Logo Design Love

For graphic designers and all who love logos.

Thoughts about Pepsi

Pepsi logos cans
Click image for larger view, courtesy of Adrants

There’s been quite the discussion around Pepsi’s latest rebrand. Patrick of CR Blog finds it laughable. Freddy of adgoodness thinks it’ll work. And 450+ comments on Brand New offer interesting views.

Here are some thoughts from Chris Glass.

“The more I thought about how I felt about the new identity, the more ridiculous I felt about having any regard or feelings at all.

“It’s soda. Headlines declare a financial meltdown threatens the entire planet and here I am considering the choice of thin san-serif.”
— CHRIS GLASS

I can empathise, but as Chris goes on to say, the feelings are still there, regardless of value within the grander scheme.

plastic Pepsi bottles
Image from FormFiftyFive

Pepsi cans
Image from Greg Verdino on Flickr

What strikes me most isn’t the typeface. It’s not the cheesy grin, either. It’s just how often the directors choose to rebrand/redesign/refresh.

Pepsi logos
Image courtesy of Chris Glass

A seemingly never-ending battle of one-upmanship with Coca Cola that continues to cost huge fortunes (the latest rebrand a mere $1.2 billion over three years — from AdAge.com).

Will the new shelf-image bring higher sales? I like to think my choice is based upon taste. But whether that’s the full reason… Martin Lindstrom sent me a copy of his book Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. Interesting read so far, focusing on the largest ever neuro-marketing study. Maybe it’ll give me a little more insight.

Look at these classic Pepsi cans.

classic Pepsi cans

Familiar, distinctive, iconic. I wonder how many billions have been spent on branding between then and now.

Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities

112 appreciated comments

  1. David, pretty interesting… I really liked the new re-brand until you pointed out those last two cans. Then I realized, “oh yeah, I liked those better.” I’m still a Coca-cola fan no matter what the Pepsi logo looks like.

  2. I quite like the new re-brand but it seems very early 2000s to me with the minimalism and what not. I’d rather Pepsi spent their money on producing a cola that doesn’t taste like cat’s wee, however.

  3. ze

    think that their trying to make a minimalist look on the new re-design too minimalist… the new image may show us ‘just that’, ‘just soda’, ‘just pepsi’. it doesn’t work at all, it could be worse tough… I personally think that brands like coca cola and the the rest of similar drinks have to pass a dinamic design, not what pepsi is trying to pass. this is not a ‘clean’ drink, if you know what I mean

    sorry my english, could not express my ideas clearly.

    great post

  4. Initially I didn’t like the redesign. But, it’s growing on me. I still like how Pepsi staying away from Red (Coke practically owns it) and now they fully control Navy. Especially with the new design, it creates a wall of solid color on the shelves.
    Of course it will be refreshed in a few more years. Coke is always promoting itself as classic (no pun intended). I don’t think it’s a bad idea for the #2 company to go for hip and new.

  5. Ok, so here’s my thoughts…

    Pepsi has always tried to appeal to the younger “hipper” crowd, as Jim MacLeod pointed out, Coke has always been “classic”. My problem with this rebrand is with the overall design i think rather than the individual parts. The typeface is probably the most redeeming quality, imo, with the mark being the least. Why they changed the direction of something that, as you put it David, was so iconic is beyond me. This design does come across as ze said, far too minimal, causing it to look amateurish. It reminds me of something created by a freshman design student trying to be different, modern, and current, but not having the experience or the finesse to pull it off and keep it interesting.

    I recently went to a party where there was Pepsi being served, and it was in it’s new bottle design. Immediately me and my friends, none of whom are designers, started criticizing the logo design. My one friend said it reminded her of the generic cola used by movies and film when they don’t want to pay for the Pepsi brand.

    Now, Pepsi seems to have rebranded all of its drinks, all with the same excessively minimal/hip look. My least favorite is Sierra Mist, a personal favorite soda of mine. The design uses a solid neon green background, with silhouettes of trees. Again there is a sans-serif font, but the kicker is the word “mist”…IS BLURRY! I get the visual pun, but it smacks of stupidity due to the *terrible* readability.

    All in all, the rebrand, in my mind, was a failure, and will be difficult for me to endure as I go through the local supermarkets. But, as you mentioned David, the logo will probably be changed in 6-18 months, and hopefully it’s an improvement.

    *Sigh*

    Wow, I guess that’s been building for a while. Thanks for the post, and allowing the comments area for me to rant. ;)

    -Zach

  6. Agatho

    I just don’t agree with that poor minimalism reaction. Coca-Cola brand every moment so clearly shows us that dynamic and realistic ”wonderworld concept” with mechanism made just by illustrated soda balloons, which are refreshing that ”happening” , even before we’ve opened the bottle. That design reactions, in my opinion are predicting that what’s gonna happen when we open the package. And that is what we call a fresh air in final product. Something like suprise box.
    I relly like PEPSY , but…that package and redesign is a little bit like a FIRST HELP bottles….or food for poor inhabitants.

    Sorry, too because of my english. Have a great conversation.

  7. i do like the overall redesign. I like the contrast and bold colors with the minimalism.

