Why design director Simon Stevens thinks your favorite coffee mug should feel like a kiss.
BY YKER VALERIO
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Loveramics
From the editor: Recently, we began exploring the sentiment behind our favorite coffee mugs, and what features we look for in the ideal vessel. Today, we continue this idea with a new series chatting with brands that design different styles of coffee cups, from takeaway mugs to glass, to explore what these companies did to create each one’s unique sense of attachment.
Loveramics doesn’t shy away from emotions and intimacy when it comes to branding and design. Hence, this explains their name and ambitious goals to invoke sentimental feelings in cupware. In the words of Loveramics design director Simon Stevens, “We want everyone to love our cups as we do; that’s why we are called Loveramics, ‘a love for ceramics.’ This may seem twee, but we all have a relationship with the objects we use every day.”
But love isn’t a feeling that comes easily. Highly aesthetic objects can seduce us, but their ability to solve everyday problems is what truly transforms these items into loved, functional ones.
Aiming for the sweet spot between utility and beauty, Loveramics has a pragmatic design philosophy. Simon designs to enhance the coffee sensory experience by considering the unique and intimate relationship we have with our cups, clearing the way for coffee enjoyment.
Coffee drinking as an intimate experience
“There is a particular intimacy with an object that you hold and drink from. You have to ‘cup’ it with your hands, bring it to your lips, and drink. This may seem like a simple process to solve, but so often it can be done wrong,” asserts Simon.
In Simon’s words, Loveramics “wants the user to feel confident in the weight of the object, secure in the way the handle feels as your fingers hold it, and sensitive to the way you drink from it.” Furthermore, Simon’s designs aim to create an overarching experience in which all these features are at work solving users’ problems.
A problem-solving mindset might sound strange to people outside the design world. In terms of a mug, we have to look at the object and its user closely to understand the purpose of the cup. It’s not only to sip a beverage with, but to experience that beverage’s smell and taste.
In this regard, Loveramics created its tasting cup range to highlight specific sensory profiles. Simon uses wine as a reference for the coffee cups: “No one glass exploits the nuances of all wines. We felt we should have the same respect for these differences in coffee and develop cup shapes that can enhance a broad spectrum of aromas, and that is why the Brewers Tasting Cups’ three shapes were developed.”
Love by design
Emotions-wise, Loveramics take its name seriously. From Loveramics’ perspective, we express our love for objects through preference—although we aren’t fully aware of it. According to Simon, “To prove this, the next time you go into your cupboard to pull out a mug, do you pick the first one you see, or do you pick the one you love?!”
Having functionality and aesthetics in mind helps us to understand our love for some objects. Our coffee cups are an extension of ourselves, both literally and figuratively. Literally, they can enhance our taste and olfactory senses to get the better of our coffee. Figuratively, their beauty and functionality represent what we are and who we want to be.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yker Valerio (he/him) is a freelance content creator. After more than 10 years of working as a management consultant, he started his blog Bon Vivant Caffè to share his passion for specialty coffee.