New York Designer Nails the Look of Starbucks Fall Cups

When a Starbucks designer sketched fall leaves to decorate the company’s iconic white cups, he didn’t know the result would end up inspiring another artist nearly 3,000 miles away.

Jimmy Balch, a Seattle-based senior designer for store promotions at Starbucks, was asked to create paper cup artwork for those who relish the autumn season.

Balch drew autumn symbols found in nature like leaves, berries, pumpkins and pine cones. When he had a desired creative direction, he gave the concept to Victor Melendez, senior packaging designer, who created illustrations for this year’s Anniversary Blend coffee bag as well.

“While there are many customers who want to hold onto summer, there are others who can’t wait for it to end,” he said. “We wanted to give those who celebrate fall something special.”

New Yorker, and frequent Starbucks customer, Casey Danton savors the season – the crisp, cool air and her favorite hot beverage.

Danton would naturally appreciate Starbucks handcrafted beverages and the hand-drawn charm of the fall cup design because she also works with her hands. She’s a nail artist who specializes in the freehand painting of fingernails. When not working in advertising, Danton features nail polish trends and her designs through her Instagram channel, Dull Like Glitter.

“I knew I wanted to create a fun autumn design to share with my followers to welcome the season, but had a difficult time settling on anything. As soon as I saw the cup I knew I found my design. I specialize in hand painting so all of the illustration was recreated by hand with very small paintbrushes," she said. “The reaction to the Starbucks nail art has been overwhelmingly positive. It's quickly becoming one of my most-liked photos on Instagram with over 1,100 likes and growing.”

This isn’t the first time Starbucks was her creative inspiration. When she received her gold My Starbucks Rewards® loyalty card, she painted her nails accordingly, and last year she dressed up as a Starbucks siren for Halloween.

This is Casey’s Starbucks story, what’s yours? Email [email protected]

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