    I really really dislike the variation on the ball. Why they did that makes no sense to me.

  8. Looks like the Obama logo has made an impact over at Pepsi.

    http://logobama.com/

  9. It’s about time Pepsi cleaned up their act, but this might be a little too clean. It’s a good idea to refresh the brand now-and-again, but Pepsi do it far too often.

    It’s impossible to not compare with Coca-Cola who seem to have done pretty well out of leaving there core identity alone for what seems like an eternity.

    I’m with David though, I go for taste, and at the end of it all Coca-Cola tastes better than Pepsi, i’d probably even go for a supermarket own-brand than the choice of a new generation.

  10. As you pointed out, the world doesn’t turn around fizzy drinks. Thus they need advertising and that’s just what this is!

    No matter if positive or negative, publicity is good. The new identity has been made official 2 months ago and we are still talking about it!

    Sidenote: Pepsi ’62 is my favourite of the bunch.

  11. LB

    The logo may have been made public two months ago, but dissemination is slow. I’ve only recently seen it in the stores. The vending machine at my office still doles out the old look. And when I talked to my non design friends, they hadn’t noticed a change. I have a feeling most consumers will barely notice. Or they will notice and not think much about it. But only time will prove if that is true.

    I’m not a huge fan of the new look. There are some appealing concepts behind it. However, I wouldn’t mess with, as the author says, the iconic look that Pepsi has been so successful in creating. If they wanted to do a rebrand, they could have gone back to some of their clean classic looks.

    It’s only a matter of time before the new label is cluttered up with some “free music download” ad or something similar.

  12. In my opinion, the classic Pepsi cans look the part. Maybe the re-brand should focus on bringing back the 1990′a look? The icon-feeling of buying a can of classic-style may boost sales. The new logo is dreadful.

  13. Karl

    Talking of redesigns there is always one problem:
    People will most likely never agree with a thorough brand redesign. But as you say David, there is still something odd about especially this work. The Logo doesn’t feel right still by looking how it tries to alter to pepsi’s subbrands. The wave doesn’t offer any clear distinctions between light, max and classic pepsi. Diet Pepsi in particular looks a bit like a faulty vector file. I think altering the base color for a bottle is perfectly fine if belted together by one single well worked out logo.
    Typography rather feels like a 2nd semester type excercise as it doesn’t try to convey any attributes of the beverage, even worse its very very hard to read.

    All in all I do think that a few twists, a bit more refinery would make it perfect but right now… to me it looks like a hasty product lacking a bit more thought and love!

  14. I think this new design is absolute garbage. Especially when you look at the Mountain Dew overhaul too (http://brightbrightgreat.com/blog/2008/11/mountain-dew-redesigns-the-redesign/).

    It feels like it’s trying to be minimalist and trendy at the same time.

  15. mockingbird13

    I love and respect a company that is willing to take risks in a BIG way. Congrats Pepsi. Love the new designs and ad…and looking forward to even more surprises in the future.

  16. Tidiane

    It reminds me the Obama 08 logo…

  17. aaron

    the older cans are beautiful, why don’t they reissue those?
    everything old always becomes new eventually

  18. This rebrand is pathetic. But looking back on all of the past logos – they really never had their act together, did they. I did like when they switched over to blue, it felt refreshing to me.

    Anyone notice that Pepsi also rebranded Tropicana?

    http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/pepsi_takes_the_tropic_out_of.php

    The new Tropicana is also terrible, and dare I say, more terrible than the Pepsi rebrand? This redo has no love, no feeling, nothing that makes me think it’s special. It’s a generic knockoff.

  19. Remember that Simpsons episode with Poochie the Rockin’ Dawg? Well it seems to me that Pepsi have hired the same PR consultant. “We need something hip and radical, for today’s youth. Pepsi 2.0. They like rounded corners and gradients. And skateboards.”

    Totally out of touch.

    One more thing…I’ll choose Coke over Pepsi 10 times out of 10 because of the taste. But that’s because I’m over 18 years old and “stuck in my ways”. Poochie-style branding just doesn’t work on me any more.

  20. OLEARY

    The 1998 logo version is by far the best of all versions. The logo is too minimal,while the typeface is too contemporary.

  21. Hector Said

    The new Pepsi logo has been properly described in previous comments as minimalist, clean and risky. Like any change, this one is meant to provoke and create new feelings and reactions. With the logo change, the brand identity of pepsi also took a spin, a great one! After looking at one of their websites I noticed the brand’s new positive approach reflected as an optimistic celebration for the joy in life, an honorable leap for a corporation like pepsi. The logo is compared to the Obama logo. So it’s also supposed to be inspiring? hopeful? Let’s hope it is.
    Designers have the ability to send a message through their work, let’s make it a good one! a great one!

  22. @Hector – Correct, a rebrand is supposed to instill feelings of confidence and such into the brand. This redesign doesn’t do that, at least not to me. It instead feels, as I mentioned before, cheap and amateur. That’s not something you want in a brand. Ever.

