Starbucks logo redesign goes sans words

Starbucks logo redesign goes sans words

Starbucks has unveiled its brand spanking new logo and the biggest surprise looks to be the decision to entirely remove the ‘Starbucks coffee’ wording. But for a company that’s spread so far as to unfortunately often overshadow more individual, local coffee joints  (head to the city where it all started, Seattle, and you’ll quite literally see one on every corner), it’s sill clearly identifiable as the Starbucks brand. While the words may have vanished, the logo retains its mermaid centrepiece, or as Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz refers to her as,  the “siren” . 

The new logo will be rolled out from March this year, to time with Starbucks’ 40th anniversary, and comes courtesy of Starbucks’ own in-house design team and studio Lippincott. 

The company’s senior creative manager, ‘Mike P’ describes the new logo as “ 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”. 

On the Starbucks blog, he writes: “From the start, we wanted to recognise 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.” 

Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz announced the redesign, saying: “Throughout the last four decades, the Siren has been there through it all. And now, we’ve given her a small but meaningful update to ensure that the Starbucks brand continues to embrace our heritage in ways that are true to our core values and that also ensure we remain relevant and poised for future growth.” 

Comments from punters on the Starbucks website are mixed, though they seem to tilt more on the side of criticism. “It looks cheap and tacky... Starbucks is losing its class,” comments one person, while another calls it “undistinguished and bland.”

 Starbucks must be hoping the new logo doesn't fall under the same fate as the Gap logo which, when unveiled last year, was met with so much criticism, it ended up being dropped. 

And just for kicks,  below is an interpretation of where the logo may be headed to in the future, factoring in its previous evolutions. 

Image from Felipe Torres,

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