…Behind the Starbucks Logo I
February 13,2020 By Yicheng Wu
Starbuck is one of my favourite coffee shops not only due to the different tastes of its coffee, beverage and sweet desserts but also the unique design of its twin-tailed mermaid that attracts me. By looking at the logo design while drinking its coffee, a lot of interesting questions come to my mind: who designed this logo? What’s the story and symbolism behind this logo? And, What about the evolution of its logo design history? Why is the mermaid twin-tailed? I bring these questions with curiosity and start to do some research. I find that some secret information reveals behind its logo design. Due to further research about Starbucks logo design, I divide this post into two sections. This is section one. If you are interested or want to know further information about the Starbucks logo design, you can continue to visit section two. Thank you!
The stories behind the Starbucks logo had slightly altered versions. The one is a mythological legend-woman and half-fish creature typically called a Siren. Its creature is usually known as a mermaid according to the ancient Greeks. Sirens seduced Mariners with beautiful songs and promises of sex and then killed them.
Another version can be traced back to the 15th century, it is about the twin-tailed siren Melusine. In the legend, Melusine transformed the human, agreed to marry a man on the condition that she be left alone one day a week to do as she pleased in private. After some years, the man became jealous and broke into her room…he discovered that his wife was not a human. Melusine had to leave her husband and child, then transformed herself into a dragon in a shrieking fury. Since then, The man never saw her again.
The Starbucks chain was founded by 2 teachers and a writer: Jerry Baldwin(an English teacher), Zev Siegel(a history teacher) and Gordon Bowker( a writer). Three men without any prior business experience decided to start the first Starbucks store. The trio opened their first location way back in 1971 in Pike Place Market in Seattle. They came together to sell the bags of roasted coffee beans. As of 2018, the company operates 28,218 locations and 238,000 employees worldwide.
The Starbucks logo experienced 4 evolutions from the past to now:1971-1987 The first time was when they were designing the twin-tailed siren in its original appearance that looked huge and seductive. But this design was controversial because of its seductive looking: the huge bellybuttons, breasts, and beer belly that looks pregnant. Some letters of women complaining about the sirens risque poses grew and so they made further changes.
1987-1992 Howard Schulz bought the company and came up with a modified logo version. The design still maintained the whole body of Siren but the appearance of Siren was simplified and changed. Bare-bodied siren covered with a flowing hair was depicted under the design. The company’s brand name got featured in wordmark inside the circle. Two stars on either side were embossed for making it glow like a diamond. Additionally, the logo saw an update in the introduction of a green colour palette for representing uniqueness, growth, freshness and reliability on the Starbucks coffee product. The innovation made the Starbucks symbol a little more conservative yet even more beautiful.
1992-2011 The design idea was the same, but the mermaid’s image was cropped to the navel region with the tails now partially visible. The naval was now been taken away by the designers and only a fishtail was visible in the logo. Green and White colour palette remained over there.
From 2011 to today The business logo continued to simplify the feature of Siren into essential elements and enlarged the image of the Siren in green colour fulfilling most of the logo area. In this version, all that is left from the previous one is the core – the exact copy of the mermaid. The brown background was changed to green, and the outer border is gone. With thousands of locations around the world, there is hardly a possibility of mistaking the brand for another one.