    As far as the similarities to the Obama logo, sure it’s red, white, and blue and shaped like a circle…but other than that, I don’t see it. The Obama logo was successful because it portrayed the ideas of hope and the dawning of a new day through the simple shape of a sun with rays of light Adding the tie-in of his name, an “O”, just reinforced the whole concept. There are many more things expressed by such simple shapes and colors, but Pepsi doesn’t take advantage of any of these. Pepsi’s logo seems like a cheep knock-off in comparison. It has no deep metaphorical connection to anything, just a weird curvy shape in a circle, which looses any association to the prior design and therefore any symbolism connected with it.

  23. I don’t understand the comparisons with the Obama logo at all. I actually like the new pepsi logo. I like the simplicity, I like the versatility, I like the way they are using it. They did a good job of keeping the pepsi vibe and meshing it with a modern look. Now I just hope this one sticks around longer than their previous designs. Oh timelessness…

  24. It may remind people of the Obama ’08 logo, but the concept of the blue/white/red sphere has existed far longer than the Obama logo.

    I agree with the comment above that it’s got us all talking about it, so in a way, the re-brand has worked. But most of the talk is that of dislike of the new look. But eventually people will get used to it and come to accept it.

  25. laura

    doesn’t muster up any interest at all, a completely bland redesign. looks like a can of generic budget cola.

  26. risa

    hmmm.
    i am not all that fond of pepsi or much in the way of sodas in general, so my feelings regarding branding are generally from a designer/artist/nerd point of view.
    firstly, i quite like to new logo…just not to sell pepsi. how unfortunate. it would be nice look for pool chemicals, or a cleaning product, perhaps a personal lubricant..
    i was recently given “canned” H2O on a flight instead of a plastic bottle. can i say…that was the strangest thing ever. it was an unusual “taste”, flavorless and no carbonation. the can looked a lot like the new pepsi re-brand.
    anyway, i think the idea of re-brand and design is excellent but a waste of money if the product is lacking in other areas(taste.. for example.)

    also armin, ’62 is my fav too!
    they should re-issue that, it would appeal a lot more to the younger generation as they love that “vintage” feel…though a large number of them cling to the 80′s…american apparel type crowd(cheers/jeers)
    the new logo based on its minimalism, is currently aligned more with the “DWR” and “west elm” demographic…simple things that match and look pretty when cleverly placed on an end/coffee/dining table….etc. which is a demographic that is about twice the age of the “new generation”.

  27. lee

    I think the new logo icon looks too abstract, almost like a sailboat or wave to me. It doesn’t connect enough to the old icon form. In my opinion, the icon should remain the same minimal look as in 1991.

  28. Just one look, uh yeah… I don’t think the new rebrand is unlikeable but I do like the 90′s version better. Maybe it’s the familiarity of the old icon that comforts me. The New rebrand is very futuristic and with time will grow on people.

    I don’t drink any soda! bad for the body.

  29. Reminds me of when I started doing webdesign and was trying to be all “cool and techy”, also reminiscent of those dodgy looking energy drinks you see in small newsagents.

    I think with the current economic downturn after such crazy financial policies people will reach for what’s familiar and trusted (also aware that Pepsi just spent a bunch on rebrand … they paid for)

    Bad choice, bad time.

  30. I often think that rebranding isn’t because what you have at the moment isn’t good enough – it’s simply about appearing ‘fresh and new’ to one’s consumer.

    I think this is especially important in the retail world, and so it’s necessary for brands like Pepsi to continue to look a bit different so that they can be perceived as fresh/new/interesting still.

    Otherwise eventually they will be seen as ‘same old boring pepsi’ and sales will drop as a result.

    I’m with you about those old cans, they are really good and distinctive.

    With an old brand like this they would release something like a ‘vintage pepsi’ if they had any sense.

    Remember when Nike released all their retro gear? It was Nike that did that wasn’t it?

  31. Anna Funk

    I like the colors, the simplicity and the font.

    I hate the change to the icon.

    The imbalance on such a simplistic design really throws me off. I think the overall look would have been great if they had kept what they’ve had since 1991.

    The change in the icon for each type of soda also seems a little unnecessary. I “get it,” diet has a tiny white space, and Max has a huge white space. But I would never have noticed or registered that gimmick if it weren’t for the fact that I’m seeing them side-by side. Aren’t the colors enough to show what type of cola we’re picking up?

  32. It looks pretty retro to me. I like how Pepsi uses variants of its iconic logo to symbolize diet/max cola. Though I am not very fond of the icon itself.

  33. It killed me the first time I saw it (the new logo) because it reminded me of the Tampa airport logo:

    http://www.tampaairport.com/

  34. The mark is throwing a big monkey wrench in this identity.

    More specifically, the swoosh isn’t gracfully executed in relation to dimension or space. If the mark is supposed to read as a three-dimensional sphere, it certainly doesn’t come across this way. In addition, the alteration of the mark between Pepsi products is so subtle it looks unintentional.

    Personally, I would have preferred they gone back to the 1971 logo and just freshened up the typeface. Seriously, why f*** with a good thing?

  35. I’d say David’s comment about the frequency of updates is the most telling point. Pepsi has always seemed to be playing catch up to Coca Cola, often at the expense of their own identity, as Nate mentions above.

