The other day I noticed that Starbucks has begun using the seasonal "red cup." Everybody knows what the red cup means: it's the holiday cup; Christmas must be coming.
However, across the pond, there's something much more creative going on. At a small coffee chain called Puccino's, instead of a red cup once a year, they rotate cups on an annual basis. Designed by illustrator Jim Smith, every year the chain comes out with a new set of cups like this one:
The clever thing about it is there's a bunch of cups like this in rotation; so you never know what you're going to get. And it's not just coffee cups, it's also their bags, sugar packets, advertising, signage, etc. There's actually a Flickr set of some of the ongoing work. And if that's not enough for you, check out Jim Smith's website, or the short interview on Brand New.
Much better than the red cup.