I was thinking about that while I read this article about Starbucks, specifically this passage:
About That Logo...At close inspection, the Starbucks logo makes no sense. At closer inspection, it makes even less sense, plus you risk dipping your nose in frap foam.
There's some lady with long hair wearing a crown and holding what appears to be two"¦ giant salmon? Decapitated palm trees? Miniature sand worms from Beetlejuice?
Conspiracy theorists have had a field day with the cryptic image...The real story is less about evil conspiracies than prudish graphic design.
Since Starbucks was named after a nautical character, the original Starbucks logo was designed to reflect the seductive imagery of the sea. An early creative partner dug through old marine archives until he found an image of a siren from a 16th century Nordic woodcut. She was bare-breasted, twin-tailed and simply screamed, "Buy coffee!"
In the ensuing years, Starbucks marketing types decided to tastefully cover up the mer-boobs with long hair, drop the suggestive spread-eagle tail and give the 500-year-old sea witch a youthful facelift. The result? Queen Esther at Sea World.