A Tale of Sea, Stars, and Sirens: The Origins of the Starbucks Name and Logo

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on April 4th, 2023

Introduction: The Birth of a Coffee Giant

Once upon a time, in the bustling city of Seattle, Washington, a little coffee shop was born that would go on to take the world by storm. This coffee shop, known and loved by millions as Starbucks, has an origin story as rich and intriguing as its famous brews. So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s embark on a journey to discover how Starbucks got its iconic name and logo.


Chapter One: The Founding Trio

The Dreamers Behind the Beans

  • Gordon Bowker
  • Jerry Baldwin
  • Zev Siegl

The year was 1971, and three partners—Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin, and Zev Siegl—came together with a shared dream of opening a high-quality coffee bean store. They were passionate about bringing the best coffee to the people of Seattle, but before they could open their doors, they needed a name—a name that would resonate with the hearts of coffee lovers everywhere.

Chapter Two: The Quest for the Perfect Name

Literature and Maritime Inspiration

  • Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick”
  • The character Starbuck
  • The spirit of seafaring and exploration

The trio knew they wanted a name that felt adventurous, a name that evoked the spirit of exploration and discovery. And so, they embarked on a quest for the perfect name, drawing inspiration from the literary and maritime worlds. As it turns out, the inspiration for the Starbucks name came from an American classic, Herman Melville’s epic novel “Moby-Dick.”

In this seafaring tale, the character Starbuck, the first mate of the whaling ship Pequod, played a pivotal role. Starbuck was known for his rationality and level-headedness, qualities that served as a foil to Captain Ahab’s obsessive pursuit of the great white whale.

The name “Starbucks” struck a chord with the founders, not only because of its association with the adventurous spirit of seafaring, but also because of the connection to the rich history of coffee and trade. After all, coffee has long been associated with sea voyages, as ships carried precious coffee beans across oceans to faraway lands.

As the name started to take shape, there was another piece of inspiration that came into play—the allure of the stars. The word “star” in Starbucks evoked a sense of magic and wonder, much like the experience of savoring a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. The word seemed to capture the essence of the brand—bold, imaginative, and aspirational.

Chapter Three: A Star is Born

The Magic of the Stars and Coffee Trade

  • The allure of the word “star”
  • The rich history of coffee and trade
  • Ships carrying precious coffee beans

And so, Starbucks was born—a name that perfectly encapsulated the founders’ love of literature, their sense of adventure, and their dedication to bringing the finest coffee to the world. It was a name that hinted at the infinite possibilities of the universe, and the delight that comes from discovering new horizons.

Chapter Four: Sirens and the Sea

The Enchanting Origins of the Starbucks Logo

The process of designing the Starbucks logo is as fascinating as the tale behind the brand’s name. Tyler Krivich, a representative from Starbucks, has publicly stated that the Starbucks Siren logo was derived from an old marine book. At the helm of this creative venture was designer Terry Heckler, who drew inspiration from a 16th-century Scandinavian wood carving of a twin-tailed mermaid, or siren, with uncovered breasts and a clearly visible double fishtail. Thus, the original Starbucks logo was born, featuring the enchanting siren in the center.

Image from Starbucks Archive

From Scandinavian Carvings to a Global Icon

The Starbucks logo has undergone several transformations over the years, with each iteration adding to the brand’s mystique. While the original design featured a detailed depiction of the twin-tailed siren, subsequent versions have simplified and modernized the image, making it more recognizable to a global audience. However, the core element of the siren has remained a constant throughout the logo’s evolution, a testament to the powerful symbolism and connection to the sea that the image evokes.

Today, the Starbucks logo is one of the most recognizable logos in the world, and its siren remains a symbol of the brand’s commitment to quality, exploration, and discovery. Whether you’re stepping into a Starbucks store in Seattle or Shanghai, the familiar green logo with its alluring siren is a beacon of warmth and welcome, inviting you to embark on a journey of flavor and delight.

Conclusion: A Legacy of Adventure and Discovery

The tale of Starbucks is one of sea, stars, and sirens—a story that weaves together literature, mythology, and maritime history to create a brand that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people around the world. From its name to its logo, Starbucks is a brand that embodies the spirit of adventure and the joy of discovery.

As we raise our cups to Starbucks, we celebrate not only the coffee and the experience but also the legacy of a brand that has brought a touch of magic to our lives. Here’s to the journey, to the open seas, and to the endless possibilities that await us all. Cheers!

crazy

Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.