SUTD student beats over 120 entries to win cup design at inaugural Singapore Coffee Festival

Detpak sales manager Aaron Yeo (left) presenting a $1,000 cheque to Ms Tracy Tan, winner of the Singapore Coffee Festival's Design-The-Cup competition.
Detpak sales manager Aaron Yeo (left) presenting a $1,000 cheque to Ms Tracy Tan, winner of the Singapore Coffee Festival's Design-The-Cup competition.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - A juxtaposition of two men from different generations pouring cups of coffee with similar looks of concentration and passion came out tops in the Singapore Coffee Festival's Design-The-Cup competition.

Ms Tracy Tan, who created the artwork, received a $1,000 cash prize at a presentation ceremony at the DBS office in Marina Bay Financial Centre on Friday (April 15).

The 21-year-old's design will be printed on 100,000 paper cups to be used across Singapore's hottest cafes in the lead-up to the June 9-12 festival.

"It's quite exciting to see my art displayed this way, and quite surreal too as this was the first design competition I've taken part in," said the fourth-year Singapore University of Technology and Design undergraduate, who took three hours to complete the hand-drawn sketch.

The Design-The-Cup competition was organised by Sphere Exhibits and sponsored by packaging company Detpak. It was aimed at engaging local artists and designers, as well as showcasing Singapore's coffee scene and its vibrant culture.

A total of 128 submissions were received during the five-week competition period.

Ms Tracy Tan's winning design.

Ms Tan's artwork, in the brown tone of coffee, featured an elderly man dressed in simple clothing and armed with a strainer used in making traditional local coffee, next to a well-dressed barista equipped with an espresso machine.

"Despite both coffee makers coming from vastly different stories and backgrounds, nevertheless, each cup of coffee is crafted with passion," explained Ms Tan, who began to do urban sketching a few years ago.

"These scenes portrayed bring a sense of familiarity to Singaporeans and thus, I felt it would be most suitable and unique for the celebration of coffee drinking during this national event."


Mr Ian Lim, senior manager (Festivals) of Sphere Exhibits, said Ms Tan's design was a "fantastic display of hand-drawn artistry and a charming representation of Singapore's specialty and local kopi scene".

"Just as we're delighted that the Singapore Coffee Festival will support our local coffee and cafe people, we're equally pleased to be able to encourage and showcase the local talent in the arts."

The festival is organised by Sphere Exhibits, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, presented by DBS and hosted by The Straits Times.

Besides panels featuring Straits Times writers, DBS will be conducting talks on financial planning, while coffee academy Bettr Barista will be holding sessions including latte art and how to run the coffee business creatively.

Tickets to the festival, which will be held at the F1 Pit Building, are on sale at Sistic. Early-bird prices are still available.

For more details, go to or visit the event's Facebook page.

Selected shortlisted entries:

Aaron Lim

Cassia The

Kenneth Wong

Zaneta Chan

Wendy Zhang Yuhui