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Coinstar, More Coin less Star

Reviewed Feb. 10, 2011 by Armin

Industry / Consumer products Tags /

Coinstar Logo, Before and After

When we were in New York we would amass mountains of coins since most bodegas, mom-and-pops, and pharmacies would not accept credit card payments for any purchases under $5 or $10 so there was a lot of cash involved. At one point we had two 32-ounce yogurt containers filled with coins. We carried them from Brooklyn to a Coinstar in Manhattan and went back home with more than $200. Boom. Coinstar — a coin-counting kiosk set up inside a retailer lets you exchange coins for either cash or gift cards to places like Amazon and iTunes, keeping an average of 10% if you choose cash — first appeared in San Francisco in 1992 and today counts with more than 19,000 kiosks in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Ireland and the UK, processing around 50 billion coins a year. This week a new logo for Coinstar was introduced by its parent company, Coinstar Inc., who also own the DVD-renting Red Box kiosks, to separate the corporate mark from the consumer mark.


Coinstar Inc., the parent company of Coinstar and Redbox, retains the original logo.

The Pentagram icon is separate and supports the logo. The circles act as a metaphor for coins in support of our mission statement: “We Own Coin.”

Circles reference different denominations and no longer reference a star, though the relationship is implied. It is flexible and can move around and can also be used independently of the wordmark.
— Logo Guidelines



The old logo, despite being properly executed, screamed “lottery” and placed too much emphasis on the “star” part of its name. The new one smartly switches the emphasis to coins and it could still be considered a star (although not really). Five circles forming a bigger circle is nothing to get excited about and perhaps that’s what made the old logo more effective in making it seem as if you were about to win something. So the new logo is more polished and serious but maybe too much for its own good. The wordmark is set in a slightly modified — a little curved nudge has been cut out under the tittle of the “i” — version of Klim’s Karbon for a nice, more contemporary Gill-Sansish look that will work well in the U.S. and UK (where they love them some Gill Sans). The machines, below, still have that look-at-me! aesthetic. But if that thing is going to give me a couple hundred bucks I didn’t know I had, it could be adorned with green unicorns, rainbows and leprechauns for all I care.


Thanks to Kunal Bhat for the tip.



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