Korean artist Soo Min Kim is reinventing the wheel, or at least the well-known Starbucks coffee cup. His quirky, hand-painted images give the brand’s famous mermaid logo new life — it now features surprisingly detailed illustrations.
Most people just recycle or dispose of their coffee cups after drinking the good stuff, but Soo Min Kim upcycles them into surprising works of art. Wielding a perfectly matched green paint pen, the self-proclaimed “paper cup artist” adds to what’s already on the cup canvas (using white correction fluid and even scissors to detract a few pieces) in order to transform the recognizable beverage containers.
He re-envisions the coffee company’s Siren in countless ways by morphing her into popular, yet unexpected characters, such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Darth Vader, Colonel Sanders, Lego minifigures, anime characters, superheroes, and even smartly animated recreations of the iconic “Abbey Road” album cover from The Beatles.
What is perhaps one of the most astounding aspects of the coffee cup designs is how they are seamlessly integrated into the existing design, making it look like Starbucks actually hired out at an illustrator to reinvent their existing logo. Everything from bold lines, color matching, and aesthetic fit in perfectly.
Watch the artist in action beginning with a new cup:
Here’s a sampling of our favorite clever visual displays:
We wonder if Starbucks will see these illustrations and maybe hire him for a spectacular holiday cup design. Just a thought!
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