Tag Archives: visual rhetoric

Pen of Jenn – Visual Design & Its Importance

Everyday, we are flooded with images, specifically in the form of ads and logos. They do so much work on our brain that we don’t know it. A lot of logos and ads are so well known that most people don’t even need certain elements to know what it is. Here’s an example: “Bah dap bop bop bah, I’m lovin’ it.”  One guess: McDonald’s! The legendary golden arches are known throughout the world. The McDonalds’ red & gold are so well known that maybe you don’t even need the arches. But why do the arches exist? What’s their significance? Why red and gold? These are all decisions that were made intentionally and not at random by a visual designer. All of these things were intentionally selected to evoke something from people who see it.

Step right up ladies and gentlemen. For my first trick, I will be analyzing the Starbucks logo. For most of us, we grew up with this Starbucks logo:

starbucks_logo_old

This logo has the Starbucks name in it, along with their top selling commodity, coffee, in front of a dark green background, and their trademark Siren in the middle in front of a black background. The dark green represents “nature, trustworthy, refreshing, cool, restful, quiet, traditional, and money.” Though Starbucks sells more than coffee, it is known for its coffee. The Siren in the middle is possibly the most significant decision for the logo. A Siren, from greek mythology, is known for its powerful voice and luring sailors off of their course and to death. They’re hypnotizing and it’s hard to resist their call. By Starbucks having a Siren, they are saying that their coffee is luring and hard to resist (though the death thing probably isn’t included in the meaning). Though this may seem a bit stuck up, it’s hard to deny the bounty of people who love Starbucks and drink their coffee faithfully (I may or may not be included in this).

Below is the new Starbucks logo that was introduced in 2011.

Starbucks-Logo NEW

With the new logo, they’ve completely omitted the “Starbucks Coffee” around the Siren and zoomed in to focus on the Siren. Not only are the same meanings still applied to the color Green and the Siren itself, but now, Starbucks is implying that they are so well known that you don’t need to see their name to know it’s their coffee.

There you have it folks! I bet you’ll never look at the Starbucks logo the same. Not that I’m bias, but you should still go buy their coffee because it’s great. Logos have so many different implications that aren’t even considered when we view them as consumers. It’s amazing what can be deciphered. Until next time from the Pen of Jenn, I leave you with this meme of where the Starbucks Logo may go in the future.

 

starbucks logo meme

Doodlers, Unite!

For all of you doodlers out there, check out Sunni Brown‘s TED Talk, “Doodlers, Unite!” Sunni is a professional doodler and leader of The Doodle Revolution, a global campaign for visual literacy. At TED, she countered the bias against doodling, instead labeling it a true ally of intellectual thought. So don’t feel guilty about doodling! Now, if anyone tells you to stop doodling and start paying attention, you can tell them you are and send them this link. By the way, if you watch her Talk and you’re curious about the anthropological study she mentions, you can find more info on it here.