The Skala Drinkware Collection

By Parker Langlois | October - December 2018

Materials /  / Polished and unpolished ceramic.

Materials / / Polished and unpolished ceramic.

This collection marks the first time I designed a product I was both truly proud of and one that I believe deserves a shot at production. The project began at the start of 4th year, however a busy school schedule meant shelving the idea until I had the time to work on it. After graduation, an espresso cup marked the inception of the Skala idea.

I stress the importance of functionality with the Skala Drinkware collection. Visiting my favourite local coffee shop, I noticed how the owner organizes his espresso cups atop the commercial espresso machine. I kept this in mind as I created the handle curvature to match the cup’s outside circumference for each size so that the cups could fit together snugly side by side.

Version 1

My Italian friends love espresso. It’s part of the reason why I scaled back my original idea. This route was also more cost effective as the prototypes were more affordable.

Version 1 was a finalist in a Chinese ceramic teaware industrial design contest (Hosted in Dehua), in December of 2018.


How important is Behance’s cover photo? Using a top-down view as the main icon link, this project quickly became my most viewed.


While V1 Skala definitely ticked the boxes for functionality and style, it simply could not be scaled for larger types of cups. I did not want the Skala design language to only be limited for espresso.

Back to the drawing board…

Version 2

Version 2 was intentionally tapered in order to scale up the intended design features. All else remains the same from V1 save for a few minor handle adjustments.


Stacking was always paramount to the Skala cup. While V1’s simple profile meant easy stacking, scaling to larger cup sizes proved problematic, especially if the cups didn’t taper. I struggled to create a beautiful stacking form for the frustum shape without changing the handle width. I eventually figured by blending the handle into the cup creating a transitional surface between the cup’s outside taper and the handle.

Cappuccino cup with matching espresso cup and saucer.

Matte black variation with alternating polished/unpolished surfaces.

If I find a manufacturer to help create the Skala Drinkware Collection, there are 2 things I would like to add to the cups:

  1. A small indentation on the flat handle surface so your thumb has a groove to sit in.

  2. When stacked, the cups seal quite effectively. This is bad if there is water inside the cup when stored. I want to add a small channel or change the inside shape in a way that provides a small gap to allow liquid to evaporate.