On this week’s art crime blotter: artist sues Starbucks over “Mini Frappuccino” design, staff at Spanish tourist destination use audio guides to launder money, and the creator of the giant inflatable rubber duck sculptures disowns one of his ducklings.
Last month, we reported on artist Ophelia Chong, who discovered that Starbucks’ recent branding was strangely close to her own art work. The artist has since decided to drop the case and I asked her why.
Last Friday, artist Ophelia Chong had the kind of day most artist’s dread. On that fateful day she was told by one of her students that Starbucks was using graphics that looked a great deal like hers that … well, judge for yourself.
Global coffee retailer Starbucks is turning 40 this year and they’ve announced a new logo to coincide with the occasion. Looking at the sweep of logos from the original topless two-tailed mermaid — though the company often calls it a siren — that appeared on cups at their first store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market to the more modern version, I can’t help but notice the march towards abstraction and a less coffee-centric brand. Gone is the word “coffee” and the color brown, and in its place is an almost Holiday Inn-like bland greenness that zooms in even closer on the increasingly de-nuded mermaid. What this redesign suggests is that Starbucks will continue to look beyond coffee and go more downmarket as it continues to grow.