April 30th, 2010 | Janice Carter
Today, Leslie Buck, designer of the iconic coffee cup dies at 87. If you were in New York, particularly before the advent of a certain coffee establishment with a green logo, his cup will likely look familiar to you. Even if you haven’t been to NY, you’ve likely spotted the java holder in “Law & Order”, “Sex & the City” and other NY-based TV shows and movies.
Buck, a refugee from then Czechoslovakia, introduced the cup in the 1960s. The graphics have since been slapped on t-shirts, mugs and tourist memorabilia. If imitation is a form of flattery, Buck should certainly be flattered.
Now, does this mean that the cup is well-designed? I don’t think the answer matters. I think the point is that the cup has become part of pop-culture. How many designers can say they’re leaving a legacy? The next time you’re in New York, grab a coffee in one of the old diners and remember Buck. He was happy to serve you.