Evolution of Starbucks’ Logo

Many of you drink Starbucks coffee in daily life, but I bet only few of you know the history of Starbucks’ logo. Starbucks coffee has become the biggest coffee company in the world. Its logo of green mermaid has also become the most unique and recognizable symbol in cities. In fact, today’s green mermaid is not the first version of Starbucks’ logo.

In 1971, after the three founders of Starbucks made sure of their company’s name, which was related to adventures on the sea, one of the founders named Terry Heckle began to study ancient books and he finally found a wood block of Melusine, which was drawn in Scandinavia in the 16 century. Terry was inspired by this picture, the first version of Starbucks’ logo came to the world.

 starbucks-old-logoIn this logo, the Melusine exposed her breasts and  two tails. The designer used coffee brown as this logo’s main color because the Melusin was drawn on a piece of wood and the brown color is related to coffee beans. Around the Melusin, there are “STARBUCKS”, “COFFEE”, “TEA”, AND “SPICES”, which demonstrate the company’s name and their main products.

Later in 1987, the logo was changed prodigiously. Melusin’e long and curly hair hid her breasts, which was more implicit. In 1992, the designers got rid of a part of her tails. The lines of the Melusine’s picture are smoother. One of the authors named Xiao Xiong who wrote about the changes of Starbucks logo said, “They made these changes because some customers said that the exposed breasts had some sexy factors and her two tails made them feel uncomfortable”. Now, the Melusine is more beautiful and graceful, which makes people feel more appreciative, comfortable, and remarkable. Also, the English words are only “STARBUCKS” and “COFFEE”, which emphasize their main product, coffee.

Another big change is the background color of Starbucks’ logo. It has been changed into green. There are two reasons. Firstly, most greens, connect closely to nature, since green is the color of growing plants. By associating Starbucks with the coffee growing region of the world, the green logo makes an implicit argument about the quality of the coffee itself. Secondly, the green also associates with Seattle and the Puget Sound region of Washington State. Because the only rainforest in the continental U.S. is across the sound from Seattle, and Starbucks is headquartered in Seattle. So they chose green as its main color till now.

Today’s logo was designed in 2011. The designer deleted all of the words around the Melusine. And the only color is green. This symbol is the most successful one because people can remember and recognize it easily. In my opinion, they have no starbucks-logoneed to use English words or any other symbolic words. Most modern people would understand its meaning whatever languages they use because Starbucks has achieve the goal of being popular all over the world. At the same time, it diminishes the gaps between people who come from different countries.

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