Friday, August 04, 2006
A bit of trivia about Starbucks
I have been having some discussion lately about the virtues of Gloria Jeans coffee as apposed to Starbucks. I found an interesting article on Wikepedia about the name and logo.
According to Howard Schultz's book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, the name of the company was derived from Moby-Dick, although not in as direct a fashion as many assume. Gordon Bowker liked the name "Pequod" (the ship in the novel), but his creative partner Terry Heckler objected: "No one's going to drink a cup of Pee-quod!" Heckler suggested "Starbo," the name of a mining camp on Mount Rainier. Combining the Moby-Dick idea with "Starbo" resulted in the the company being named for the Pequod's first mate, Starbuck.
The company logo is a siren (sometimes called a mermaid, but more properly known as a melusine since she has two tails). The logo has been streamlined over the years. In the first version, the Starbucks siren had bare breasts and a fully-visible double fish tail. In the second version, her breasts were covered by hair, but her navel was still visible, and the fish tail was cropped slightly. In the current version, her navel and breasts are not visible at all, and only vestiges remain of the fish tails. The original logo can still be seen on the Starbucks store in Seattle's Pike Place Market.