and every tittle has been replaced by a bulb ornament. I love them because they make a statement. Christmas doesn't have to be synonymous with godawful design. It can, instead, have a little class, and serve as a quiet analog to the chaos of the season.”

I can only agree with him. 

Instead of worrying about the cups, the critics should be focusing their complaints on what’s inside the cups. I’d support them in that topic.  

IMAGE: Fast Company

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