The Evolution and Fascinating Story behind the Original Starbucks Logo

Starbucks, the renowned brand of coffeehouses, has become a symbol of quality and luxury in the coffee industry. One of the most recognizable elements of the Starbucks brand is its iconic logo, which features a mermaid at the center. This logo has undergone several changes over the years, evolving from a retro design to the polished and modern image we see today.

In the early days of Starbucks, the logo depicted a twin-tailed mermaid in a circular frame, surrounded by text that read “Starbucks Coffee, Tea, and Spice.” The logo had a distinct vintage feel, with its intricate details and faded green color. It reflected the brand’s commitment to delivering high-quality and unique coffee blends, as well as its roots in the coffee and tea trade.

As Starbucks expanded its reach and gained popularity, the original logo underwent several redesigns. In the late 1980s, a more simplified and streamlined version of the logo was introduced. The mermaid became the central focus, with the text “Starbucks” encircling her. The green color was retained, symbolizing freshness and nature, but the design was cleaner and more modern. This version of the logo represented Starbucks’ evolution as a brand and its commitment to providing a contemporary coffee experience.

Origin and Background of Starbucks

The green and original Starbucks logo, featuring a coffee siren, has become one of the most recognizable brand symbols in the world. But where did this iconic mermaid come from?

Starbucks was founded in 1971 in Seattle, Washington by three coffee enthusiasts – Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker. Their goal was to provide high-quality coffee beans and equipment to coffee lovers.

The original Starbucks store was located at Pike Place Market and featured a retro design with wooden fixtures and a coffee roaster in the window.

As the brand grew, the founders decided to update the logo to better represent their vision. They wanted a design that reflected the seafaring history of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. That’s when they discovered a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or siren, which they believed captured the essence of their coffee culture.

The green color of the logo was chosen to evoke freshness and the natural origins of their coffee beans.

Over the years, the Starbucks logo has undergone a few changes, but the siren has remained a central element. Today, the siren is depicted as a stylized, modern figure, but she still captures the original spirit of the brand and its love for coffee.

Logo Design in the Early Years

In the early years of Starbucks, the logo design featured a vintage and retro look that has become iconic in the world of branding. The original logo depicted a mermaid, known as a siren, in green, which has remained a key element of the brand’s identity even after several logo updates.

First Evolution of the Starbucks Logo

The first evolution of the Starbucks logo showcased the brand’s vintage roots and set the stage for their iconic image. The original logo featured a green and brown color scheme, representing the rich and earthy nature of their coffee. At the center of the logo was a siren, or mermaid, which was a nod to the seafaring history of the coffee trade and the allure of their coffee.

This retro logo captured the essence of Starbucks as a unique and captivating brand. The green tones represented their commitment to sustainability and environmental consciousness, while the siren symbolized the irresistible allure of their coffee.

With this logo, Starbucks established itself as a brand that combined quality coffee with a sense of history and adventure. This vintage logo served as the foundation for future iterations of their logo, creating a recognizable and iconic image that people around the world associate with Starbucks today.

Incorporating the Siren Symbol

As part of the original Starbucks logo, the siren symbol is a key element that has become iconic in the world of coffee. The retro green logo features a vintage mermaid, commonly referred to as the Starbucks siren. She is depicted as a twin-tailed mermaid or siren, with flowing hair and a crown.

The siren symbolizes the allure and seduction of coffee, drawing customers in with its enticing aroma and rich flavor. With its roots in maritime history, the siren also represents adventure and exploration, capturing the essence of the coffee-drinking experience.

Over the years, the siren symbol has undergone subtle changes in the Starbucks logo, adapting to the company’s evolving branding and design choices. However, the original vintage appeal remains, as the siren continues to grace the Starbucks logo, reminding customers of the brand’s rich history and its commitment to providing quality coffee.