    At first I thought that Pepsi placed little value on brand equity compared to Coca Cola. However, I think now that their brand is simply driven by marketing of the moment. Which leaves room for the interesting packaging experimentation and brand theory such is happening now.

    It’s just that unfortunately, as demonstrated by this extensive presentation of previous designs, Pepsi seem to have a long history of making design decisions that are fairly derivative, uninspired and predictable. To me, it speaks volumes of a company’s desire to reinvent itself, but one that also just doesn’t seem to have very good design sensibilities.

    I agree with Amanda that a brand must reinvent itself to look fresh. But as an identity designer, I always respect the past, and try to bring evolution and continuity of the brand to a project. However in this case, since history is thrown out the window, it’s almost an open book.

    This identity is interesting, and the multiple treatment of the primary symbol is unique as far as I know. I’m also sure that the design explorations and applications were probably much more visceral in relation to the concept than the dulled down reality of line extensions, production standards and manufacturing limitations.

    Will it help to anchor the identity and brand among the hearts of consumers? I don’t think so. Is it as ‘iconic’ as some of the previous iterations? Not to me. Pepsi’s identity is now literally all over the board. But that may be perfect for Pepsi. A brand doesn’t need to be iconic to survive (Pepsi’s has never been), it’s just a nice benefit, as in the case of Coca Cola.

    Then again I’m sure that the designers had their work cut out for them. I can only imagine the brief and the approval channels. I’m sure that all of these designs shown over the years have been worked on substantially by top firms, yet subject to final approval leadership that is concerned with the short term.

    The last images shown by David are to me the most representative of an enduring brand, and perhaps as ‘iconic’ as Pepsi is capable of being. Indeed, these are very similar, if not the actual designs, of the cans that Saul Bass created during the 1991 can redesign. I remember being let into Saul’s studio late one night by one of the main project designers, and shown into the Pepsi room. It was full of hundreds of can comps (all done with chromatecs!)

    I guess my point here is that change should happen (maybe not with this frequency) and that any number of excellent design minds of the day are capable of creating their own Pepsi rooms of brilliant solutions (I’d love to work on it, I know you would too.) However, without long term vision or care taken by the company, in this case Pepsi, an identity and brand can lose it’s, well, identity.

  36. Although I know that most people don’t like the new icon, and I’m not that big of a fan myself, I do have to say that I like the new 2-liter design. My wife picked one up the other day and we both thought it looked a lot more “with it” then before. Nice post.

  37. Pepsi must rebrand often because that is their schtick. As pointed out in different ways, Coca Cola stands consistent, brand wise, and therefore is the most recognized brand (in the world). But with a slogan like Pepsi’s “new generation”, they are stuck with the constant rebranding every ‘generation’ (approximately every 15 to 20 years). I believe it works for them more often than not. I also agree with the majority in that the biggest problem with the rebrand is what they did with the circle mark. It is no longer instantly recognizable as Pepsi. That I think will bite them in the butt big time. They should have kept that one identifying, distinguishing feature well alone.

    Trish

  38. Jordan

    Personally I like the new logo design, it is innovative and very versatile (take a look at the logo in pepsi diet and max), modern and the type fits perfectly. But I think that the can needs a change ( more refreshing and attractive BUT without loosing the minimalist touch).

  39. Hello everyone.

    Quite the difference in opinion over this one. Thanks very much for leaving your thoughts.

    Zach,

    That Sierra Mist rebrand reminds me of the Tate identity, only much less effective.

    Armin,

    As LB mentions, the roll-out of the new design is slow, and I’ve not actually noticed any new cans here (granted I rarely by cans of sugar water).

    David,

    I’ve yet to witness the Tropicana redesign here, thankfully.

    Amanda,

    It was Nike who released their retro footwear. They proved very popular from what I can remember, though I tended to steer clear of big name brands — I found it hard to justify spending what was charged.

    Mark,

    A little off-topic, but I’ve just enjoyed browsing your identity portfolio, again. Great work.

    To everyone I haven’t addressed personally, thanks very much for your time. I do greatly value your input (rushing out to meet with a printer).

  40. A quick observation, sorry if this has been mentioned in any of the above comments but I don’t have time to read them all!

    But I find the typography in the new branding seems very web-oriented. The slim sans-serif lowercase font with the lack of spurs or terminals seems, in my opinion, to have stemmed from a more “Web 2.0″ design style, as opposed to that we would normally see in mainstream branding.

    I’ve been noticing recently that a lot of specifically web design trends are finding their way into print design. As opposed to a few years ago that traditional print trends and ideas found their way onto the screen, it now seems that design elements forged or popularised on the web are popping up in print.

    For example, a T-Mobile advert in the paper this morning featured speech bubbles with ridiculous over-the-top Web 2.0 glossiness. It almost seemed like it was making a joke, it was so obvious. And I’m seeing more of this in print all the time, which of course is not a bad thing, really.

    I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of this as traditional print and web design come closer together. The web is becoming more compatible with complex visual layouts and thus is evolving into a more respectable design medium, so it’s only natural that paper and screen should share more design trends and concepts.

