Celebrating Design IN COFFEE


Submissions are now open for the 2018 Design Lab - a platform for showcasing great design in specialty coffee, taking place at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle this April 19-22. Design Lab was established at our 2016 Expo in Atlanta, focusing initially on coffee packaging, but grew in 2017 to include drinking vessels and spaces, both educational and retail. 

Hundreds of submissions were received last year, and carefully evaluated for originality, function and sustainability by a panel of judges representing Guild leadership and independent designers. New to this year: first-place winners will be announced for each category, in addition to the selection of the best submissions.


What Is Design Lab?
Great coffee is synonymous with great design, and increasingly serves a critical function in distinguishing specialty coffee. Design Lab seeks to celebrate this effort through three key platforms, coffee spaces, coffee vessels and a packaging showcase. 

  • Category: Vessels Design Lab Vessels explores some of the most charming and original designs for anything you drink coffee from – paper cups, travel mugs, ceramics, glassware etc. Have you or your business created something beautiful in the past twelve months? We'd like to see it.
  • Category: Spaces The Design Lab Spaces exhibit showcases incredible retail, education, and production environments designed for coffee. Have you built a beautiful space in the past twelve months? We'd like to see it.
  • Category: Packaging Design Lab Packaging identifies some of the most compelling coffee packaging designs from the past year. Has your company created new packaging or updated an old design in the past twelve months? We'd like to see it.

Competition Benefits
Design Lab seeks to highlight the best in our industry. Winners in each category will be recognized at the Specialty Coffee Expo and on SCA News. Additionally, each winner receives a special digital mark to signify their win.

Competition Rules

  • Applicants must be members of the Specialty Coffee Association
  • There is a cost of $150 for each submission.
  • High-quality photos of each submission must be included. These will be used for judging, but also for display if your submission is selected.
  • Judges will evaluate submissions under the following metrics: originality, function, sustainability.
  • Applicants should include as much information as possible about their submission.
  • The deadline for applications is February 21, 2018 at 11:59pm PST.

Packaging and Vessel submissions must be able to deliver samples of their product to the Specialty Coffee Expo show office by no later than 4pm (PST) on April 19.

Questions? Email us at


Submissions will remain open through February 21, 2018 at 11:59pm PST. Applicants will be notified of their status on or before March 2, 2018.