Logo Changes in the 1980s

In the 1980s, Starbucks underwent some significant logo changes. The original logo, with its iconic mermaid or siren, was still present, but it underwent a few modifications. One of the main changes was the switch from a brown color palette to the now-familiar green that is synonymous with the brand.

During this decade, Starbucks also experimented with different variations of the logo. These variations took on a more retro or vintage aesthetic, reflecting the popular design trends of the time. The siren was stylized differently, with a more intricate and detailed illustration.

The green color choice in the logo was not only visually appealing, but it also represented the brand’s commitment to sustainability and eco-consciousness. It became a key aspect of Starbucks’ overall brand identity.

These changes in the 1980s set the stage for Starbucks’ continued evolution and growth as a global coffeehouse chain. The logo changes reflected the brand’s ability to adapt to the times while staying true to its original identity as a place for quality coffee.

Streamlining the Logo in the 1990s

In the 1990s, Starbucks made the decision to streamline their logo, giving it a more modern and simplified look. This was done in an effort to appeal to a wider audience and broaden the brand’s appeal.

The retro and vintage feel of the original logo, which featured a twin-tailed siren or mermaid, was preserved, but with a cleaner and more polished aesthetic. The focus of the logo remained on the iconic siren, symbolizing the rich history and heritage of Starbucks as a coffee brand.

By adopting a simpler and more streamlined design, Starbucks was able to create a logo that could easily be recognized and remembered by customers. The logo featured a bold and stylized representation of the siren, with the classic brown and green color scheme that has become synonymous with the Starbucks brand.

This reimagined logo not only modernized the brand’s image but also helped to solidify Starbucks’ position as a global coffee giant. With the streamlined logo, Starbucks was able to capture the essence of their original logo while appealing to a broader audience and maintaining their brand identity.

Emphasizing the Green Color

The original Starbucks logo featured a vintage design that was primarily influenced by the brand’s deep connection to the world of coffee. The logo prominently displayed a retro mermaid, known as the “Siren,” which represented the allure and seductive nature of their premium coffee blends.

One of the key elements of the original Starbucks logo was the use of a vibrant green color. This green color was chosen to symbolize freshness, growth, and nature – all of which are closely associated with coffee production and the natural ingredients that go into creating the perfect cup of coffee.

The vibrant green color was strategically used in the original Starbucks logo to catch the attention of customers and create a sense of excitement and curiosity. The color helped to establish the brand’s unique identity and differentiate it from other coffee chains.

The emphasis on the green color in the original logo also played a significant role in evoking a sense of nostalgia and familiarity. The use of this color in combination with the vintage design of the logo created a sense of authenticity and tradition, which resonated with customers and helped to build brand loyalty.

Over the years, Starbucks has made several minor updates to their logo, but they have always retained the iconic green color as a nod to their original design and the values it represents. This emphasizes the brand’s commitment to providing high-quality coffee products and maintaining its strong connection to the rich history and traditions of coffee-making.

Starbucks Logo in the Digital Age

The green and original Starbucks logo featuring the twin-tailed mermaid has become synonymous with the brand. While the logo has undergone several changes over the years, it has managed to maintain its vintage, retro feel, reflecting the long history and tradition of the coffee company.

In the digital age, the Starbucks logo has taken on a new form as it is now widely used across various digital platforms. The digital version of the logo is optimized for screen usage, allowing it to be easily recognizable and legible on different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computer screens.

With the rise of social media and online marketing, the Starbucks logo has become a familiar sight on websites, mobile apps, and social media profiles. It serves as a visual representation of the company, instantly conveying the brand’s identity and values.

The digital adaptation of the logo has not only made it more accessible but has also opened up new possibilities for creativity and branding. The Starbucks logo is often featured in animated formats, allowing for dynamic and engaging visual content.

Despite its transformation in the digital age, the essence and symbolism of the original Starbucks logo remain intact. The green color represents freshness and the natural origins of the coffee, while the mermaid embodies the allure and mystique of the brand.

