So, what’s in a logo? Apparently, a lot. Have you ever looked at the Starbucks logo, for example? The green is, obviously, what it is now. But, the red was where it all started.


Unless you really took time to look at it, you probably didn’t notice that the figure in the current Starbucks logo is not just a woman but actually something else. It’s more obvious in the older logo. The figure is like a mermaid - but with 2 tails. It’s called a Mulesine.

A Mulesine is a 2-tailed siren from 15th Century French mythology.


In European legends and folklore, Melusine (or Melusina) is the name of a spirit of fresh waters in sacred springs and rivers. She is usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish (much like a mermaid) from the waist down. She is also sometimes illustrated with wings, two tails or both…

the most famous literary version of Melusine tales, that of Jean d’Arras, compiled about 1382 - 1394 and worked into a collection of “spinning yarns” told by ladies at their spinning…

It tells how Elynas, the King of Albany (a poetical euphemism for Scotland) went hunting one day and came across a beautiful lady in the forest. She was Melusine’s mother, Pressyne. He persuaded her to marry him but she agreed, only on the promise — for there is often a hard and fatal condition attached to any pairing of fay and mortal — that he must not enter her chamber when she birthed or bathed her children. She gave birth to triplets. When he violated this taboo, Pressyne left the kingdom, together with her three daughters, and traveled to the lost Isle of Avalon.

The three girls — Melusine, Melior, and Palatyne — grew up in Avalon. On their fifteenth birthday, Melusine, the eldest, asked why they had been taken to Avalon. Upon hearing of their father’s broken promise, Melusine sought revenge. She and her sisters captured Elynas and locked him, with his riches, in a mountain. Pressyne became enraged when she learned what the girls had done, and punished them for their disrespect to their father. Melusine was condemned to take the form of a serpent from the waist down every Saturday.

Raymond of Poitou came across Melusine in a forest in France, and proposed marriage. Just as her mother had done, she laid a condition, that he must never enter her chamber on a Saturday. He broke the promise and saw her in the form of a part-woman part-serpent. She forgave him. Only when, during a disagreement with her, he called her a “serpent” in front of his court, did she assume the form of a dragon, provide him with two magic rings and fly off, never to return…

The tales are really quite fanciful and vary from region to region around the same theme of marriage with a contract of ‘private time’ as stipulation - contract broken - serpent form discovered and the wife then disappears. It’s an interesting fable that is connected who-knows-how with Starbucks. Perhaps they liked fables or fables of the sea.

Over time, the Starbucks logo mutated to cover both the breasts and the navel. Quite PC now.

Via Industrial Brand Creative