According to Forbes, a Seattle journalist named Gordon Bowker teamed up with a graphic designer named Terry Heckler back in the 1970s, and they set out to build a brand dedicated to bringing people a new kind of coffee. Together, they decided the brand should pay homage to city of Seattle, and even more specifically they wanted it to “embody a unique sense of adventure” and “the seafaring history” of the Pacific Northwest. That train of thought quickly led the duo to an important piece of American literature, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. As anyone who has read the epic will remember, the ship’s first mate was named Mr. Starbuck. Apparently, they two were drawn to the letter "S," so the name was chosen for the coffee company.
For further inspiration, Heckler, who was in charge of designing the company's logo, began investigating old illustrations of sirens, mermaids, and other mythical sea creatures. Forbes explains that the very first version of that now well-known Starbucks Siren was brown and looked a tad menacing. Her nipples were exposed and her tail was split in two. By the early 90s, the Siren had evolved quite a bit. Her hair now covered her breasts, her face was more pleasant and inviting, and she was a soft green color. She had become the type of creature sailors might be happy to encounter while out to sea and no longer one that might be feared. As recently as 2011, the company removed all words from the logo, perhaps because the Siren had become so recognizable, the chain’s cups and other product no longer needed to say “Starbucks Coffee.”