The Old Logo

Seeing the old, although somewhat modified, logo from Starbucks today got me thinking about it’s evolution from the sexy bare breasted and seductive mermaid who spreads her double fishy tail for the coffee consumer into the cleaned up version that it is today. Poeple look at it today and can’t even tell that it was once a mermaid, or siren as they tell us, or what those two things are that she is holding. Her supple and perky breasts are fully covered up with long wavey hair, but most of all, her spread eagle split tail is cropped right out of the circle.

She is a Siren, and she is meant to entice you drink her beverage by using feminine wiles and sexuality.  The pleasure of the drink will be like the pleasure of the flesh.  She is an archetypal character symbolic of feminine power, sexuality, and fertility.  She is a  Sheila-na-gig, and you can read all about her here.

Just take a look at some of these other Sirens.

The article in the link has some pretty far out ideas on the subject.  I didn’t come up with this stuff, I’m just relating it here because I find it fascinating.

  1. Cool. Thanks for the history lesson. I wondered about those two tails myself. It looks like this isn’t a new logo for Starbucks though – http://brandautopsy.typepad.com/brandautopsy/2005/06/the_evolution_o.html . Just a return to the less seemly logo they used to use. I wonder if it’s meant to appeal to an edgier crowd – all the people who now drink much better coffee that Starbucks hopes to woo back.

  2. I seem to recall the Siren being associated with luring unwitting men to their deaths.

    A coincidence? You be the judge.

  3. That’s right, she sings with her beautiful voice and seduces the men of the sea with her fishiness (the natural conclusion of the symbolism is to be drawn here) and then consumes his soul to fill the void of soulessness.

  4. Where did you find that last image? It’s an ur-goatsie. You need to submit it to boingboing.net…

  5. Ha! I haven’t seen Goatse/Goatsie in while. I googled Sheila-na-gig to get that image, I forget the url. If you google Goatse, you get something similar, but different. I guess Goatse is not so much symbol of fertility as it is a symbol of endurance. And besides, this one is really more of a Femse.

    I don’t really know what boing boing is.

  6. I guess my unintentional misspelling was some sort of mental recoil– if you can’t spell it, you can’t google it, and you never have to see it again. Boing Boing is a blog about ephemeral pop/mutant culture. Before that it was a book, and before that a zine. They’ve been documenting the goatse meme for quite a while, with special focus on unintentional goatse echos in popular media. The most recent was a graphic over Bill O’Reilly’s shoulder in a Fox newscast…

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