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New Starbucks Brand Identity – Less is More?

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by dot design, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. dot design

    dot design Member

    Starbucks have just revealed their new brand identity, showing a simplified, 'less is more' approach.
    They have removed the name and any reference to 'coffee' altogether and refined the 'Siren' choosing to place her in green on white.

    This is quite a step and change for a brand of this size, removing the name alone is a bold move and one that must have been carefully considered. As you can see from the 'Illustrated History' this change from the design in '92 to today is very different.

    At first I was unsure about it, has the removal of so much weakened the identity, diluted it?
    Only time will tell, but its certainly a big move for the company and one that won't go unnoticed both in the design community and on the high street.

    You can see the new brand identity and read more over on the Dot Design Website

    So what do you think?

    Less is more or is this a step too far, can we expect a 'Gap' like outcry?

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Despite seeing the Starbucks logo in multiple locations and on most days, I can honestly say I'd never properly looked beyond the typography to see what was actually in the middle of the logo; in that respect - in my case at any rate - the siren graphic has nothing like the recognition they appear to think as the established identity rests much more heavily on the bit they've just decided to remove. Maybe that's just me though...?
  3. dedwardp

    dedwardp Member

    As someone who does pop in to Starbucks fairly frequently I do quite like the move - to me, the logo itself isn't something I see often aside from when I am already in the cafe, in which case it isn't being used to get my attention as I am already there.

    All of their shops have big, bold writing so the logo isn't used in the same was as McDonalds perhaps is, for example, and so I don't think it will affect their identity negatively in any major way.

    In many ways, I think that because it's possibly more recognisable to people who already go there it will become stronger in the longer run as those peoplel become accustomed to it.
  4. dot design

    dot design Member

    You do have a point Dave, but I guess they think that the brand is now strong enough to remove the text element. Similar to the Nike brand where they now mostly use the 'swoosh'. I'm not sure it's quite strong enough for them to do that, but from a purely 'less is more' design view I think it,s an improvement, its certainly a bold move.

    Only thing is that there already seems to be a backlash online towards the new brand identity, they now need to have courage and stick with it.
  5. dot design

    dot design Member

    Agreed, I also think that the actual green of Starbucks is their strongest brand asset and they have chosen to highlight this by removing all black. Smart move I think.
  6. SparkCreative

    SparkCreative Member

    I agree with this. But I do really rather like the new identity too, and I don't think it's going to take long to get used to it with five Starbucks on every corner. I also think it's a smart move because every other coffee company has a roundel with big bold sans serif type nowadays and it will differentiate them again. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with Starbucks design in general, their leaflets etc are always good.
  7. web design

    web design New Member

    The brand is ubiquitous and, if we can't 'think Starbucks' from the siren symbol then the brand is in trouble! I don't think we even 'read' the word Starbucks itself: the branding communicates through colour and shape.
  8. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Agreed, I just see the green ring with a dark circle set inside when I look at the old logo and recognise that as Starbucks.

    Now however, well it's effectively just a green circle. As Spark mentioned though, with the company being the size it is, it won't be long before it's just as recognisable as the last identity.
  9. Tony Hardy

    Tony Hardy Well-Known Member

    Anyone else feels it cheapens the look of the brand? Especially on them white cups?

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