Starbucks’ New Logo

The coffee company changes its identity as it celebrates 40 years in retail.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
Piers Fawkes, PSFK on January 5, 2011. @piers_fawkes

In March, Starbucks will celebrate their 40th anniversary with the launch of a new logo and identity. Howard Schultz says that the new logo embraces and respects their identity plus evolves the company to a point that’s more suitable to the future. In this video, the CEO says that the logo is at the core the same – the love of the coffee – but by putting the Siren outside the original logo it allows the company to move beyond just being a purveyor of coffee.

starbucks new logo.jpg

In his letter on a preview site, Schultz says:

We’ve always believed the best days of Starbucks are ahead of us. So we’re excited to share with you where we’re going.

Nearly forty years ago – in a small retail space in Seattle’s Pike Place Market – Starbucks began its journey as a roaster and retailer of high-quality coffees from around the world. Back then, we sold only whole bean coffee – we wouldn’t begin offering espresso beverages in our stores until more than a decade later – but the Siren was as much a part of the Starbucks story as she is today.

On any given day here in Seattle, I might visit that original Pike Place store – but I might also drop in at our newly refurbished Olive Way store. The two store designs couldn’t be any more different – one harkens back to our heritage, the other looks boldly ahead to our future – but at their core, they’re identical, in that they retain the elements that have been true about Starbucks since the very beginning:

- A unique retail experience that creates a Third Place for our customers between their homes and places of work
- A carefully crafted offering of the finest, high-quality coffees from around the world
- The emotional connection that our partners make daily with our customers.

Throughout the last four decades, the Siren has been there through it all. And now, we’ve given her a small but meaningful update to ensure that the Starbucks brand continues to embrace our heritage in ways that are true to our core values and that also ensure we remain relevant and poised for future growth.

As we look forward to Starbucks next chapter, we see a world in which we are a vital part of over 16,000 neighborhoods around the world, in more than 50 countries, forming connections with millions of customers every day in our stores, in grocery aisles, at home and at work. Starbucks will continue to offer the highest-quality coffee, but we will offer other products as well – and while the integrity, quality and consistency of these products must remain true to who we are, our new brand identity will give us the freedom and flexibility to explore innovations and new channels of distribution that will keep us in step with our current customers and build strong connections with new customers.

You’ll begin to see our evolution starting this Spring. And there will be much more to come, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary by honoring the millions of customers and thousands of partners who’ve made Starbucks such a welcoming presence around the world. We think you’ll like what you see.


UPDATE: PSFK has an interview with the Senior Design Manager who is overseeing the logo update at Starbucks here.

TOPICS: Retail
Piers Fawkes, PSFK

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Piers Fawkes is the founder and editor-in-chief of PSFK, a daily news site that provides a go-to source for new ideas and inspiration. He also is president of PSFK Labs.