  41. Adam

    Wow. I love the classic cans…. :(

  42. I will keep this short…

    • The new logo looks unfinished, or someone is playing it safe.

    • If I didnt see the word “pepsi” it would look like some off brand.

    • The vector logo needs to be able to communicate on its own, at least keep the consistency of the red, white & blue in the horizontal direction. That way we can at least say its a pepsi product.

    • I do agree with others when they say that it looks as if some college student designed this with no practice in experimentation. This is coming from a 4 year design student.

    Thats all..!!!

  43. Adam,

    Ooo, you mentioned the word “Classic”! Big no, no! Pepsi folk are probably freaking out right now and Coke is going to sue!

    ;)
    Trish

  44. Altissima

    No one has commented on the new “e” in the word “pepsi” with the squiggle for the crossbar reflecting the older pepsi logo. I think it’s pretty neat, but it doesn’t match with the new (range of) squiggles. I would be interested in anyone else’s thoughts…

    By the way, I agree with those find the new branding looks like like a discount store brand.

  45. Nice catch. That is cool. But it emphasizes the point, why did they change with the red, white and blue circle main mark?

  46. They have kept all the important elements, it looks pretty good. The details are almost irrelevant with a massive name like this, it does seem occasional redesigns are essential for longevity, as Madonna will testify. There are going to be some which are more successful than others, but the proof is in the eating. To follow the success of redesigns like this will teach us what? I personally like the new designs, I am very interested in Coke and Pepsi and their marketing, but I have no interest in drinking either.

  47. lacika2000

    Is it only me, or the white part actually looks like a headless bird from the side?

  48. Should not have messed with the globe. I can’t believe they embraced inconsistency regarding the icon on different cola types! Now it looks like a logo for a sailing product.

    On a nostalgic note, that first logo makes me think I’m about to drink a grindcore band.

  49. So let’s pretend this is a class project. What grade would you give the student who dropped this Pepsi redesign on your desk?

    I’d go with a “C.” Passable, but not ambitious by a long shot.

  50. Jeff

    I first noticed the redesign on their first new commercial, and I thought they had made a mistake, using corrupted files. There is no symmetry, no satisfying curve anymore, and although I am not a Pepsi person, I am dissapointed that I will be seeing this new screw-up of a design everywhere for a while.

    Also, on the Tropicana rebrand, I cannot see how they could even fathom tossing out that image we all hold dear of juicy orange with a red and white striped straw punched into it.

    As a visual and nostalgic person, I will miss these icons.

  51. Oh lord. Is hate too strong a word for a piece of design?

    Everything to do with design boils down to personal opinion and what we as design consumers take from it, the rest is down to the other marketing stuff that supposedly targets the actual product consumer. What on earth were they thinking? If you take the Pepsi logotype off the can it looks like a cheap Pepsi imitation, a bad one at that.

    I think Pepsi have always struggled to deal with what Coke have. Sure Coca Cola have the same issues, distinctive logo style with a lot of heritage and a product that doesn’t really change, but the ace up their sleeve is the Coke bottle. One thing I really dislike about Coke’s approach over the past few years has been how they have kept the bottle silhouette in there as almost like a safety feature, a design buffer to reassure everyone that ‘look, we’ve still got a hand on our roots’. I love the old bottles and personally think these are strong enough as a concept to hold their own, not act as an understudy to diodgy campaigns.

    Anyways, Pepsi, without the logo they don’t really have anything else so to change that to something that really looks poorly executed and that lacks the soul of a good logo just does not make any sense. Even the newer can designs that are all explosions and flashes of hyperactivity work for me as that acts a relevant backdrop of the era with the core of the brand punching you between the eyes.

    I don’t think it’s wrong to feel strongly about whether something plain looks good, that’s what we do right? Someone has to listen to us. ;-D

    I agree with Armin on this, 62′ all the way although I do like what they did with the 91′ version.

  52. Not a fan at all.

    To me their near constant changing of their brand illustrates their weakness against Coke, sure Coke have tinkered here and their, adding in yellow bits, changing the red etc. But broadly they havent changed in decades, result, instantly recognisable to presumably the vast majority of the planets population.

    These new Pespi Icons I would suspect if shown to the man in the street would not be immediately identifiable as Pepsi, and surely thats a major flaw! Something about the whole look just didnt sit right with me. I would agree with some other posters and have looked at a return to the red white and blue look, at least that is easily recognisable as Pepsi and at the end of the day is that not the aim of the design? Sure a display of these bottles will be noticeable for its blue colouring, but I suspect not a lot else!

  53. Ine

    I like it. Most people don’t like it at first but then it grows on them, but I can honestly say that I liked it from the second I saw it.

  54. I wasn’t a fan when I saw the logo by itself. Now you’ve shown me the mock-ups of the bottle design, I can’t help but think that the brand just looks cheap… those three bottles just put me in mind of Tesco own brand cola.

    Not that it makes much difference to me, anyway — put a can of Coke next to a can of Pepsi with any logo on it, and I’ll always choose the Coke.

  55. Lindsay

    I hate to say it but I hate it. I see the evolution but this is such a big change. I don’t even know what to say, I’m so upset.