Starbucks Logo


In conclusion, the Starbucks logo has successfully transitioned into the digital age, maintaining its vintage charm while adapting to the demands of modern technology. It remains an iconic symbol of the brand and continues to captivate coffee lovers around the world.

Evolution of the Starbucks Name

The Starbucks name has a rich history that has evolved along with the company itself. From its humble beginnings as a single coffee shop in Seattle to its global presence today, the name Starbucks has become synonymous with good coffee and unique experiences.

The Green Mermaid

When Starbucks first opened its doors in 1971, it was known as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices. The original logo featured a vintage, retro design with a siren or mermaid at its center. This logo, with its intricate details and green color, quickly became iconic and represented the brand’s commitment to quality.

In 1987, the company decided to drop “coffee, tea, and spices” from its name and become simply Starbucks. This change reflected their focus on coffee as their core product and helped solidify their position as a leading coffee brand.

The Global Brand

As Starbucks expanded internationally in the 1990s and 2000s, the name Starbucks became known worldwide. The logo, still featuring the green siren, became a familiar sight in cities around the globe, symbolizing a warm and welcoming atmosphere for coffee lovers everywhere.

Today, the Starbucks name is instantly recognized and associated with high-quality coffee and a unique cafĂ© experience. Whether you’re in Seattle or Shanghai, seeing the green Starbucks logo is a sure sign that you’ll find a great cup of coffee and a place to relax and enjoy.

Current Starbucks Logo

The current Starbucks logo, although it has gone through a few changes since the original, still features the iconic image of a siren or mermaid. This brand has become synonymous with the Starbucks name and is instantly recognizable to coffee lovers worldwide.

The vintage logo depicted a topless siren with a flowing tail, a nod to the seafaring origins of the coffee brand. Over the years, the logo has evolved to become more streamlined and modern, with the siren now depicted as a green, stylized image.

The green siren logo is an integral part of the Starbucks brand identity and represents the company’s commitment to providing high-quality coffee. The logo is often seen adorning its coffee cups, storefronts, and various merchandise, serving as a symbol of the high standard of coffee offered by Starbucks.

Although the logo has changed over time, the essence of the original mermaid emblem remains, reminding customers of the rich history and heritage of the Starbucks brand. This timeless logo is a testament to the enduring nature of Starbucks and its commitment to delivering exceptional coffee experiences.

Success of the Starbucks Logo

The logo of Starbucks has played a crucial role in the success of the brand. The retro and vintage feel of the logo instantly captures the attention of customers and creates a sense of nostalgia. The green color used in the logo is associated with nature and represents the company’s commitment to using sustainable and ethically sourced coffee.

The original Starbucks logo featured a twin-tailed siren, which is a mythical creature representing seduction, allure, and charm. This symbolizes the way Starbucks aims to captivate coffee lovers with its exceptional brews and inviting atmosphere. The siren has evolved over the years, but its essence remains intact, connecting the brand’s heritage and tradition to its present-day offerings.

The logo has become an iconic symbol of Starbucks, instantly recognizable across the globe. It has been imprinted on countless coffee cups, store signs, and merchandise, creating a strong brand presence. The consistency of the logo over the years has further solidified Starbucks’ identity and contributes to its worldwide recognition.

The Evolution of the Logo

Since its inception, the Starbucks logo has undergone subtle changes to adapt to changing design trends and reflect the evolving brand identity. The early designs featured a more detailed and realistic portrayal of the siren, while the current logo showcases a simplified and streamlined version.

Despite these changes, the core elements of the logo remain consistent, ensuring that customers can still identify Starbucks at a glance. The longevity and recognition of the logo are testaments to its success in establishing Starbucks as a global leader in the coffee industry.

The Power of the Starbucks Logo

The Starbucks logo’s success lies in its ability to evoke emotions and create a connection with customers. The logo’s retro and vintage aesthetic appeals to coffee enthusiasts who appreciate the rich history and tradition behind the brand. It creates a sense of familiarity and comfort, making customers feel at home in Starbucks’ stores.

