The iconic Starbucks logo is a recognizable symbol around the globe. Starbucks offers cups, sleeves, and merchandise adorned with the classic emblem. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself what is it or why a coffee company would choose this woman, who seems to resemble a mermaid, to be the face of their brand? As a Starbucks lover, it is something that peeked my interest and led me to do some investigating.
To start, it is important to know where the name Starbucks comes from. The founders of this famous coffee empire were inspired by literature when naming the company. Starbucks is named after the first mate, Starbuck, in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. They believed that the name would conjure the romance of the sea and the seafaring tradition of early coffee traders.
In search of something to capture the seafaring spirit, the founders scoured old marine books. A symbol that stood out to them? The siren. Sirens, creatures of Greek mythology, are known to lure sailors in with their enchanting music and voices. The siren was chosen to be the face of the coffee brand, to lure people everywhere to the blissful smell of coffee and an alluring, laid back atmosphere.
The look of the siren has evolved over the years, just as the Starbucks brand has. The logo has easily struck coffee lovers worldwide due to its unique shape and simple, soothing colors. The original design and inspiration is due credit to Terry Heckler. Not only is this logo memorable, it has also been the claim to prestigious design awards for its "futuristic design and intricate details."
The first siren symbol was introduced with the company is 1971. She is presented in a brown color with the Starbucks name, as well as "Coffee, Tea, and Spices." The logo made its first major change in 1987, the same year handcrafted espresso drinks were added to the menu. The captivating logo went from brown to green and black, added a more detailed siren, captured the essence of the company with "Starbucks Coffee," and now adorned two white stars. The next facelift was given to the logo in 1992, perhaps the most recognizable Starbuck's logo to date. The siren was then portrayed in more of a "head-shot" form with her two fins still visible. Finally, we have the modernized siren we see today, that made its début in 2011 when the company celebrated its 40th anniversary. With the text and stars removed, the siren shines as bright as the face and symbol of the Starbucks brand.
From its history to its evolution and design, the Starbucks logo has played a vital role in the growth and development of one of the most popular global brands to date.