  56. G

    I see how the type resonates with the mark’s roundness, but the backdrop of color seems too much. Maybe a solution using the logo, type, etc on a clear label. Just my two.

  57. Cole

    I like the new logos… old school is new school

  58. Justin

    Pepsi and Coke may have tweaked their logos over the years, but this an entirely new logo. They left their iconic “wave” for a….sailing theme? I really don’t understand the decision and I think once a symbol becomes unrecognizable to subconscious buyers, it WILL affect their sales.

    The composition of the packaging itself is uninteresting. There should be no feeling of simplicity in an acidic, carbonated, cola.
    It looks like an amateur attempt at logo creation with no thought to usage, then slapped on a can and called “minimalist.”

    The word “pepsi” is unique and interesting. Reading it is where the logo is attractive. Why you would have it sideways is beyond me.

    Maybe this is some type of amateur art contest:
    “Submit your design and win a trip to Hawaii!”

    Thumbs down from the peanut gallery.

  59. Darrell

    Korean Air and Pepsi. Is there a logo merger on the horizon?

  60. TheTallestTree

    The new Pepsi logo looks similar to the Tampa, Florida Airport logo.

    http://www.tampaairport.com/about/index.asp

  61. Simon Thornley

    It’s certainly different, but you still feel the association with the old brand. I think it has great potential for development.

    I’ll wager if they hadn’t taken this bold step it would not have found its way on to sooooo many websites and blogs. Surely that’s a good thing. Kudos to those and them…

    Kia Kaha. Be strong and stay brave my fellow designers.

  62. Milos

    I really find it ridiculous – as I posted in the article here http://blog.fleka.me/2008/12/pepsi-has-a-new-logo-anybody-cares/

  63. b2

    I hate it…absolutely hate it. Way too minimalist…looks like cheap knock-off brands…no class whatsoever.
    I needed to buy back-up of my favorite Pepsi…and almost walked by it. Even though I bought it…does not mean I endorse the design. I hope you change it quick.
    And how dare you spend as much as you did to do this!
    Why not donate the money instead of rebranding. You will always have your loyal fans…forever.

  64. Randall

    The amount spent on branding for Coke and Pepsi was once the topic of a joke in the routine of comedian Rich Hall. The joke went something like this: “Coke and Pepsi spend billions a year on advertising so that you will prefer one over the other. The result of all this effort is that when you order a Coke in a restaurant and they ask ‘Is Pepsi OK?,’ you say ‘uh….yeah.’”

  65. Thanks for continuing the discussion, everyone. I’m quite pressed for time this morning, but want to highlight a great comment from Randall, where he mentions an old Rich Hall joke I remember (the comment right before this one):

    “Coke and Pepsi spend billions a year on advertising so that you will prefer one over the other. The result of all this effort is that when you order a Coke in a restaurant and they ask ‘Is Pepsi OK?,’ you say ‘uh….yeah.’”

    I hope you’re all having a good Wednesday. Bye for now.

  66. Chet Olinger

    Went shopping for Pespi Products this weekend. to confusing all packageing looked the same Pespi -one- max – pespi plain. Don’t like the Logo’s or packaging, Going back to coke products. The new Pespi Logo Sucks. Why can,t you leave well enough alone and get rid of merchanding Dept. Don’ like it. Received head trying find what needed. Sorry your Loss. X – pespi drinker

  67. AL

    Is this logo the result of the fusion between Pepsi & Old Spice?… WOW! Imagine the superb attributtes and sex-appeal plus points of a soda can with deodorant effects! HAHAHA!.. :P
    I can´t stop seeing a sailboat in this pepsi logo, period!

  68. I first saw the new logo at a deli. I thought it was a one-off at first, but it’s here to stay, for now. Nice to see the very early ones too. You gotta change it sometime to keep people interested, you know. The letters look like the early ’80s Diet Pepsi logo.

  69. The DTG Newsletter for Feb spotlights logo design, including a gander at how the Pepsi logo debate has taken the internet by storm.

    http://www.graphic-design.com/news/

  70. jordanmark23

    I personally don’t like it.

    Before & After magazine has an interesting take on this topic: http://www.mcwade.com/DesignTalk/2009/02/does-pepsis-new-logo-work/#comments

  71. Trish, jordan,

    Thanks for those two links. The second, in particular, offers quite an in-depth look at Pepsi vs Coke.

  72. David Morin

    Quick comment:

    It is to me where Coca Cola beats Pepsi big time.

    For whatever reason, Pepsi always seems to feel the need to reinvent themselves every 10 years or so (it became a tradition), as opposed to Coca Cola which successfully built its brand through its fascinating history of American culture, conservatism and tradition. Therefore Coca Cola will always be perceived as something timeless and reliable, when Pepsi seems to be in an eternal teen, in a constant search for his identity. A little off topic, the battle between the two is very similar to Hugh Hefner vs Larry Flint.

    Back on topic, whether the result pleases you or not, it’s just the continuation of pure Pepsi tradition; innovation. Sometimes it works, and something it’s a laughable failure (anybody remember Pepsi Crystal?).

    Even if I applaud the audacity, I feel that the history proved that somethings aren’t meant to be changed, and conservatism works best. On top of my list I put superheroes (such as Superman and Spiderman) and soda.

