For Starbucks lovers, it just doesn't feel like the holiday season without the chain's iconic holiday cups. Over the past 20 years, many have come to look forward to the release of the cups nearly as much as they look forward to the holidays themselves, and with the cups' festive designs, we can understand why. To mark the 20th year of Starbucks' holiday cups, the coffee company tracked down all of the versions it has ever released and set them out for all to see at its Give Good Share event yesterday. For the first time, the chain also shared photos of every single cup that has been available over the past two decades.
While at Starbucks Give Good Share event yesterday, which celebrated this year's cup's message of helping others this holiday season, we found out that it was actually quite a challenge to track down the very first holiday cup. According to Starbucks, "Few were saved, and electronic design files were lost in an earthquake in 2001. Even an Internet search is unyielding, with the cups having made their arrival long before the first selfie." Thankfully, though, designer Sandy Nelson, a former Starbucks employee who designed the OG cup, had saved a few of them. Now, they're practically relics.
Surprisingly, those first few cups didn't have a single drop of that classic Christmas-y red. In 1997, there were blue, pink, green, and purple ones, and in 1999, Starbucks again used purple. Finally in 1999, red became the color of choice. Creative design manager Jon Cannell was there when the switch was made. In a recent Starbucks press release, he recalled what happened. "I remember it all started when the creative director asked us, 'What is holiday red? Is it burgundy? Is it more of a ruby color?' We brought in all these holiday items in a range of reds, and we landed on a red that we all agreed on."
As all Starbucks fans know, that red and the designs it has been featured in have evolved and changed every year since. Finally, though, for the very first time, we can actually look back at all of the holiday cups in one place. We can remember some of our favorites, and perhaps admire some we never had a chance to drink from. Take a look: