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Jan 6

Starbucks undergoes a suprising logo refresh

One of the world’s most recognizable brands has undergone a major identity change in honour of the company’s 40th anniversary.  In a very surprising move, Starbucks has given their logo a dramatic facelift.

What Starbucks’ Senior Creative Manager has to say about the new logo redesign (taken from the Starbucks corporate Blog):

“From the start, we wanted to recognize and honor the important equities of the iconic Starbucks logo. So we broke down the four main parts of the mark – color, shape, typeface and the Siren. After hundreds of explorations, we found the answer in simplicity. Removing the words from the mark, bringing in the green, and taking the Siren out of her ring. For forty years she’s represented coffee, and now she is the star.

The details came next. The 20-year old logo was built in the early days of AutoTrace and it showed – points everywhere. We improved composition, brought in more sophisticated stroke width and spacing and a smoother line flow. When it came to her – the Siren – we enhanced her form in subtle ways, smoothing her hair, refining her facial features, weighting the scales on her tail to bring the focus to her face. We enlisted the branding firm of Lippincott to help with these refinements, and give us a better global perspective on the entire identity system.

The result is an evolved logo that celebrates the Siren in a much bolder way – it’s more expressive and energetic and still uses the same vibrant green circle that is so well recognized by our customers around the world.”

What does the Starbucks Siren represent?  Their Senior Writer explains (taken from the Starbucks corporate Blog):

“Let’s go all the way back to 1971, to when Starbucks was first coming to be. In a search for a way to capture the seafaring history of coffee and Seattle’s strong seaport roots, there was a lot of poring over old marine books going on. Suddenly, there she was: a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren. There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for. A logo was designed around her, and our long relationship with the Siren began.”

Personally, I really like the bolder treatment of the Siren in the new Starbucks logo but I really question the removal of Starbucks Coffee.  Even for such a familiar identity, I still feel that having a company’s name is an absolute essential when it comes to logo design. The company website exlains that “new brand identity will also eliminate ambiguity in our non-coffee products. For instance, in some of our international markets, we offer teas called “Starbucks Coffee Tea” – a label that is confusing, because there’s no coffee in it!”. I can understand removing the word Coffee but the word Starbucks as well?
Find out more about the Starbuck logo and what coffee drinkers everything are saying at  Some interesting FAQs can also be found at

What do you think of the new logo?