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Jordan Booth A Corporate Logo

Pepsi is one of the most immensely popular brands in the world today. Rivalling Coca Cola since the dawn of the 19th century, Pepsi began life at the hands of a pharmacist named Caleb Bradham. Initially named Brad’s Drink, Pepsi Cola was designed to help aid digestion and boost energy, hence the relation to the digestive enzyme named pepsin. From 1902, Pepsi Cola was more than a handout at Bradham’s pharmacy and became a running business at the back of the store. The business expanded and within 10 years was being manufactured in 24 states. A few bankrupts, the first radio jingle, a diet variant of the drink and a worldwide expansion later, Pepsi has risen today as an industry giant; quite a contrast from its backdoor roots. Pepsi has always had its eyes on the younger market. Even right from the beginning, with claims that the drink was healthy, the brand has presented itself as a sporty and active drink. It is quite obvious therefore that the product would be marketed towards youth or the young at heart. The advertisements in the late 50s most notably gave this impression with their posters promoting youth enthusiasm. Pepsi jumped onto the idea that people are thinking more optimistically and labelled it as “a young view on things” and “The Pepsi Generation”. Even nowadays, Pepsi claims sponsorships in relation to sports or active events, not to mention The X Factor, which is based on the same view of conviction that was advertised in the 50s.

Jordan Booth As with Coca Cola, Pepsi decided to produce more than their primary drink. The 60s saw an increase in birth rates (known in the industry as a “baby boom”) so to tend to this sudden rise and the mothers whom want to watch their diet, Pepsi produced Diet Pepsi. What was truly beneficial for the company’s innovative image was that Diet Coca Cola in fact came out over 20 years later, making Diet Pepsi the first Diet variant of a big name carbonated cola beverage. Diet Pepsi has no sugar and low calories, which in itself is very marketable as a healthy version of an already highly successful brand. The label design for this product simply embossed the word “diet” in red text, with a grey/silver background behind the traditional Pepsi brand name. This grey/silver touch has since been very recognisable and easily distinguishable alongside the standard version; Coca Cola even took on this idea for their Diet label design. Less significantly, other variations of the Pepsi drink have included Caffeine-Free Pepsi, Pepsi Max and a few distinctively-flavoured alternatives to Pepsi, such as cherry and lime. Corporate identity has not always been completely consistent over the course of Pepsi’s existence, but there is a link between the Pepsi Company we know today and its original formation a century ago. In the beginning, Caleb Bradham made claims that the drink would boost one’s energy levels. This of course was on more of a medical stand point, because the market would be taking these claims from a pharmacist, meaning they will look upon the drink as something medicinal; recommended by a professional. Moving forward to the 50s, Pepsi still retained its promise of providing energy by marketing toward the younger generation. This would’ve given adults the impression that to drink Pepsi would mean that they will be behaving as they would have done in their youth. Nowadays, Pepsi brands itself onto recreational events. Whether this is sponsorships (tennis, sailing, X Factor, etc) using its name for large stadiums (The Pepsi Centre, Denver) this carries the message that Pepsi wants to inspire active pastimes, thus keeping the idea of energy alive in its corporate image. We are also under the impression that Pepsi is an alternative to Coca Cola, because restaurants such as Mcdonalds and KFC only provide one or the other. Whatever success Coca Cola achieves, it will always be compared with Pepsi.

Jordan Booth Pepsi has had a healthy evolution with its logo design. There is an obvious gradual development throughout the majority of the time span, where the logo appears to simplify or become more vibrant, before changing its form. 1898 gave “Brad’s Drink” a marketable title for the bottling labels at last. Pepsi Cola as seen in this age was very contemporary, when put alongside other early products. Coca Cola had a similar style, with the wavy and hand-writing font. This is also the beginning of one of the familiar colours we see illustrated on Pepsi today. This simple use of red could’ve looked far more extravagant back then, but it still doesn’t make up for the small text which doesn’t look all too appealing for the quick-scanning eye. 1905 changed the arrangement of the flicks and loops in the font. There isn’t much to connote in this logo, much like the successor from 1906. The previous logo lasted a year before it became this newer form, with thicker ink and words within the lines. “Drink” and “Delicious” are of course marketing tactics. The “Drink” presumably hits a spot in the brain that makes you aware of your thirst, whilst giving what is technically an order to the viewer. 1940 reduced the details even more. There are less free-hand strokes and more symmetry than before, due to the letters being closely relative in size. I feel this works better, because the words are more recognisable. Up until 1950, red had been the dominant colour palette for the logos, leaving much to be desired and not much to identify. However, the logo at this point finally acquired the familiar red white and blue attire. Whether this symbolises the American flag or connotes hot, neutral and cold is to be decided for the audience as it has not been specified. It is considered, however, that the colour change was due to patriotism because of the end of WWII and the duration of the Cold War. I find this logo to be very weak, simply because the words themselves are shown sideways and are nor prominent in contrast with the bottle cap picture. This may have been noted for the 1962 re-design, in which the bottle cap remains with its new colours, yet the simple word “Pepsi” is bannered across. The dropping of “Cola” from “Pepsi Cola” could either have shown audiences the lack of relation to the Coca Cola rival, or shown the impact of the company along with its significance. It is still recognised to this day that the biggest brands do not need complicated logos (look at Apple Mac, Windows, Volkswagen, etc). This logo was very appealing and the same can be said for the 1973 rendition, which adds a new colour to the mix. It is however, very minor to have this light blue addition, but it gives the logo a summer-feel (light blue connoting a clear sky, the white signifying a wave). This logo also drops the bottle cap, in favour of a more abstract vision of the circle shaped bottle lid. Again, simplicity is brought forward the more the company expanded and succeeded in the industry. Jumping to 1991, the designers have recognised the impact of the red white and blue circle and realised that consumers could see it as the Pepsi logo without the name across it. They placed the circle at the bottom right, a streak of red behind it and the name across the top. This red streak suggests motion blur, with the Pepsi logo at last written in italics to lean with the direction the blur implies. 1998 showed the step into the digital format even more so,

Jordan Booth with the light glow of sky blue surrounding the circle, shaded to look like a sphere or globe. This is my second favourite logo, behind the 2005 rendition, which followed the same format of making both the globe and the text prominent, but also added ice and water droplets to quench the viewer’s thirst. The scattering of these pieces of ice also makes out an explosion; recreational themes are once again hinted at. Thus here we are with the 2008 label, which after a long time, goes back to the lowercase lettering to show informality and modern style. The globe itself has undergone a change, with the white wave appearing more distorted. It may have been an attempt to make the globe look 3D without using any shading effects, but instead it has been compared to an obese man’s body (red shirt, white skin and blue jeans). I have to agree that this new design is not particularly effective, as I much preferred the deeper toned colours and the moisturised effects of the 2005 design. To this day, Pepsi can be compared with other fizzy-pop beverage giants such as Coca Cola, 7up, Sprite, Fanta, Tango and Iron Bru.

Pepsi Logo Evolution  
Pepsi Logo Evolution  

An essay I produced in response to task 1.