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The Powerhouse Behind Starbucks’ Designs

With 26,696 locations worldwide, Starbucks is easily one of the most recognizable and powerful brands in the world. From Starbucks holiday cups to the excitement around “PSL” (pumpkin spice latte) season, Starbucks has become a part of our culture’s vernacular.

Every store has a similar format, with posters and advertisements matching the overall campaign design of that season. That means hundreds of advertisements, email blasts, and posters are getting designed every season. Being someone who travels a lot and has visited many different Starbucks locations around the world, I’m always amazed at the quality and consistency of Starbucks’ design collateral. Who’s in charge of Starbucks’ designs?

 An in-house agency.

Starbucks Global Creative handles literally every single promotion and product launch that Starbucks does globally, according to Jennifer Quotson, director of visual presentation. Given the company’s size, the studio team is always busy. With over 100 members, the Studio is divided into teams based on the designer’s proficiency with the teams collaborating across projects.

While many companies partner with outside agencies for branding for design and branding work, Starbucks is a great example of how successful and effective an in-house agency can be.

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