The Origins of the “Jazz” Paper Cup Design

Any American who lived through the ‘90s has undoubtedly encountered it: the scribbled blue and purple “Jazz” design on the side of Sweetheart paper cups. But like a true design phenomena, the pattern wasn’t created by a giant marketing firm, but a Sweetheart employee working out of their Springfield office as part of a contest. While the illustration itself has transcended its humble grocery store origins to symbolize an entire decade, its creator has been noticeably absent—until now. Thanks to a national manhunt that originated on Reddit, Gina Ekiss has been identified as the brains behind the pattern. She sat down with News-Leader to discuss her legendary design.