So I am sitting in Starbucks looking out the window and wondering what to write about. Then a brick falls on my head. Okay, not really. But why am I here? A quick head count and there are at least ten people here doing a variety of things. Some reading, some just hanging with company,others surfing the web. We don’t seem to have anything in common, so I guess we are here because of what the store offers. The truth is the wares are over priced and mostly mediocre, but we still come. I come because it has free WiFi and the staff is accommodating.

So lets look closer. Lets start with the staff. The combination of green and black is genius. It reminds me of the tropics, of dark coffee beans and green leaves. It makes the staff distinctive, understated and approachable. The apron reminds me of an owner operated country store and says, “I’m going to do everything to make sure you find everything you need”. Simple by design and profound in its effect.

The dark fixtures and moderate light creates an inviting environment. You can sit in the open and feel as if you are working in the solitude of a back room. Just far enough away from the world, but close enough to look up and smile with the next seeker of solitude. The low light makes the food look more appealing. Have you taken a looking at the bottom shelf? Yeah that stuff is actually good. There is just enough of each item to suggest scarcity and encourage you to get yours before that underweight girl behind you gets the last one.

That soothing music and height matched layout of all the products. The art on the walls suggesting a place of contemplation. The use of seasonally appropriate color. Just enough to remind but not overwhelm. Have you notice that the displays are arranged in multiples of three? Is that just my Starbucks. Their I go taking ownership, the designer did her homework.

I am not a big fan of their coffee products, but I have discovered the bottom shelf of the food display. Today I have finally noticed that the design of the store is more inviting than most and that I love the environment that they have created. Each Starbucks store is a case study in design creativity and functional advertising.

I’ll be back. Even though they haven’t convinced me to buy more than one cup of coffee.