What is the Story Behind the Starbucks Logo: A Brief History

One of the most recognizable logos in the entire globe is that of Starbucks. It is a twin-tailed siren-shaped, green circular symbol that has come to represent coffee culture. But what is the background to this recognizable logo? Terry Heckler, a graphic artist, created the original Starbucks logo in 1971.

People is seen at a Starbucks store

The insignia was a brown circle with the words “Starbucks Coffee, Tea, Spices” written around it as the company’s logo.

Old nautical manuals served as inspiration for the design, while the siren was chosen to evoke the seductive attraction of coffee.

The siren was given more prominence in the 1987 revision of the emblem, and her navel was hidden by her hair.

1992 saw another modification to the emblem, this time with the siren’s hair covering more of her body.

Origin of the Starbucks Logo

One of the most well-known brands in the world is Starbucks.

Close up of Starbucks cafe logo in central London

A green mermaid with long hair and a crown serves as the company’s emblem, which is easily recognizable.

But from where did the logo originate? The Starbucks logo’s brief history is provided below.

The First Starbucks Logo

In 1971, Terry Heckler, a graphic designer, created the original Starbucks logo.

A view of the Starbucks logo at the drive thru entrance

The mermaid in the emblem was brown and had two tails. The mermaid had long, curly hair and no top.

Her navel was visible, and she was grasping her tail with both hands. The phrase “Starbucks” was written in a green circle around the mermaid in the logo, which was printed on a brown background.

The logo’s brown hue was selected to resemble the color of coffee beans. Coffee is well recognized for its capacity to stimulate the senses, and the mermaid was picked since she is a symbol of seduction.

The company’s two founders, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl, were intended to be represented by the mermaid’s two tails.

The Starbucks logo has seen numerous alterations over the years. The mermaid underwent a revision in 1987 to make her more demure.

Her hair had been moved to conceal her breasts and she had covered her navel. The word “Starbucks” was moved outside the circle and the green circle around the mermaid was also enlarged.

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The mermaid underwent yet another revision in 1992. She was given a more fashionable appearance this time.

Her face was made more symmetrical, and her hair was made more wavy. The mermaid was surrounded by a larger, more oval-shaped green circle.

The logo underwent a second revision in 2011. This time, the business completely eliminated the name “Starbucks” from the emblem.

The mermaid was enlarged and given more prominence while the green circle that had surrounded her was also taken away. One of the most recognised logos in the world today is that of Starbucks.

Meaning Behind the Starbucks Logo

One of the most famous logos in the world is that of Starbucks, yet few people are aware of its true significance.

Starbucks logo at the store front in Belgrade

The mermaid, or siren, in the emblem is depicted in green and white with two tails and long hair. A circle with the words “Starbucks Coffee” inscribed around the edge encircles the siren.

The siren in the Starbucks logo is modeled after a twin-tailed mermaid or siren from a 16th-century Norse woodcut.

The first siren was a charming monster that used her lovely voice to entice sailors to their deaths. However, the Starbucks siren is a friendlier and more welcome variation of the original.

Although the Starbucks logo’s green color has come to represent the company, it wasn’t always that way.

Starbucks’ initial logo was brown, and it wasn’t until 1987 that the firm switched to the current green and white design.

According to legend, the color green in the emblem stands for rejuvenation, growth, and freshness.

Additionally, it is intended to evoke the feelings of serenity and relaxation that many individuals associate with enjoying a cup of coffee.

Overall, the Starbucks logo represents the brand’s dedication to sustainability, community, and excellence.

It is a well-known and famous brand that has ingrained itself into our daily existence.

Controversies Surrounding the Starbucks Logo

Over the years, there have been a number of disputes over the Starbucks logo.

Starbucks shop front and signage in downtown

The emblem has been deemed offensive by some, while others have suggested that it is a part of a greater plot.

The Starbucks logo is frequently criticized for being too sexualized. The siren, or mermaid-like creature, with her legs apart is depicted in the emblem.

Some have demanded that the emblem be replaced, claiming that this is improper for a family-friendly coffee business.

The Starbucks emblem, according to some, is a component of a greater Illuminati scheme.

According to their claims, the logo is chock-full of hidden symbolism and meanings and was created to deceive viewers into approving a New World Order.

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The majority of people consider these allegations to be nothing more than conspiracy theories because there is no proof to back them up.

The Starbucks logo continues to be one of the most recognised in the world despite these problems.

It is adored by millions of coffee consumers worldwide and has come to represent the company’s success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Strarbucks Coffee shop along the river.

What is the meaning behind the Starbucks logo?

The Starbucks logo features a twin-tailed mermaid, or siren, which is a mythical creature that is half woman and half fish. The siren is a nod to the seafaring history of coffee and the company’s hometown of Seattle, which is a port city. The green color of the logo was chosen to represent growth, freshness, and prosperity.

Why did Starbucks change its logo?

Over the years, Starbucks has made several changes to its logo. In 1987, the company removed the word “coffee” from the logo to reflect its expansion into other beverages. In 1992, the logo was updated to feature a more streamlined and stylized version of the siren. In 2011, the company removed the words “Starbucks Coffee” from the logo altogether, to reflect its expansion into other products and services.

Is the Starbucks logo controversial?

The Starbucks logo has been the subject of controversy over the years. Some people have criticized the company for using a mermaid, which they believe is a symbol of lust and temptation. Others have criticized the company for using a green color scheme, which they believe is associated with environmentalism and liberalism.

How has the Starbucks logo influenced branding?

The Starbucks logo is widely regarded as a successful example of branding. The logo is instantly recognizable and has become synonymous with the company’s products and services. The logo has also inspired other companies to use similar design elements, such as the use of a single color and a stylized image.

A Starbucks coffee store in downtown Toronto


In conclusion, although the Starbucks logo has changed throughout time, the siren has remained a constant representation of the company’s heritage and core principles.

The company’s initial emphasis on coffee and tea, as well as its link to the water, are reflected in the siren’s Greek mythology roots and her transition into a mermaid.

A bold decision that highlighted the company’s widespread brand recognition was the change of the logo in 2011, which deleted the words “Starbucks Coffee” and increased the size and prominence of the siren.

The company’s dedication to sustainability and the local community is further reinforced by the logo’s green color scheme and circular shape.

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Overall, the Starbucks logo is a strong representation of the company’s history and beliefs.

The logo will probably continue to change as the business develops, but the siren will always be the focal point.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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