You don't have to know a damned thing about Greek and Roman mythology to have heard of Pandora or the Trojans -- those characters have been used on company logos and by sports teams for as long as either has existed. After all, nobody holds the copyright on ancient myths. So why make up a new name for your company when you can just call it Cerberus?
A word of advice, though. Before you go sticking a mythological figure on your logo, take a few minutes to look up its story. Otherwise you get some downright hilarious unintentional results. Like ...
7The Starbucks Siren
The Symbol Is Used For:
A classy-looking figure to put on the coffee chain's sign and cups.
We always thought it was Heather Graham holding up two striped bass.
But the Symbol Actually Means:
Obsession, addiction and death.
If you're familiar with the Starbucks logo, it's probably because, statistically, you are inside a Starbucks right now. If you're not familiar with Starbucks, that's because you're a hypothetical person created just so we could give this paragraph a satisfying structure.
Either way, you may not have realized that the woman in their green label with the perky breasts and weird twin-fishtail deal going on is a siren from Greek mythology.
Via Wikimedia Commons
Her crotch has three handlebar mustaches, which means she may have Roosevelt blood.
According to the Starbucks blog, she was chosen as the logo because Starbucks was looking for a nautical theme to capture the spirit of Seattle. Remember that this was back in 1971, when Seattle was known for sailing and seaports instead of grunge rock, rain and hipsters.
In mythology, sirens are consistently seen as a personification of the ocean -- and that's not a good thing. They're brutal sociopaths who murder you by being attractive. According to scholars, they would sing an "irresistibly sweet" song that "lapped both body and soul in[to] a fatal lethargy." Sailors who crossed paths with a siren would become so obsessed that they would crash into the rocks and die.
Though we like to think they were actually trying to run them over because the sirens played nothing but old Zeppelin covers.
Much in the same way that countless people have been seduced by the lure of overpriced coffee, buying cup after cup until they finally succumb, buying an Apple laptop and spending the rest of their lives at one of those tiny tables, joining the other broken victims.