“The cups are such a great canvas because you can try an abstract design and just keep adding to it,” said Briar Waterman, creative director for Starbucks digital team. “The design variations can be infinite.”
Waterman said he’s inspired by the creativity he sees throughout the Starbucks social community with cup art that’s been posted on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. People are already experimenting with different mediums, and he suggests they should “turn up the volume” on their creativity with this contest.
“The iconic white cup is our billboard,” Hanna [Starbucks director of environmental impact] said “and the reusable cup is an important component of our overall waste reduction strategy.”
Starbucks $1 reusable cup, designed to look like the company’s paper cups, debuted in January of 2013. The plastic cup is sturdier than paper, but thinner than a typical tumbler with a lifespan of about 30 uses. The cups have interior lines to denote a "tall" or "grande" size. Customers receive a dime discount for each refill in the cup, so it pays for itself after 10 uses. And, baristas will clean the reusable cups for customers with a boiling-water rinse before each refill.
Here's a look at some of the nearly 4,000 entries. See the Pinterest page for more.
On June 23 they announced the winner of the contest. Brita Lynn Thompson, a 20-year-old community college student in Pittsburgh is getting noticed for her doodling as the winner of the Starbucks White Cup Contest. Brita’s winning design will be available this fall on a limited edition Starbucks reusable plastic cup. Here's her design.