Starbucks unveils new logo

US coffee giant Starbucks has unveiled a new identity created by its in-house design team and studio Lippincott. It centres on the Siren logo and does away with the words “Starbucks” and “coffee”

US coffee giant Starbucks has unveiled a new identity created by its in-house design team and studio Lippincott. It centres on the Siren logo and does away with the words “Starbucks” and “coffee” altogether…

The ‘Siren’ figure has been part of the Starbucks identity since the company launched in 1971 and this latest redesign ties in with their 40th anniversary. The new logo essentially takes the Siren out of her ringed frame (see previous iterations of the identity, below), changes the background colour to Starbucks green and removes all text – perhaps a nod to the fact that the company now sells a range of other products in addition to coffee. The identity will be rolled out across all branches in March.

“From the start, we wanted to recognise and honour the important equities of the iconic Starbucks logo,” writes ‘Mike P’, the company’s senior creative manager.

“So we broke down the four main parts of the mark – colour, 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 next step was to bring in a “more sophisticated stroke width and spacing and a smoother line flow.” The Siren’s hair and facial features were apparently also refined.

The question is, in light of last year’s most infamous logo debacle could the new Starbucks ever ‘do a Gap’? I very much doubt it. Despite the dissent already emerging on the company’s website from largely negative commenters – not to mention the need to monitor their 1.1m followers on Twitter – one thing that stands out is that Starbucks has ensured the big reveal is shown in context; on a paper cup.

It sounds obvious, but when the Gap identity announced itself to the world online, it was the same old decontextualised jpg that people were posting, emailing and generally taking apart. Starbucks has already countered the ‘you have to see it in the flesh’ argument by simply showing it in the way most people will engage with it. And doesn’t it seem all the better for that?

More details on Starbuck’s new identity can be found on their website, here. And on twitter.com/starbucks.

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