Now Accepting Submissions for Design Lab at Expo 2018

Now Accepting Submissions for Design Lab at Expo 2018

SStarting today, we’re opening submissions for the 2018 Design Lab, a platform for showcasing great design in specialty coffee, taking place at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle this April 19-22.

Design Lab was established at our 2016 Expo in Atlanta, focusing initially on coffee packaging, but grew in 2017 to include drinking vessels and spaces, both educational and retail.

Learn more about Design Lab and apply on the Expo website here. Application deadline is February 16th.

Hundreds of submissions were received last year, and carefully evaluated for originality, function and sustainability by a panel of judges representing guild leadership and independent designers. New to this year, first-place winners will be announced for each category too, in addition to the selection of the best submissions.

What Is Design Lab?

Great coffee is synonymous with great design, and increasingly serves a critical function in distinguishing specialty coffee. Design Lab seeks to celebrate this effort through three key platforms, coffee spaces, coffee vessels and a packaging showcase.

  • Category: Coffee Vessels — Design Lab Vessels explores some of the most charming and original designs for anything you drink coffee from – paper cups, travel mugs, ceramics, glassware etc. Have you or your business created something beautiful in the past twelve months? Submit it for consideration at Design Lab here.
  • Category: Coffee Spaces — The Design Lab Spaces exhibit showcases incredible retail, education, and production environments designed for coffee. Have you built a beautiful space in the past twelve months? Submit here.
  • Category: Coffee Packaging — Design Lab Packaging identifies some of the most compelling coffee packaging designs from the past year. Has your company created new packaging or updated an old design in the past twelve months? Let us know by submitting it here.
Competition Benefits

Design Lab seeks to highlight the best in our industry. Winners in each category will be recognized at the Specialty Coffee Expo and on SCA News. Additionally, each winner receives a special digital mark to signify their win. 

Competition Rules
  • Applicants must be members of the Specialty Coffee Association. Not a member? Support our nonprofit mission by joining here.
  • There is a cost of $150 for each submission.
  • High-quality photos of each submission must be included. These will be used to judging, but also display if your submission is selected.
  • Judges will evaluate submissions under the following metrics: originality, function, sustainability.
  • Applicants should include as much information as possible about their submission.
  • The deadline for applications has been extended to February 21st.
  • Packaging and Vessel submissions must be able to deliver samples of their product to the Specialty Coffee Expo show office by no later than 4pm PST on April 19th.

Submit your most beautiful work no later than the deadline of February 16th. Questions? Email us at