In 2011, we saw a “swoosh” be made. Starbucks dropped their wordmark and went all in with their green girl, the Siren.
The stripped-down and simplified icon now provides the foundation for a broader, more dynamic identity system. The Seattle coffee-shop visual cliché isn’t wholly lost, but rather made more powerful and less precious. An appropriate evolution because Starbucks is f’n huge.
Size creates the confidence that—yes—people will recognize the icon without the name, but also creates incredible drag on rollout. Starbucks was, however, very smart to immediately switch over the coffee cups; they are the brand ambassadors. We’ve long advocated for our interns to start a watchdog blog that follows the refresh's implementation process. It is a textbook example of how to manage a rollout.
We “envy” this project because it’s huge and it’s happening. Every client wants a “swoosh” but few have it in their gut to just do it.