Design firm celebrates New York coffee drinkers on international holiday
September 29 is International Coffee Day–as if you needed a designated holiday to celebrate.
To give you some holiday back “grounds” (pun intended): Coffee Day was first celebrated in Japan in 1983, as a promotion by The All Japan Coffee Association (全日本コーヒー協会). The celebration has since morphed into an international celebration, observed every September 29 by no less than twelve countries, including Sweden (all enjoying fika), South Africa, and the United States.
Coffee drinking in the United States has morphed from a nineteenth-century luxury to an everyday, routine convention. Harvard and the National Coffee Association report that 54% of the national population over age 18 drink coffee every day, and on average, U.S. coffee drinkers consume three 9 oz. cups of coffee daily. In the United States alone, coffee is at least a $40 billion industry.
Coffee first arrived in the United States in the 1600s on merchant ships arriving into the port of New Amsterdam. Later renamed by the British, New York has sustained its long-term relationship with the caffeinated drink.
Though the intertwined history of coffee and New York may do little to affect the city’s consumption today—New York continues to consume copious amounts of caffeine this afternoon, holiday or not—Coffee Day presented brand firm The Partners’ New York office with an interesting set of internal questions: How exactly are coffee culture and New York culture interrelated? If New York runs on coffee, can coffee celebrate New York?
As The Partners observed, most New Yorkers live life at a pace that makes it difficult to acknowledge the things occurring around them. However, New Yorkers don’t miss out on their coffee. Put New York’s cultural events on coffee, they reason, and perhaps New Yorkers will take notice.
Thus the firm (which has additional offices in London and Singapore and works with clients Coca-Cola, Equinox, and Carnegie Hall) designed Culture Shots, a collection of printed NYC cultural information on coffee accessories.
The Partners distilled twenty-eight of New York’s cultural highlights and hotspots into verbal “shots” (witty one-liners) that are printed on espresso cups, coffee sleeves and napkins.
The shots are clever, ambiguous, and, at times, provocative. One shot “Shiny Porn, Rubber Dogs, and Michael Jackson” refers the Koons exhibit at The Whitney; another, “Even God laughed,” links to tickets for the Book of Mormon. The number of NYC shots (28) correlates to the number of seconds it takes pull the perfect espresso.
Images: The Partners