Leslie Buck, responsible for the iconic Grecian-themed "Anthora" design on so many New York coffee cups for nearly half a century, died on Monday at 87. From his New York Times obituary:
On front and back, Mr. Buck emblazoned the Anthora with three steaming golden coffee cups. Above them, in lettering that suggests a Classical inscription, was the Anthora's very soul—the motto. It has appeared in many variant texts since then; Mr. Buck's original, with its welcome intimations of tenderness, succor and humility, was simply this:
We Are Happy
To Serve You.
Though the cups aren't as common as they once were, they can still be found at diners, delis, and food carts. Buck decided on the Classical cup design in the colors of the Greek flag because so many of the city's diners were owned by Greeks. Though he had no formal art training, it was an instant success.