More than two decades after the creation of this iconic cup design, the woman behind the pattern is finally getting some credit.
Two weeks ago, a Reddit user posted a series of questions directed at the creator of the teal and purple "Jazz" design ubiquitous on cups and other paper goods in the 90s, hoping the internet could help track down the person behind the pattern. Last week, Thomas Gounley of the Springfield News-Leader managed to do just that, as clues posted on Reddit helped lead him to Gina Ekiss.
Gounley found that from 1987 to 2002, Ekiss had worked at the Springfield plant of the Sweetheart Cup Company, the distributor of the design. In 1989, the company held an internal contest to create a new stock image, and Ekiss entered the image that would become "Jazz."
The rest is history. Products featuring Ekiss's design hit the market in 1992. Solo purchased Sweetheart in 2004, leading to many classifying the cups as "Solo Jazz" cups. The design became an emblem of '90s culture, and today has been repurposed as a pattern used on shirts, nail art and even cars.
While Ekiss's design became famous, the creator hasn't gained the same level of renown as her pattern. Ekiss told Gounley she didn't receive royalties or bonuses after her design was selected. Currently, she works as the custom frame shop manager at a Springfield Hobby Lobby location.
Now, however, she's receiving credit for her creation – online, at least. So, whenever you take a sip from your Solo Jazz cup, you can mentally thank Gina Ekiss for her efforts and the combined work of Reddit and Thomas Gounley for bringing her accomplishments to light.