Starbucks unveils new wordless logo

Cup (right) bears Starbucks’ new logo. Other logos from years 1971, 1987, and 1992, (left to right) are also shown.

Cup (right) bears Starbucks’ new logo. Other logos from years 1971, 1987, and 1992, (left to right) are also shown.

Starbucks Corp. is giving its siren a face lift.

The world’s largest coffee company unveiled a new logo yesterday that drops the words encircling its iconic sea nymph and gives her a few subtle updates.

Starbucks says the changes amount to more than nips and tucks to its favorite lady. The fresh look goes with a new direction for the company as it makes its way back from its toughest times in its 40-year history.

Prior versions of the logo helped build Starbucks into one of the world’s best recognized brands, and the company felt it no longer needed to reinforce its name at every turn. The new wordless logo also is better suited to the company’s expansion beyond coffee into a wider array of business lines and into more international markets.

Starbucks plans to bring the new logo to stores in March to coincide with the company’s 40th anniversary.

“What is really important here is an evolutionary refinement of the logo, which is a mirror image of the strategy,’’ said Howard Schultz, the chief executive of Starbucks.

This is the fourth version of Starbucks’ logo since the company’s beginnings in Seattle in 1971. The first update came in 1987, taking the original bare-breasted siren in brown to a more stylized — and modest — version in green as the company began to expand

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