Every day millions of people start their day with a steaming cup of Starbucks coffee. It’s undoubtedly the most popular coffee chain in the world, but how exactly did the Starbucks logo become one of the most recognizable icons across the globe?
It started with 3 friends. Jerry Baldwin (an English teacher), Zev Siegel (a history teacher) and Gordon Bowker (a writer). The trio originally named their coffee company Pequod, after a whaling ship in Herman Melville’s American classic, Moby-Dick, but later changed the peculiar name to Starbuck, the chief mate on the Pequod.
For its logo, they reached out to now legendary graphic artist and advertising guru, Terry Heckler, who scoured old marine books until he came up with a logo based on an old 16th-century Norse woodcut: a two-tailed mermaid. In Greek mythology, sirens lure sailors to shipwrecks. Similarly, the logo was used to lure coffee lovers in.
Since its creation, the original Starbucks logo has undergone many changes. The most dramatic however, happened when the company was acquired by Howard Schultz in 1987. It was Schultz who wanted a more polished professional look and requested the logo be turned green.
Despite all the dramatic changes made to the design, including the newest design change featuring an enlarged siren with no stars or wording, the Starbucks logo still retains its original ‘Mermaid’ emblem.
It’s uniqueness and originality serves as its trademark, but also makes it so popular that people automatically associate the green siren with Starbucks, making a reference to their name not even necessary.
At DS&P, we understand that a logo is the single most visible manifestation of the company. It’s much more than a graphical representation, it’s an anchor, and a foundation for the branding of your company.
Need a new logo? We offer branding packages for every business - big or small. Contact us today to get started!