  73. David,

    I think you hit the nail there, when saying it’s a continuation of Pepsi tradition to constantly re-invent itself, “the choice of a new generation” style.

  74. Kendall

    I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m 20 and a part of this “next generation” that Pepsi’s trying to rein in, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the redesign! I think it looks modern, futuristic and I personally think it makes the older cans look outdated. I think the reason why people were are getting so angry about it is because it’s a fairly radical change from the previous designs. But seriously? Lube? I’m just not seeing it.

  75. ashley

    they need to go back to the 1905 logo. that would be classy.

    that, vertical (with the beginning of it on the bottom of the can), red on white or silver can. black or red text for the nutritional info. that would be amazing, definitely would give coke a run for its money without copying it.

  76. dig sandy

    The new logo leaves me in the cold–too industrial and artsy. Also, when side-by-side with the Diet and Max, it says “pepsi” version of this soda, ” “gray version”, “black version” . . . a dilution of unintended consequences for the consumer. Pepsi is NOT a “version” of anything, and does NOT need to conform to any generic packaging style, a la this abyssmal redesign. Look for a return to the previous, as was the case for their juice brand Tropicana. The “Mtn. Dew” one is particularly horrendous, and looks like an amateurish knock-off brand of Mountain Dew, the originator of its class (and one that used to have a kick-a– logo!)

  77. Sherrie

    When first I saw the Pepsi redesign checking out of a local non-Wal-Mart grocery store, I knew it was Pepsi right away. While it did have a cleaner look to it, as Jim McLeod pointed out, “they fully control Navy,” and so unlike the Tropicana redesign, I did not think generic.

    However, it does look more uniform rather than stylized. Collectivist vs. Individualistic. “Get in line,” rather than “Push the line.” I guess it would be the difference between getting a new outfit and wearing a uniform.

    I think that the ability of Pepsi to redesign so often and continue to prosper speaks to the fact that in the soda/pop/coke business, there are two companies pretty much. Whereas the previous designs represented a competitive market, the current design manifests the reality that there are basically two options. One red, one blue. There are those addicted to Coca-Cola, and there are those addicted to Pepsi. Which would you rather take intravenously? We start them young in the schools now, too. From filling a want to profiting from the sleep deprived, under watered, over scheduled best of us. :)

    Personally I don’t drink either. Jones Soda much?

  78. I think that it’s Pepsi’s way of reasserting itself as being in with the younger generation. When I was growing up, the first Pepsi Points campaigns came out and the Pepsi brand was plastered all over Splashtown (a waterpark in Houston, Texas), along with large prop cans in various areas of the park.

    I’d also bring up that they are using the old cursive from one of their logos in a old-style cola they recently released called Pepsi Throwback, which is made with ACTUAL sugar, not corn syrup. I personally think the mixture of old and new branding on this was masterful.

    I also think that Coca-cola was set back quite a bit in marketing to the youth simply because when they released that nasty sludge they called “New Coke”, they really crossed a lot of people and had to play out the tradition card for many, many years.

  79. Jessica,

    I’m too young to have experienced New Coke, but I’ve been reading about it lately. Certainly caused quite a stir, didn’t it?

    Thanks for the continued comments, everyone.

  80. I remember when New Coke came out. My mother was one of those scouring the county for every regular Coke that could be found. Shoving matches and fights were common to get the last cans and bottles to be around. We all thought New Coke tasted like Pepsi which we all hated. We still think it was indeed a marketing gambit to this day. But even if it were not, it worked out for them in the end.

    Trish

  81. And all over some water with corn-syrup. Your mum must’ve really liked her Coke back then, Trish.

  82. The plastic bottles are AWFUL. If i didn’t know the brand I’d expect to see them full of motor-oil on a rack outside a petrol station.

  83. rich hall joke – “Coke and Pepsi spend billions a year on advertising so that you will prefer one over the other.
    The result of all this effort is that when you order a Coke at a burger joint and they say ‘we’re out…Is Pepsi OK?,’
    you say “sure.’”

    got me thinking – what if they skipped advertising for one year and donated 75 percent of their advertising budget to
    aid in africa? I’d bet the good PR would probably have more impact than their current ad campaigns. they’d probably
    generate a lot of good press/tv coverage too. They might even do it every five years too – like a live aid campaign. next year they
    could return to normal advertising.

  84. Nice thought, Andrew, and that Rich Hall joke is so true it’s not funny.

  85. Gerald

    Less is more. Keep It Simple Stupid..

  86. Guy

    I’m so shocked I can’t really be bothered to type! But here goes…

    It really is a real shame when an inspired and successful set of designs spanning decades all get wiped out overnight and potentially lost forever just because some new passionless marketeer wants to be different and stamp his/her mark on a global brand ‘for the future’ but in reality seeming to have very little genuine interest in the brand at all, both from a long term and historic point of view.

    On the flip side, Coca-Cola have almost nailed it lately in the UK by dropping all the fussy drop shadows, bubbles, double outlines and metallic base red from their cans and simplifying it back to it’s red and white roots of fine illustration resulting in a timeless and bold look. In my opinion Pepsi should do the equivalent and go back to white being the main base colour and using a slightly tweaked version of the almost iconic 87 Pepsi logo & font for the branding.

