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Student designer brews up excitement at French Truck Coffee

May 10, 2024 12:15 PM
Andrea Sagnard
Brittney Giardina
Brittney Giardina’s design is based on her own interpretation of the brand and the quality ingredients that go into a fresh cup of coffee. (Photo by Wayne Jones)


When Tulane School of Professional Advancement (SoPA) student Brittney Giardina was approached with an opportunity to blend her love for illustration and coffee, she had no clue her tumbler design would create such a buzz. French Truck Coffee sold out of the limited-edition design shortly after its release.

Giardina, who works full-time as a French Truck Coffee barista, studies graphic design within SoPA’s Media + Design program. She was commissioned to create the second tumbler in the company’s new series of exclusive designs.

Giardina’s goal was to create a visual ode to the journey of the product—from bean to truck. Her design features the shop's iconic yellow coffee truck and the lush green leaves, delicate flowers and vibrant cherries of a coffee plant.

Giardina has always been a visual artist with a background in painting, but this was her first freelance graphic design piece from a brand as well-known and loved as French Truck Coffee. Reflecting on the experience, Giardina credits SoPA faculty and courses for preparing her for the project.

“I didn’t just go in blind,” she said. “I think Rebecca Carrs’ branding class helped me narrow down a brand vision, and Corey Guerra’s illustration course taught me the general graphic design vocabulary I used when communicating with the client.”

For Giardina, the positive response from French Truck Coffee customers has been a welcome validation of her passion and talent.

“It's been an incredibly heartwarming experience to see customers interact with a product I made,” said Giardina. “Some of our regulars have even asked me to autograph their cups, which was really sweet.”

As patrons sip from their custom cups, they're not just enjoying a beverage—they're holding a piece of someone's passion in their hands. With this milestone freelance project under her belt, the future looks bright for Giardina who plans to savor each sip of this success.

Five hours and 3,018 brush strokes later, Giardina's design was complete.