My Custom Coffee Tumbler – Summer 2014

Shiro at the Beach Grande

Just in time for the heat I have finished my custom coffee tumbler insert for summer 2014. It is based on a beach that I visited in Kyoto on my first visit to Japan. It was this beach that first inspired my to create my “Shiro and Tako” design that I have used on occasion on T-shirts and cup liners. The first day I camped on the beach I found a medium sized octopus swimming in the shallows and had a nice time watching it from a safe distance. The next day was the jellyfish invasion for that summer, so swimming was slightly less enjoyable.

I hope you enjoy this years design.

I have cup liners available for tall and grande sized Starbucks customizable cups (and likely those sold by other companies too). The PDFs are A4 and not letter, but for those of you that use letter sized paper they should print without issue. You can download them below:

Grande (Tabbed) | Grande | Tall

My Custom Coffee Tumbler – Runaway Robot

Runaway Robot Cup Liner

It was about time to put together a new custom coffee tumbler liner for my cup and as I have been using my runaway robot character a fair bit lately, why not make a cup liner? I tend to do purely seasonal liners but it is not really spring or summer at the moment so maybe it is time for a season-neutral theme 😉

What do you think?

I have cup liners available for tall and grande sized Starbucks customizable cups (and likely those sold by other companies too). The PDFs are A4 and not letter, but for those of you that use letter sized paper they should print without issue. You can download them below:

Grande (Tabbed) | Grande | Tall

Runaway Robot T-Shirt

Robot T-shirt Blog

I sometimes like to randomly sketch things and recently I started sketching a robot. I rather likely it, but could think of no real use for it at the time. Then the weather started getting warmer and I started to think about t-shirts. I did pick up some on sale at Uniqlo, but I really like having uncommon t-shirts when possible so I went ahead and did a runaway robot t-shirt design. I was considering making the custom shirt myself, but I do not have the space to set up a decent silk-screening rig and it would be kind of excessive for one or two shirts anyway. There are also heat transfer ink-jet appliqués but they tend not to be durable enough and as none of the decent ones I have used in the past are available here in Japan I wasn’t super-enthusiatic about it. I went online looking for a custom printing service that would both print for a decent price and ship to Japan. That is actually a relatively difficult combination. I even tried Uniqlo’s custom shirt site but their online tools sucked and it was not possible to get the logo at the right size and location using their tool (regardless of image resolution). Eventually I settled on one of the mainstream customization services. I found some discounts for them online so I got a shirt for a decent price. I just have to wait and see how my t-shirt actually looks!


My Custom Coffee Tumbler – Summer 2013 Alternate

Shima and Ms Heart Kindan No Ai Grande
This custom coffee tumbler liner is not an entirely new design but is actually a refurbished version of a liner I made quite a number of years ago. I had originally designed it on Corel Draw but as I have been using Illustrator for the last few years I ported it over. In transferring it I lost the original text and some of the graphic details, but I think I have nicely recreated the missing bits from memory. As it is summer themed I thought that I would publish it now for those cat lovers out there as my cup liners so far have been a bit dog-centric. I hope you like it!

You can download the printable PDF for grande cups here.

My Custom Coffee Tumbler – Summer 2013


Shiro Natsuyasumi 2013 GrandeAs it is already well into summer I thought that it was time to make my new custom coffee tumbler insert. I originally had an idea for a summer coffee tumbler during the rainy season but it was a bit rain-specific, so I decided to go with a new purely summer theme now that it is hot and sunny pretty much everyday. As it has been over 35°C and sunny most days lately the beach was an appealing and appropriate setting for the new cup. I doubt that I will make it to a nice beach this year, but even if I don’t I can live vicariously through my coffee tumbler 😉

As usual I have prepared a download here for anyone who would like to print it out and try it in their own grande cup. Cheers!

My Custom Coffee Tumbler – Spring 2013



Spring is almost upon us here in Tokyo so I thought that it was time to move on from winter and embrace spring. To reflect this I have designed a new grande cup liner for my custom coffee tumbler to add a bit more of a spring feel. I have also designed a tall size version for those with tall size cups. Although I am not super fond of pink it really did work best as the background for the most popular spring flower here: 桜 (Japanese cherry). To tell the truth, I think we have more cherry blossoms in my hometown in Canada than one would typically see in Tokyo, but people in Japan tend to associate cherry blossoms with being a very Japanese thing and the strongest association with the coming of spring. As they tend to bloom here for not much more than a week in each area it can be a bit of a briefly dramatic spectacle. It is a nice time to go to Shinjuku Gyouen (新宿御苑) on a weekday and have a picnic, shoot some photos and relax. Go to a local park on the weekend and you will be lucky if you can sit down never mind picnic.

I think that by the time cherry blossoms have come and gone I will be happy to do another cup design that is not quite so pink 😉

Update: By printing it on 和紙 (Japanese traditional paper) that is slightly off-white I have managed to make it look a bit more classic and a lot less pink!

My Custom Coffee Tumbler – Winter 2012

Shiro Winter 2012 GrandeWhen I go to Starbucks (one of the few consistently non-smoking coffee establishments in Japan that serves decent straight iced tea) I tend to prefer to use my own tumbler, both for the discount and for its ability to hold liquid at temperature a bit longer than thin PET. Over the years I have had a few of these cups but as they were all plastic they tended not to be as effective at holding temperature as the stainless tumbler I had and I was always a bit torn which to use. Enter the stainless-core design-my-own-tumbler. This summer Starbucks in Japan started to sell my dream custom tumbler.

I picked one up and have been using it since fall. As the weather has moved into winter it was time to replace the falling leaves motif I went with for the fall months with something more season appropriate. Yesterday I designed, printed and prepared my winter tumbler (Shiro Snowflake version 2012). The dog (Shiro) design is one I did a number of years ago and still use on occasion in a variety of applications. Pretty nice, eh?