Starbucks Reveals Their 2018 Holiday Cup Designs

The cheery cups feature a 'modern twist,' according to the company, but borrow heavily from retro designs.

Starbucks barista serving customers
Sorbis / Shutterstock

The cheery cups feature a 'modern twist,' according to the company, but borrow heavily from retro designs.

Starbucks is honoring its fall tradition by debuting their annual holiday coffee cups. And if you want to peruse the cheery designs before they’re made available Friday, you can see them in the Twitter image below. As you can see, the 2018 holiday cup designs come in four different designs of red and green — the coffee giant says they additionally feature a “modern twist.”

The popular coffee company indicated on their website that the red and green-hued cups came from looking at past holiday cup artwork. Starbucks described the new designs.

“Snipped pieces from Starbucks holidays past – a star, a branch of coffee cherries, a flame. They added doses of vintage colors and patterns, like mint green and argyle and reinterpreted them with graphic flair, and a dash glitter and shine. A ribbon of black, white and Starbucks green on the back ties all the four cup designs and reappears in merchandise and store signage and displays.”

CNN reports that on November 2, Starbucks stores will additionally be decorated for the holiday. Starting then, red apron-clad baristas will be serving some newly returned seasonal flavors, including the favorite Peppermint Mocha which has been around for 16 years.

Starbucks has been debuting holiday-themed coffee cups since 1997, including some with graphics from years past that drew heavy criticism. For 2018, the popular coffee store said that they have decided to “give people what they want” in the way of their holiday coffee cups after listening to criticism that indicated that their previous coffee cup designs were not “Christmasy enough.”

Starbucks chief operating officer Roz Brewer said that “we listened to our customers, who said that they ‘loved the tradition of Christmas.'” Past Starbuck’s holiday cup designs have been polarizing, especially among conservatives who felt the secular design schemes the company used in recent years did not show a “proper respect for Christianity.”

For instance, in 2015, Starbucks took off some recognized symbols of Christmas that included ornaments and reindeer. In response, one angry customer posted a video that went viral and said that Starbucks removed the Christmas symbols from their coffee cups “because they hate Jesus,” CNN reported.

Pic of a red paper Starbucks cup
A 2015 holiday cup with all the yuletide cheer removed. Spencer Platt / Getty Images

A similar controversy was ignited last year, according to the NY Times. The design of Holiday Cup 2017 featured a fully decorated Christmas tree that was more in line with tradition; however, it wasn’t the Christmas tree that acted as a lightning rod for critics.

To that point, Starbucks promoted Holiday Cup 2017 with the online campaign “Good for You” that said that “the holidays mean something different to everyone.” The animated video introduced Starbucks holiday cups 2107, but it also showed a pair of pair of women holding hands.

The nature of the women’s relationship isn’t defined, and the controversy was focused on another cup Starbucks introduced for the holiday season 2017 that illustrated “a pair of gender-neutral hands holding each other.” Critics interpreted the video and hand-holding design as a nod to same-sex relationships and wondered if the coffee company was using the cups to promote homosexuality.

Starbucks responded to the controversy by saying they work “to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity.” And added that Holiday Cup 2017 was “meant to be a ‘blank canvas’ that encourages customers to tell their Christmas stories in their own way.”

Ultimately, there is a familiar phrase about trying to please everyone. It should be interesting to see what critics have to say about the newly released 2018 Holiday Cup design.