Battle of the Christmas Cups!

We have now well and truly reached the festive period of 2018!

As a communications agency that offers graphic design as a service, we are always observing the trends and changes in design across many industries.

At this time of year, a new tradition seems to be forming when it comes to design, and that tradition is coffee cups!

All of the major coffee vendors and some fast food chains are jumping aboard the Christmas cup bandwagon.

But which one stands alone as King of the Christmas Cups 2018???

At Bird Consultancy we’re always up for a bit of friendly competition!

Let’s take a look at our contenders…


This year McDonald’s has gone with a more artistic entry with their Reindeer cups.

With just three potential reindeer designs to pick up, there’s not as much choice as some of McDonald’s competitors. Then again, at the rate McDonald’s is able to move its products, they’ve never really been overly concerned with being number one.

Simple and stylish but lacking the “wow factor” Mickey D’s have entered this year’s Christmas cup race, but it feels like more of a necessity than a genuine challenge to the throne.


Café Nero

Elegance is the name of the game with Café Nero’s entry.

The iconic Café Nero blue dominates the design, with traditionally Christmassy elements scattered about.

But what’s a pretty design without a good slogan?

Taking advantage of their Italian roots, “Buone Feste” written in a beautiful cursive font takes centre stage.

It screams ‘Classy’ but Café Nero might find themselves alienating some none-Italian speaking patrons.

Oh, it says “Happy Holidays” by the way…



Sticking to their guns, Starbucks has once again gone with simplistic, alternating designs all centred around the instantly-recognisable Starbucks mermaid logo.

In any other universe, the logo simply wouldn’t work – among Christmas designs it looks like a massive blotch on what should be a smooth canvas.

But with time and status on their side, the logo has become such a staple on their cups that moving it simply to accommodate Rudolph or Santa would be sacrilege!

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?


Costa Coffee

With a slightly more cartoonish design than what we’ve seen so far, Costa are attempting to tap in to the child-like wonder we all associate with Christmas.

Their Santa, Gingerbread man, Reindeer and Snowman designs are totally individual but symmetrical when compared to each other, offering a real sense of brand consistency.

Just be sure not to mistake the cups for a children’s drink! Your six year old might not react very well to a Triple-Shot Latte!


We asked our is Graphic Designer for the verdict:

WINNER: Starbucks!!!

Indeed, sometimes less is more and Starbucks truly have hit that nail on the head.

Creating new and nifty designs every year is a great achievement.

But sticking with a single, continuous style while making minor design changes around the centrepiece is a massive gamble.

Thankfully for Starbucks the game plan is paying off year after year whilst turning each of their customers into walking advertisements.

Iconic and Unmistakable

Now… anyone for a hot chocolate?