‘Sweetness’ 12oz Travel Mug
By K is For Black | On Society6
There’s design that looks good, and then there’s design that is good.
The former is all about appearances. On the surface it ticks all the boxes but fails miserably on delivering functionality. Sometimes its those spectacular looks that are exactly what makes it unusable, whatever that might be. Anyone who has worn a pair of Christian Louboutin heels, or tried to swig from a martini glass a few cocktails in, (or both at the same time) will know what I’m talking about. Appearance before practicality!
The latter, good design, is all about the end user’s experience. Does it do what its meant to? Is it easy to use? Does it feel good to use? How does it feel in the hand? Is it pleasing to the eye, without loss of functionality? Does owning it solve a problem for the user rather than make their home more cluttered?
All this is to explain a pet hate of mine. Well, perhaps two pet hates. The first being when a brand decides to branch out from what they do best and slap their logo on an ancillary product – an add-on if you will – to make some extra cash. Some brands do this very well and the result is their brand ethos merges even deeper into their customer’s lifestyle. But its so easy for it to all go wrong especially when the brand chooses to superimpose their branding on something predesigned and mass produced that misses the mark of what their existing customer base has come to expect – good design.
The second pet hate? Drippy coffee cups. Drives me absolutely bonkers!
And here we finally arrive at my point: Society6 have cleared all these hurdles and just Got. It. Right.
On the left is Mr CC’s favourite mug. The drippy lip of the mug feels like a child’s sippy-cup in my mouth and I can not stand drinking coffee from it feeling as though I’m an adult-sized toddler unable to be trusted to not spill my drink. (It makes you spill your drink!) Mr CC perseveres despite the suboptimal drinking experience because he has googly-eyes for the brand. I am not so forgiving.
To me, its a prime example of design that is all appearances and no actual functionality. Its also from a brand that have an exacting design philosophy when it comes to their main business, but have seen an opportunity to infiltrate further into their consumer’s lives and got it so wrong. Don’t teach me to have high expectations and then wilfully not meet them! They will remain nameless, but if you’re curious, check out Mr CC’s micro-blog on Instagram. It should be fairly obvious.
Ok, enough of my rant about bad design because the 12oz Travel Mug from Society6 is good design. And I’m not talking about the hipster-goth-fabulousness that is the surface design by K is for Black (aka Anna Dorfman), although that clearly is awesome. I’m talking about the base design – the actual product, not the decoration.
That squared-off lip (pictured above – right) ensures you never have lines of beverage oozing their way towards your clean surfaces, whether that be your car, your desk, your carpet… (anyone else sit on the floor rather than their couch?). Hooray for OCD coffee drinkers everywhere!
The Travel Mug is made from good quality heavy porcelain that is super hard wearing and has not suffered the fate of many mugs before it. Namely, I put them in the dishwasher and they come out no longer glazed. The finish has not faded at all. Because it is a ‘double-wall’ design I was worried that the extra heat and steaminess of the dishwasher might make it crack when the air inside expands. But no, the silicone valve takes care of that nicely letting out pressure with out letting in moisture.
I must confess I haven’t tested its travel-ability. While it does fit in the cup holders of my car I have never driven anywhere and tried to drink from it. (Its become my mug of choice and by the time I leave the house its already been used and in the dishwasher.) I do have a few observations from use around the house that are transferable though.
There is no sippy-spout! So, Yay. Because I. HATE. THEM. I am an adult and quite capable of not spilling my drink thank you. Also, those spouts are possibly the best way of transferring lipstick all over your face – especially your nose. Infuriating. The lid has a ‘trap door’ that slides back and allows you to drink from the lip like a normal grown up.
That same lid is not insulated and only sits inside the rim of the mug held there with a ring of silicone ‘grip’. You will not be able to use it like a thermos, tip it on its side, drive like a maniac or gesticulate wildly without coffee carnage. Its not water tight – its spill proof in low movement scenarios. Like walking your coffee to your desk, or driving normally in a car that has suspension.
I love the tall handle-free design – it fits in my cupboards and dishwasher so much easier. And its always the mug handle I break.
I also love how speedy Society6 were in sending me my purchase and how carefully it was packaged (mega bubble wrap!). Society6 manufacture to order. They keep the base mugs in stock, but they only add the decal once they have an order for it. I had my purchase in my hands 8 days after ordering! When you live in Australia as I do, that is uncommonly good shipping time. Everything ships separately so if there is any delay it doesn’t delay your whole order which is brilliant.
If you’re interested in what else I bought check out my original post, or head up to the top bar and type ‘Society6’ in the search function on the right.
If you’re interested in getting your own, there is a vast array of designs to choose from on Society6. I’ve picked out a few of my favourites. While you’re there, they regularly send out discount codes and free shipping promos, so make sure you sign up to their newsletter.
The Society6 12oz Travel Mug retails for $24 US and ships worldwide.