The logo also symbolizes Starbucks’ commitment to providing high-quality coffee and exceptional service. It represents the company’s dedication to sustainability and social responsibility, which resonates with customers who value ethical business practices.

In conclusion, the Starbucks logo has played a significant role in the brand’s success by capturing attention, creating a strong brand presence, and evoking positive emotions. Its evolution showcases Starbucks’ ability to adapt while maintaining its core identity, ensuring that the logo remains a symbol of excellence in the coffee industry.

Controversies Surrounding the Logo

The original Starbucks logo featuring a twin-tailed mermaid, or siren, has had its fair share of controversies over the years. As the face of the brand, the logo has been both praised and criticized for various reasons.

1. Cultural Appropriation

One of the main controversies surrounding the original Starbucks logo is the accusation of cultural appropriation. Some argue that Starbucks, being a global brand, has used a mermaid design that is similar to the traditional siren found in ancient Greek mythology. Critics claim that Starbucks has appropriated this imagery without proper cultural understanding or respect.

2. Sexualization of the Image

Another controversy surrounding the original Starbucks logo is the perceived sexualization of the mermaid image. The logo features a topless mermaid with her tails strategically placed. This has caused some controversy, with critics arguing that the logo promotes objectification and is inappropriate for a brand that sells coffee.

Starbucks has addressed these controversies to some extent over the years. In 1992, they made small changes to the logo to make it more modest and focused on the face of the siren. However, the revised logo still retained the essence and retro feel of the original design.


The original Starbucks logo has been at the center of various controversies related to cultural appropriation and sexualization. While the brand has made minor adjustments to address these concerns, the logo remains an iconic symbol of Starbucks, representing its long history and commitment to providing quality coffee.

Question and answer:

What does the original Starbucks logo look like?

The original Starbucks logo features a twin-tailed mermaid or siren, with a nautical theme.

How has the original Starbucks logo changed over the years?

The original Starbucks logo has undergone several changes over the years, including simplifying the design, removing the word “coffee” from the logo, and making the mermaid more streamlined.

Why did Starbucks change its logo?

Starbucks changed its logo to modernize its brand image and make it more appealing to a wider audience. The removal of the word “coffee” from the logo signifies the company’s expansion into other beverages and products.

What is the significance of the twin-tailed mermaid in the original Starbucks logo?

The twin-tailed mermaid in the original Starbucks logo is a nod to the maritime history of coffee and the company’s roots in Seattle, a city known for its strong connection to the sea.

When was the original Starbucks logo introduced?

The original Starbucks logo was introduced in 1971 when the company was first founded.

What does the original Starbucks logo look like?

The original Starbucks logo featured a circular design with a brown background. It included a detailed illustration of a twin-tailed mermaid, known as a siren, with a crown on her head and her two tails wrapped around her body. The text “Starbucks Coffee Tea & Spices” was also included in the logo.

Why did Starbucks update its logo?

Starbucks updated its logo to modernize its brand and make it more streamlined and versatile. The company wanted to move away from its original focus on coffee and expand its offerings to include a wider range of beverages and food. The new logo also reflects Starbucks’ commitment to sustainability and its global presence.

When was the first Starbucks logo introduced?

The first Starbucks logo was introduced in 1971. It was designed by Terry Heckler, a graphic designer, and featured a brown circular design with a detailed illustration of a twin-tailed mermaid, known as a siren. This logo was used until 1987 when it was slightly modified.

What is the significance of the twin-tailed mermaid in the Starbucks logo?

The twin-tailed mermaid, known as a siren, in the Starbucks logo represents seduction, allure, and a connection to the sea. It is inspired by the sea maiden in Greek mythology. The siren also symbolizes the allure of coffee and tea, drawing customers into the Starbucks experience.