When an internet community sets its mind to something, it can achieve almost anything. Just look at the successful Reddit-wide search for the creator of a popular disposable cup design called “Jazz.”
Jazz is a design iconic of the nineties, and its devoted internet fanbase spans Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. F*ck Jerry, a massively popular Instagram account managed by Elliot Tebele, uses the design as its avatar.
Jazz’s creator, Gina Ekiss, was successfully identified yesterday by Thomas Gounley, a journalist with the Springfield News-Leader in Missouri, whose interest was piqued when he saw a Reddit thread dedicated to the cup and tracking down its designer.
Redditor mcglaven created the original post, and 885 enthusiastic and excited comments later it was deduced that Jazz was designed by “a woman named Gina who worked for Sweetheart Cup Company in the late 1980s or early 1990s,” Gounley reports.
That inspired Gounley to go searching in another corner of the internet — Twitter.
He found a tweet written earlier this month by a woman claiming she was the daughter of Jazz’s designer. Gounley then scoured public records databases for someone with the same name.
He found a woman in Aurora, Missouri who met the criteria, so he drove 45 minutes to her house and knocked on her front door.
Gina Ekiss confirmed what Gounley was hoping would be true — she had designed the Jazz design in 1989.
Ekiss says she submitted the design during a company contest and it was chosen by executives at the company in 1991 to appear on dixie cups and other paper products.
She also says received no bonus when her design was selected, even though Sweetheart told her Jazz was the top-grossing stock in history.
Jazz’s fan base was thrilled by Gounley’s discovery.
the significance of the solo cup jazz design is one of those things that i have a really hard time putting into words
— KinesthetiacUuuuuuuh (@KinesthetiacJVM) June 19, 2015
Earlier today, mcglaven took to Reddit to celebrate finding Gina Ekiss.
“I can’t take credit for really doing anything, though — I just lit the match,” they posted. “The kindling — that is, the internet’s fervor for the Jazz cup — was just waiting to be set ablaze.”