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What Is The Meaning And Story Behind The Starbucks Logo?

Written by:
Reviewed by: Philip Calahan
What Is The Meaning And Story Behind The Starbucks Logo?

The Starbucks logo is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It has been a symbol for coffee, and a symbol for success ever since it was first designed in 1971 by artist Terry Heckler. It’s one of the most recognized business logo designs that is adored by coffee lovers from across the globe. Millions of people see Starbucks logos every day and are drawn to them because they have such an iconic look.

But what does Starbucks stand for? What’s the meaning behind their logo design? In this blog post, we will explore the story and history behind this well-known company’s emblematic design, so you can understand why it is as successful as it is today!

Starbucks Logo: The Story and Meaning Behind the Iconic Design

Starbucks logo design is iconic in its own unique way with bold font and an image of two mermaids.

The mermaid design was not originally part of the logo, but it was added when Starbucks decided to put their coffee beans in cans for home brewing. The two-tailed siren with windswept hair is now iconic and has been featured on many different products since then including t-shirts, mugs, and aprons.

In 1987 there were more than 600 stores with Starbucks across North America alone! Now that number has grown exponentially before our eyes – think about how much your nearest Starbucks may have changed over these years…

Here’s the Starbucks logo design evolution through the years:

  • 1971 – The Starbucks logo was a mystical two-tailed mermaid placed inside of a circle with coffee brown detailing. Brown colors are often associated with nature and nurture, so it is easy to see how that one design choice has contributed greatly to the company’s success.
  • 1987 – The color green was introduced as the dominant color instead of the existing brown color, in order to augment growth. In this design, the Starbucks logo included two stars that appeared on either side of the logo in addition to the coffee beret, further solidifying their branding.
  • 1992 – In the third version of the Starbucks logo design, they introduced a clean design with a close-up view of the mermaid. They removed the navel from the design and only the fishtail remained visible. The word “Starbucks Coffee” is shown in a typeface inside a circle that has 2 stars on either side, outlined in green and white colors.
  • 2011 – Another update: Goodbye old mermaid! The original Starbucks logo was further redesigned in 2011 to reflect changes in their brand identity and product offerings. Starbucks updated its iconic logo to represent a streamlined design that features more prominently the siren in a green tone. Also, the wordmark and stars were removed in the new design.

Here are the design elements of the Starbucks logo design:

  • The circle shape – The Starbucks logo is circular in shape.
  • The color green: it’s the favorite color of Starbucks founder and also a symbol for balance, harmony, freshness
  • Two stars on either side of the circle. They are placed to represent guiding principles that they work towards in business – quality with style but prices low enough that everyone can enjoy coffee at cafes (Note: the stars were removed in the latest logo design).
  • Fonts: The Starbucks logo design featured a simple yet bold font for writing the wordmarks. However, with the latest design, the wordmarks are removed also.

The new updated Starbucks logo design is more streamlined and modernized than ever before. It represents what Starbucks stands for today while retaining its true meaning over many years. This is what made the iconic Starbucks logo design one of the most recognized symbols worldwide!



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Hey there, I’m Bobby, but most folks around here know me as Dude. At, my mission is crystal clear: to untangle the knots of curiosity by bringing expert insights to life's most intriguing questions.
Curiosity fuels my existence. You'll catch me diving into the depths of quantum mechanics one moment and exploring the virtues of different veggies the next. From pondering life's existential mysteries in my younger years to now channeling that inquisitiveness into this platform, I've always hungered for answers.
Life's gotten busier since those early days, packed with work and family. But you know what hasn’t changed? The endless barrage of questions. DudeAsks bridges that gap between life’s whirlwind and our insatiable curiosity.
Our vibrant community thrives on the main Q&A board, buzzing with hundreds of questions and lightning-fast, expert-backed responses. That’s the essence of what we do – rapid, precise answers from the best in the field.

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