Three Dutch Bros to-go cups are featured with a very Dutch inspired design

A design 10 years in the making

December 11, 2018

Dutch Bros Coffee debuted its first holiday cup in 2008. The cup featured the classic DB design, with added snowflakes, snowmen, and the slogan “PEACE ON EARTH” featured along the bottom. Back then, Dutch Bros’ entire design department consisted of one graphic designer and one creative director.

“Our customers freaked out when they saw the holiday cup that first year,” said Andy Conway, vice president of operations at Dutch Bros Coffee. “In the 16 years we had been open at that point, our customers had never seen a variation of the design. They were so excited.”

In the 10 years since, DB has added considerable talent to their roster. Today they employ seven graphic designers, and three project managers under the leadership of Design Director Justin Woolf, and Senior Creative Director Tom Spagnolo. We sat down with Justin and Tom to chat about this year’s look, and what goes into the holiday cup design each year.

The process starts about eight months in advance. Tom sits down with the CMO and chats about what he wants to see, and what message we want to communicate during that season. Tom and Justin discuss design trends and work with their team for the driving inspiration and direction.

“We collaborate and curate ideas for a look we hope encapsulates the vibe we’re going for,” said Tom. “Once we have a handle on it, we put together a mood board with images, key words, and feelings to direct the design team’s creative work.”

This year, Dutch Bros’ 2018 holiday cup design was released on November, 1. The theme was vintage, traditional, and Scandinavian.

When asked about his favorite design, Tom said, “This year is honestly my favorite, but last year was my favorite, and next year will probably be my favorite too. You pour so much energy into it. In my opinion, all art is that way. You’re never content with what you know. The second you’re done with something, you’re happy with it, but then you’re immediately learning something new, and you’re in love with what you’re doing next.”

The holiday cups not only bring a little extra cheer to Dutch Bros’ customers during the season, they are also a gift for the design team as well.

“In school they said this job didn’t exist,” said Justin. “You get more freedom by being a freelancer, or you do the same thing every day at a design firm. This job and this company is amazing because you not only get to do different things each day, but you get to be a big part of the creative process.”

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