The green mermaid you see on white Starbucks cups is one of the most instantly recognizable logos on the planet. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the logo means a lot to the company. Internally, they call it “the dot.”
“It’s a bit of a nickname,” Jen Quotson, Starbucks vice president of global creative, explains to me over the phone. Today, for the holiday gift-giving season, Starbucks is rolling out 100 collectors’ cups that reimagine the dot. Quotson essentially gave the Starbucks creative studio carte blanche to go nuts and design to their heart’s desire.
Shortly after marching orders were given, hundreds of ideas were thrown up on a pin board, where they were mixed and matched “like paper dolls” to get just the right balance. There’s your standard fare: your floral patterns, your French Impressionist-inspired stuff, your plaid. But there are more ambitious interpretations of the dot, too, like one with punk-ish metal studs and another that looks like a Shel Silverstein doodle.
“When we started this collection, we gave ourselves permission to stretch the idea of our logo knowing the equity of our logo,” says Quotson. “For us, that was one of the most fun pieces to think about. How can you think about where that dot sits and ensure it’s still ours?”