Gee Whillickers!

Lifting the Fig Leaf of the Starbucks Logo

Some people have had heavily caffeinated thoughts about just what the woman in the Starbucks logo is all about, anyway. Well, there was an original logo that can shed some light on her and why the logo might have been redesigned.

Present Logo

Original Logo

The obscure symbol of a crowned woman in the circular border is actually a mermaid. Huh? Yes, mermaids only have one tail, right? Well, this one’s called Mulesine and she won’t settle for just one.

Melusine is a mythological creature like a mermaid, but with two tails. It appears in European Heraldry, and a French medieval tale.

The French fable goes that Mulesine married a man and they had a mess of deformed kids, though she always forbid him to see her in the bath one day out of the week. Guess why. One day, on one of these occasions, he spied her serpentine fish gams and she then fled in the never-to-be-seen-again fashion.

Apparently, as a symbol, the two tails have something to do with the Chernobyl-styled mermaid’s ability to bed down with land lubbers.

The original logo is sometimes referred to as the “bellybutton” logo. It might have been redesigned to the cropped-down version as a marketing afterthought to make it less symbolically risque—the modern equivalent of painting a fig leaf over the nether region of a nude figure in a classical painting.

Gosh, That’s Handy!

Color, Theoretically Speaking
Part IV, Color Harmonies

There are a lot of standard color harmonies on the color wheel. Some of them are very familiar and some get a little technical.

We’ll use a color wheel to represent some of the common, more comprehesinble color harmonies.

Refers to any color on the color wheel plus its neighboring colors on either side.

Refers to colors that are directly across from each other on the wheel. Theoretically, perfectly complementary colors would reduce to total grey when combined.

Split Complement
This harmony can often be a good tool for coming up with a basic color palette and accent colors in a design. Teal would have a split complement of a warm red and warm gold.

The word itself gives you the idea; meaning inconsistent, unsuitable, inharmonious. Sometimes a disturbing color combination is right in line with the message you’re forwarding or gets the attention you want.

Here are some color harmonies that are standard groupings.

Stay tuned for more color in next month’s issue of Rigney Graphics Lunch Meat™!

Ad Absurdum!

Allen-A Atlastic

You see, men of the 50s were apparently very concerned over their undershirts being afflicted with “sagosis,” which created an uncomfortably effeminate plunging neckline as a result of failing elastic.

Remember—wearing a ratty, worn-out rag was okay as long as the elastic held. Not looking like a girl was the important thing.

But, relief came with the Allen-A Atlastic t-shirt. Once again a guy could walk around carrying a shotgun in his undies and feel like a real man!

Well, in an ad for men where not looking like a girl is the “button,” you can practically see the ad man’s mind: manly = 12-gauge shotgun. C’mon, it practically writes itself!

Gee Whillickers!

A Slogan a Day…

The most often quoted medical proverb is without question “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Of course, its history and exact origin are uncertain, but it probably became prominent towards the end of the 19th century.

A likely precursor is the English saying, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread” (recorded in 1866). But, oddly enough, the simple rhyming dietary advice we all know and love wasn’t recorded in writing until about 1913.

It caught on quickly and, by the 1930s, was being parodied, as in “An onion a day keeps the world away.”

The obvious, if naive, good sense of the proverb, and its catchy rhyme and meter, have made it a ubiquitous phrase and has spawned countless spin-offs and parodies. In fact, it’s been sort of reduced to the formula of “An X a day keeps Y away.”

Variations have been used in literary works, cartoons, comic strips, greeting cards and, of course, in advertisements. Campbell’s Soup used the slogan “Campbell’s Soup. [is] Better than an Apple a Day” (1983).

In the ’70s, the Kraft food conglomerate used variations of the proverb in large national campaigns, advertising marshmallows by depicting a cute child with the questionable slogans: “A marshmallow a day makes your blue eyes bluer,” “A marshmallow a day puts a smile on your face” and “A marshmallow a day puts a twinkle in your eye.”

Mmmm… marshmallows!