It really has been almost 40 years since Starbucks opened its first store, innocuously enough, in Seattle. And given the company’s subsequent, unstoppable stampede toward Matrix-like world domination, it seems appropriate that, in celebration of its March birthday, the company is debuting a new logo that has absolutely nothing to do with coffee.
In an earnest, vaguely creepy video on the company’s website, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz explains the new logo, which dispenses with the word “coffee” and instead pictures only the company’s impassive, split-tailed mermaid mascot. The “evolution of the logo,” Schultz says, “evolves us to a point where we feel it’s more suitable for the future” and offers the “exact same essence of the Starbucks experience.” And it gives the company the “freedom to think beyond coffee.” To what, Schultz doesn’t specify, but that “essence” doesn’t sound like anything we’d want to see floating around in a beverage.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 5, 2011