Starbucks Holiday Cups


Holiday traditions are sacred in the Canada of 2017. But none more so, than the Starbucks Holiday cup. But not all of these cups are winners, below you’ll find The Brock Press’ Hot take on all of these cups, the winners and the losers.


1997 & 98 A.K.A. “The Purple Cups.”

I mean, there’s a reason every other Starbucks cup has had some red or white on it. Purple is neither a Starbucks colour nor a Christmas colour. That puts these two directly on the bottom of this list. I appreciate the attempt at creativity, but Old Saint Nick doesn’t wear a purple suit. That’d be horrifying.


2015 A.K.A. “The Scarlet Cup”:

Lest we forget the outrage that followed the 2015 Starbucks cup. The cup is simply red with the Starbucks logo, not only did it feel boring, it’s absolutely insulting to our communal holiday joy. If there isn’t at least a drawing of a snowflake how will people know I like Christmas and Starbucks?


1999, 2003 & 2004 A.K.A “The just a couple snowflakes edition”:

Okay, we’re officially moving in the right direction. I have my red cup, I have my snowflakes. But I have absolutely nothing else. This is, not to mention the fact that we have nearly the same design carrying over from 1999 right onto 2003, and then just bigger snowflakes for ‘04. Starbucks, if you could’ve given me the good snowflakes this whole time, why’d you give me these small crappy snowflakes in 1999?


2010 & 2011 A.K.A. “A Horror on par with Lovecraft”:

Starbucks can you and I have a little personal chat for a moment? You wanted to add some detail -— I get that. Maybe that’s the thing we’re lacking here. My only issue is, in what world do people not get eyes. Your people look less like holiday-goers and more like demonstrable hell-beasts come to steal your eyes. Even the dog has eyes, Starbucks. Get your head in the game.


2000 A.K.A. “The Blood Moon.”

Let me paint you a picture, dear reader. As you snuggle up to the fire and read your favourite book you start to fall asleep. But then, a giant green mermaid who wants to sell you ‘premium’ Italian hot drinks comes from the sky in the shape of a moon over your small innocuous hamlet. The moon she rides bleeds red into the sky and you scream and hold your family close. That’s basically the 2000 cup. What kind of Machiavellian horror were you guys reading when you designed this?


2013 & 2014 A.K.A. “…?”

It’s not that it’s a terrible design, or a monster like the last one. And you’ve definitely got no purple going on in there. But that’s kind of the issue. What is happening? I get we like red for the background, don’t get me wrong. But just using a darker red for the designs is a little difficult to parse. Back to the drawing board on this one gals and pals.


2001 A.K.A. “The V-Neck Cup”

This cup is mostly fine, most from this point are. But you picked clashing colours for this cup. Even Glen Coco wouldn’t be getting her Holiday cheer from that, you monsters.


2002 A.K.A. “The Start of Something Great”

While this is the second cup to use the now standard red-white design, it is the first to actually design with it (read: Not just snowflakes). This was the start of something great for our friend Starbies. But we aren’t quite there yet.


  1. 2007, 2008, & 2009 A.K.A. “…Meh.”

Much like the years these cups come from, they are rather non-impressionable and boring. They’re fine, don’t get me wrong. But they also tend to stand out as fairly generic. ‘09 has a mitten, ‘08 has a dove, ‘07 has some tobogganing kids, ‘06 has carollers. Okay, I guess.


2016 A.K.A. “We designers now.”

This is the first cup on this list that has integrated the Starbucks logo into the design by creating a spiraling pattern of Christmas assortments around it. Bravo Starbucks, you finally did it.


2017 A.K.A. “The new kid.”

This cup has been around for such a short amount of time, but it has already wormed its way into my impressionistic heart. Bold move keeping it mostly white with elements of the red still in there. The only cup to integrate the Starbucks shade of green into the design as well. I have no rude comments for this year.


2005 A.K.A. “The way it should be.”

This is the second-best Starbucks Holiday cup. It is elegant, with Christmas lights aligning the top of the cup. It is thoughtful, with a small quote about Christmas just underneath the logo. It is everything you want from a Holiday cup. No rational design could be better.

2012 A.K.A. “The Mayans predicted this.”

Snowman winking at me. 11/10.

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