Who is the Person Behind the Starbucks Pride Cup?

Who is the Person Behind the Starbucks Pride Cup?

Brenden Mendoza is a creative manager at Starbucks and leads a team of designers who created the famous Starbucks pride cup. The Pride cup is reusable, and it holds 24-ounces. It is popularly referred to as ” a gorgeous rainbow drinking vessel.” 

Mendoza came to existence in 1982. He was brought up in Burbank, California and his interests involved dancing and music. Mendoza used to create a dance on a Michael Jackson song and perform in front of his family while he was around five years old.  He’s always been a fan of the arts.

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His interest in art came early. Mendoza’s first real painting was when he was in second grade and won a competition organized by Disney. The Mickey Mouse drawing was picked up to decorate a construction wall. He and a classmate personally painted the pictures on the Disney wall and were given a tour of Disneyland.  

As he grew older, his artistic interests were done on a computer rather than a pencil. His design prowess grew, and he automatically majored in design while in college. Mendoza’s inspiration in design was that he could create things that could make a dent in the universe. 

After college, he worked as a graphic designer in several firms such as Gensler, Tompert Design, Chronicle Books, and as a professor at the Academy of Art University. He joined Starbucks in 2014 working as a contract graphic designer.   He then rose through ranks to his present position as a Creative Manager.  

At Starbucks, he has created designs for Pride T-shirts, an ad campaign that featured the Frappuccino silhouette, and origin cards for the Reserve coffee.     

What is the Back Story of this Creation?

While growing up in the 80s, he realized LGBTQ was an evolving community. He vividly remembers seeing gay people being displayed on TV talk shows wondering why they had a different portrayal.  

Mendoza was just 21 years old when it struck him that he was gay. He came to that realization during a life changing backpacking trip to Southeast Asia. Brenden was afraid to come out to his family.

He was surprised when his mother told him that she knew he was gay since he was 3 years old. Thus, the Pride cup design was a personal inspiration representing his mantra of to love and be loved.

The Design of the Pride Cup

On the cup, two men are standing together, one with glasses and the other wearing a red hat. The one with a red hat is his longtime lover Jomar Tagatac. The prototype of the cup was a Valentine’s present from Jomar. 

The Pride cup has the word LOVE printed on top of the rainbow stripes. Mendoza wanted it to symbolize love is love no matter what you identify with.

The design had to represent the general acceptance of a person’s identity and also a symbol of support to those who are proud of the LGBTQ community.  

The pride cup is a limited-edition cup, celebrating 50 years of Pride.  It has received a lot of attention on social media platforms. It has been trending with hashtags such as #pridetumbler #starbuckspride. 

Mendoza wants to point out, a rainbow “holds so much power,” and using it with the word “Love” acts as a simple but powerful reminder of acceptance.

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