Beyond The New Starbucks Logo: Interview With Mike Peck

PSFK interviews a member of the team overseeing the corporation's strategic design overhaul.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
Piers Fawkes, PSFK on January 6, 2011. @piers_fawkes

Starbucks’ new logo is the beginning sign of a future transformation of the coffee corporations brand image. Over the next few months, the Seattle-based company will release further images of the new design that will begin to roll out over their 16,000 stores from March 8. PSFK spoke to the the Mike Peck, the Senior Design Manager who has been part of the team overseeing the strategic branding overhaul.

Can you give us a ‘why?’ Beyond the anniversary coming up, what’s the deeper reason for the update?

The logo and brand refresh has been aways a strategic decision. The company has been through challenging times and with the help of Howard Schultz, who returned three years ago, we have been on an agenda of transformation.

Through this, there have been updates to the stores and other aspects of the brand and now we’ve got to the stage where we feel good about where we have got the business to. We feel that we’re a brand icon again.

We’ve seen the logo update. What else can we expect?

The logo, or mark, is just a small part of the expression. We have been looking at photography, illustration and packaging.

We’ve looked at the brand top to bottom. We actually started with the business case and before we even went to design we looked at the words that described Starbucks of today and tomorrow.

We then went on to look at the imagery that we use and also the illustration. We want to use illustration in the new branding. In the past we were a company that used illustration, now we want an illustrative style to represent us as a company.

What values do you want the new design to represent.

The values are genuine, thoughtful, expressive, optimistic and engaging.

In terms of being ‘expressive’, we want to be seen as considered and elegant, not brash and boastful. With ‘thoughtful’ we want to show that we listen as part of the conversation – it’s something we’ve been doing through our online experiences.

When will people start seeing the new design in stores?

It will take a while to roll out. We have 16,000 stores. Every store will have the cup with the new logo on March 8 but because we are a responsible corporation most stores will revert back to the old style cups after 2 months. Then back as soon as we run through our quickly depleting stock. Then back to the new cups. This is very important as part of our environmental standards.

Thank you and good luck!