A Brooklyn artist says that Starbucks stole her art for its cups.
Artist Maya Hayuk, who lives in Brooklyn, NY and typically paints beautiful canvases or large scale, vividly colored, geometric murals. One series in particular is what we will be talking about today. It is a series of portraits called "The Universe," "The Universe II," and "Hands Across the Universe," evokes prisms of neon light. They’re abstract yet cheerful, which explains why Starbucks approached Hayuk last October about wanting to use them on its new Mini Frappuccino campaign.
These beverages have been in stores since May, but this is just coming to light now. The cups are special and feature a fan of pink, yellow, green, red, and cerulean rays bursting out of the “i” in Mini. The same artwork appears in many of the promotional posters and a video by 72andSunny, the coffee company’s advertising agency. The color and style seem like they are beloved, which could be a great break out for such a young artist. However, she wasn't given credit for it, according to the New York Post.
Now, Maya has already worked with big names like Microsoft and Facebook, but she actually declined working with Starbucks because she didn't have the time. However, it seems like they may have used her work. Now, she’s suing Starbucks and 72andSunny for $750,000 in copyright penalties, and seeking unspecified damages. She claims the company infringed on five works: the Universe series, Sexy Gazebo, and Kites #1.
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Starbucks declined to comment beyond an official statement, saying, “We have a longstanding history of supporting and elevating artists in the community. We take Ms. Hayuk’s complaint very seriously and continue to investigate the allegation.” There is no clear word on who the designer or artist is, if not Hayuk.