16 April 2008

If we are truly irritated, let's just take the irritation out on Starbucks.

So what would you rather hear about? The long conversation I had last night with Ranger J. Burns, that ended with a warning not a ticket, and a promise that he would personally never shoot me with an assault weapon no matter how fast I ran away from him into the bushes? And my theory for him that my dogs are like beer, and my leashes in my hand are like brown paper bags, and how good cops, not bad cops, turn a blind eye at the brown paper bags so they can save their enforcement frying for bigger fish. Which he didn't exactly buy, but I thought I should explain it to him anyways. I did manage to not lose my temper, although I did make him wait for me to count to 10.

Or perhaps you would like to hear how Gustavo had a great practice, was speedy like wind, flying over the big boy a-frame and the remodeled dogwalk and slamming his teeter all by himself with gusto and running through his poles with no training wheels? No slamming on brakes. No bad memories of scarey country dogs. All speedy and wild!

Or perhaps you'd be interested to know my hair is currently wadded into a big fat hair wad and it is still coated with dust. Or that I made Otterpop dance around in my living room with me to the Cure.

No, I think those are all stories you have heard before. They just keep happening over and over again. On a different day and to a different soundtrack. But today I am listening to Willie Nelson singing with Johnny Cash. So I will tell you what leaped out at me from the newspaper in the morning. Because I am mean and that's something I didn't tell you yesterday or the day before. I don't even read the old fashioned paper newspaper anymore, but some guy still throws it out his car window into either our wet plants or under my car every morning at like 4am. I see him sometimes when I'm out there with Timmy. Some members of my family can only read sports things from paper and the internet is not the same no matter how much it is costing us to have the car guy throw it at us.

What the paper says, is how there is a 99% certain chance the Big Huge Quake Certain to Kill us All is happening for sure in the next 30 years. Like not probably. Not likely. Like for sure it is coming and for sure in my lifetime and for sure we are all going to die this time. Just reading that ensures mega heart palpitations on my part and is a great way for me to start my day in a panic. So, to get out of panic, need something else to think about. Because denial is how we live in earthquake country.

How about, since many trees are being butchered already for the sports pages and earthquake news, a pull out, 10x14" full color with varnish print ad from Starbucks tucked into that newspaper that showed their old '80's logo with the spread eagled and busty woodcut mermaid? Except that the mermaid has been de-nippled with different hair. Thank god that is a problem we have sports bras for and don't need to address in dog agility hair issues. Does anyone other than a graphic designer notice the Starbucks logo thing? Like they are pulling the retro thing to be cooler, since their name does not mean cool anymore. So if they harken back to the Olden Days of Starbucks, we think it's a little cooler?

Did you know you were getting a little lesson here in branding? People used to ask me "What is branding?" when I was a designer. Now that I am back in the horse world, people might ask me more when they are looking at a brand on a horse's butt and I am supposed to know, does that mean Zangersheide or Swedish Warmblood. But in graphic design, it is how do you incorporate visuals into twisting a consumer's perception of something so that they will consume it. This was one of the things that the better I got at it, the more it curdled my blood until I wanted to quit designing things for other people. Branding is a good line to be in if you are shrewd and more than a little mean.


I don't even care anything about Starbucks, but I do have this internal logo alarm system that makes me follow logos when they start to shift. Like tectonic plates shifting to our deaths! And now they have this weirdo hybrid logo, that is supposed to mean they are cool and retro, yet, not at the risk of offending anyone afraid of nipples. So it's not really retro, it's just sort of like retro. Which is what retro is anyways.


Only some of you will notice that the print ad used the old mermaid on the unvarnished cup, making it Stand Out Boldly. Some of you won't. Probably very few of you notice that it isn't REALLY the old logo, because her new hair covers her nipples. But those of us that did notice might tell others. Like right now. You might never, ever go to Starbucks. But you might need a coffee one day, say a dog agility trial. And perhaps there will be a choice of coffee places. And because I spent all this time calling to your attention this logo issue, when you think coffee, you might think about the mermaid's nipples, and you might notice the Starbucks current slick and way more sanitized for the '90's one, up there on a sign, right in front of your face. And go buy some.

Yep. As simple as that. Designers and Branding Experts sit around and think this stuff up and try to trick you into buying whatever their client is selling. And it is our duty to deconstruct it all. You can figure out Why Keith Richards Does Louis Vuitton ads. Just like we need to resist the rangers and question their every statement. I guess you wish I just told you about practicing with the dogs instead.

4 comments:

Katie Trachte said...

I'm a designer by trade as well and am not a fan of the new Starbucks logo... but I think it was a new branding motivated idea because they've been going downhill... I refuse to pay $5.00 for a fancy cup of iced coffee when I can get it for $3.00 cheaper at Dunkin Donuts.

Sarah said...

Yay Gustavo! Yes, we like to hear about good agility practice time, but bad agility practice time is also nice to hear about too. Because we can't be perfect all the time (unless we're Susan Garrett or some other agility superstar, right?) Don't get me wrong, hearing about close encounters at Lighthouse Field and becoming educated about the evils of Starbucks and their branding strategies is great too! So as usual this reader enjoys your posts no matter the subject. Which is just what you'd expect from someone who can bark up the wrong tree with great determination :-)

Pacco de Mongrel said...

embarassed to say that i actually never seen the old logo b4...ever since starbuck invade my country, it was the green logo..

Bra Nipple Covers said...

I actually came across some post before discussing the origins of the starbucks logo. I didn't think it's somewhat a mythological character: a two-tailed siren. Well, I prefer the modern version of the logo. The green color works well. Looks some sort of an aztec art to me. :D