Branding Beat - Cut Through the Noise

5 Cool Coffee Cup Packaging Examples to Perk You Up

Doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday morning or a Saturday afternoon, a craving for a cup of coffee can happen anywhere and at any time. Some may not be fortunate enough to have a locally owned coffee house in their community, but there are some out there nailing the independent route and with these fun takeout cups on their side, it’s no wonder they’re rocking the local scene.



First up is California-based Dripp coffee bar. They believe in using globally-sourced beans along with locally-sourced preparation methods, ambiance and talent. All their beans are ground fresh, they pull out all their shots and every cup of hand drip coffee is made to order. As if that good-old Americana work ethic and philosophy doesn’t get you excited, maybe their fun and sleeveless hot paper cup that was designed by Salih Kucukaga will perk you up!

C'mon, they're pretty cool looking!

C’mon, they’re pretty cool looking!

A close-up of their cup's images

A close-up of their cup’s images

The images used are quintessential Cali with palm trees, sun, bicycles, sunglasses, and a handlebar mustache too. What I like most about their branding is that it’s completely their own. They didn’t follow Starbucks and just focus on one image, they encompassed as many as possible to make their cup stand out. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to drink a latte or white chocolate mocha outta a cup like this!

One more close-up for you

One more close-up for you

Hot Cup Cold Spoon


Sometimes it’s the simplest thing that can make the biggest impact on your packaging, like switching up the color of your lid. Drew Roper created the unique packaging for the fictional Hot Cup Cold Spoon coffee shop. Even though this shop doesn’t exist (check out these other concepts here), the bright blue pop of color perfectly accents the takeout cups could bring a smile to everyone’s face… even while they’re on their way to work.

Love that "pop" of blue!

Love that “pop” of blue!

His concept is a complete 180 from what Dripp went after with using several colors and he instead focused just a teal shade and brown to make an impact with simplicity. Nicely done without being too overdone.

Drew's entire work for Hot Cup Cold Spoon

Drew’s entire work for Hot Cup Cold Spoon

Coffee Supreme


To get a takeout cup of Coffee Supreme’s coffee is going to require a passport and a plane ticket to Australia. Instead of having one cup with the same image printed on it, Hardhat Design went for a variety- and succeeded at it swimmingly.

Love that symmetry!

Love that symmetry!

Their small size

Their small size

I’m sure their baristas appreciate having three different-colored cups that corresponds with the small, medium or large sizes. It also makes their cups more whimsical too! It must be pretty cool to walk down the street and see one woman holding an orange cup, a man holding a black cup and another woman with a white cup. I for one love this idea, why just have two colors on your cups when you can have three different colors that still coordinate with each other. A+ example of great branding and beautifully showcases a “many options, but still unique” mindset.

Their medium size

Their medium size

A close-up of their large size

A close-up of their large size

Caribou Coffee


Since they’ve closed every Caribou Coffee within a 20 minute drive of my house, Caribou Coffee is okay to add to this list. Plus I love their tagline: “Life is short. Stay awake for it.” They did a major rebranding effort in the spring of 2010 and that included their takeout cups taking on more illustrations to the answer, “What do you stay awake for?”

What do you stay awake for?

What do you stay awake for?

Then in 2013 they extended their tagline for a new campaign: “Life is more than coffee. That’s why there’s coffee.” Their cups left customers to fill in the blanks for what’s most important in their life and what stands out. A very cool concept that’s different than other corporate coffee houses out there which may focus more on the product itself and less on the drinker.

A collection of all their 2013 cups

A collection of all their 2013 cups

Life is.....

Life is…..

"Life is taking a stand even when you're sitting down."

“Life is taking a stand even when you’re sitting down.”



Greetings from the land of culs-de-sac and summer block parties in the neighborhood street! Chances are if you’re in the suburbs, you’re only minutes away from a Starbucks, and not there’s anything wrong with that. You can be sure your white chocolate mocha or caramel latte is going to taste exactly how you want it and how it did yesterday when you stopped… or earlier this morning. I’m not here to judge.

Pretty sure we can all agree that when the weather starts to get crisper and snowflakes start to fall, that we all get excited for their red holiday cups. Sure, stores can put up Christmas trees in October all they like, but until those red cups start appearing, it’s not the holiday season yet. What exactly is their draw? Is it the uncharacteristic red color? The fact they only appear for a limited time? The special seasonal drinks inside them? Whatever reason you want to go with works, I think it’s a little bit of everything mentioned.

Starbucks' 2005 Holiday Cup

Starbucks’ 2005 Holiday Cup

Starbucks' 2006 Holiday Cup

Starbucks’ 2006 Holiday Cup

The cup you drink your coffee or latte out of isn’t going to make it any better or worst tasting than the coffee shop down the street, but life is too short to drink out of boring cups. It’s one thing if you like your coffee straight with no cream or sugar, but don’t use that same mentality with everything. Spice it up every now and then, which is exactly what these cups want customers to do!

Did you have a favorite from this list? Does your local coffee shop or bakery have unique cups that make you smile? I’d love to hear about it, leave me a comment below!

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