The products created by soft-drink companies rarely change, so how do you keep your brand feeling fresh, relevant and enticing? Redesign the can! Soft drinks have been a part of world culture since the early 20th century, with their iconic logos often dominating the landscape and making a mark on the subconscious of thirsty nations. Travel to cities like New York and you’ll see gigantic Coca-Cola billboards towering overhead, brightly displayed in neon and on jumbo-trons. Travel through countries like India and entire buildings can be haphazardly covered with dozens of individual signs featuring their ubiquitous logos.
As iconic as many soft drink logos are to world culture, it’s interesting to note how often those logos have changed through history. The image below tracks the changing American-based can designs of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, 7UP, Dr. Pepper, Orange Crush and Squirt from the mid-century to their current renditions. We see Coca-Cola transition from a chrome edged diamond outlining its logo, to the frequently remixed versions we see today. With Pepsi we see a bottle capped can from 1948 progressing all the way to their infamous “fat man drinking a Pepsi” logo of today.
When did soft-drink-can logo design hit its peak? Were the oldest examples here the most interesting; were the bold and well established designs of the 80s the best; or are we seeing the best in design on todays cans? What do you think?