Friday, July 1, 2011

Today, I am un-loving...

Today, I was un-loving... the new Starbucks logo. Until I started the research and photo search for this post. Somehow, it doesn't look as bad in this beautiful photo, especially after watching the video and reading through the lengthy process of how the designers arrived at the new logo here

It's funny because if you think about it, all they really did was take out the outer ring with the name, change the black into green and enlarge. It doesn't seem commensurate to the process they went through - here's an excerpt.

"From the start, we wanted to recognize and honor the important equities of the iconic Starbucks logo. So we broke down the four main parts of the mark – color, shape, typeface and the Siren. After hundreds of explorations, we found the answer in simplicity. Removing the words from the mark, bringing in the green, and taking the Siren out of her ring. For forty years she’s represented coffee, and now she is the star."

It's even more hilarious because I work in that field (Marketing) that requires and develops a 300-page powerpoint presentation to justify a logo change when it can be done by any designer in just 3 easy steps: (1) delete outer ring, (2) change color from black to green, and (3) enlarge. And I'm not even counting the countless hours spent on the strategic plan that eventually rendered the old logo with "coffee" limiting that necessitated drafting a brief for the design agency that started all this. Neither am I counting the countless meetings, revisions and approvals that went into this quite simple logo change. If I worked at Starbucks doing the same thing I've been doing for the past 14 years, my job would have been to prepare that lengthy rationale for top management, attend those meetings that would extend late at night because existential questions about the brand would be raised, provide the design agency with strategic inputs for revision (and that means you're not allowed to make executional comments like "delete the word coffee") because we would not be happy yet with the logo after the 11th submission. It's such a fresh perspective to be on the outside looking in at this Starbucks case. I'm sure the Marketing guys at Starbucks prepared for this so long and hard; but to a regular consumer, Playhouse Disney's Special Agent Oso could have done it in his usual "3 special steps".

And as a regular consumer, despite wavering for a while there, I realize I am still un-loving this new logo. It doesn't look as bad on the white cup because the absence of a white outline is not as pronounced. But it looks awful on an empty plastic cup! Yes, I realize this filled clear cup is not helping my case at all.

And my futile search for an image of the new logo on a plastic cup is now making me wonder... Will the new Starbucks logo go the way of the new Gap logo, which lasted all of about a week in 2010?

Photos from dieline and my own cam.

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