    Here in London many newsagents / corner shops are clad in a solid red background with the white Coca-Cola curve stylishly gliding across the shop front, without even the brand name mentioned. But it works, it’s instantly Coca-Cola and it looks appealing and conveys the brand, it comes across as both ultra futuristic, new and in essence builds totally on the brand’s heritage, so at least someone has the right idea of past and future design.

    Going back to the main point, to me the new Pepsi branding doesn’t even feel worthy of criticism. It comes across as overly lazy, last minute, pointless and above all unexciting. If you’re going to drink a fun but unhealthy drink of water, sugar and air, it has to at least be an exciting/dynamic experience and this new design certainly doesn’t convey that. It’s more like generic random mocked-up prop you may find in a computer game before licensed branded products appeared within games, something simple a designer would knock up just to get the assets ‘done’ at the last minute to set the scene. Not for a real product and certainly not for a product as widely known as the Pepsi brand.

    “Oh f*ck it. It’s only a product after all”
    (Ah, that must have been the design brief!)

    Check out the new Tropicana branding, that’s even more of a crime, but certainly won’t last…

  87. I’m not a fan of this design at all. I think for the amount of money they spent on it, its nothing short of disappointing. The design has taking them back in terms of evolving the brand and progressing – no competition against Coke.

    When I saw the rebrand I decided to my own version which you can see on my site.

    I also set up a twitter account and posed as Pepsi as an experiment, which to my delight recieved possitive comments of people and asking when the rebrand is being put into production. Unfortunatley, 6 hours after opening teh account I was shut down when Pepsi’s official account reported me to twitter and my account terminated due to legal infringments.

    But I must say, no matter how bad the logo is, its managed to get everyone talking and creating exposure for Pepsi.

  88. Kathryn

    While I’m a huge fan of minimalism, the new Pepsi circle thing just looks like an old cricket ball to me. And, as mentioned by someone else, their bottles look like wrinkly penises.

    I’ve also noticed a big trend to bring back “retro” styles (mostly in fashion and decor) – maybe they should bring back the classic, retro Pepsi can?

  89. Ronnie

    This is something that should be studied, I would call it the Coca Cola culture — something that Pepsi has never been able to set firm in so many years. On the other side, Coke has been strong with its product and it’s well known that the Coca Cola name is worth more than all the physical inventory they may have. Pepsi lacks that culture, and changing logo yearly will not make the culture they need to establish the name.

  90. john spiegel

    What bothers me is the thin and thick smiles…
    Why? The thin one is too thin. The thick one if applied on all is a much
    stronger graphic.

  91. I think the Pepsi rebrand is terrible! I agree with David the iconic look is much more powerful. I am Pepsi fan, to me it taste better regardless of what the packaging looks like. When I first saw the new look I said to myself “Why!” I do agree with a one of the other comments above “Coke owns Red”.

    I just hate the minimalist approach and feel they should stay true to the original. Well I guess one day they will get it together, just don’t change the taste.

  92. Dave Johnson

    Like this article and I can tell you this. Old Peter Arnell and his crew mainly ripped off the artwork of artists named Gabe Marquez, Leon Alegria and several others as well. I read Arnell’s BS mock up of how he came up with the design. His influences and the way he speaks about them remind me of Marquez’s artist statement and the forms Arnell uses definantly belong to Alegria and Marquez as well.

    There is a small circle of artist / designers that have got the skinny on how he did it including a web tracker log indicating massive visits to the sites of both the artists and several others as well. I believe this group is out of the Midwest. I had a chance to speak with one of the artists mentioned. He said he was glad he removed his illustration portfolio from the web, citing that several designers and artists contacted him and noted striking similarities between the logo and several designs from his two dimensional works. And the fact that they were familiar with his work long before this new logo came around.

  93. I’ve always favoured Pepsi when it comes to beverages. Unfortunately, this new design doesn’t work for me. The typeface is awful, looks like a generated logo from those websites you can have a billion versions of some word. The new sign is horrible – it isn’t a smile, nor a wave, the original circle was the thing I always remembered about this company. I really love the two cans in the last pictures. I think it would be nice if they came back with this design. Classic! And just by the way… I think Pepsi and Coca-Cola in fact cooperate, it’s like a cartel…

  94. “Look at these classic Pepsi cans.” Why didn’t Pepsi just stop ‘refreshing’ right at that moment?!

  95. Cara

    All I see is a series of fat guys overlaid onto the logo. Diet Pepsi has a less fat guy and Max has a mega fat guy.

    Pretty major oversight if you ask me.

  96. Elizabeth

    Honestly, what kills me is Pepsi fighting for markets they obviously don’t understand. Coke obviously dominates the swoosh – their your grandpa’s drink, they use a script font and hey they aren’t great for you but, remember the 50s? 60s? 70s? yeah, so do they. Pepsi is holding on too a story that doesn’t belong to them. They want to be NEW, COOL, DIFFERENT but are stuck in 2007. If they truly want to appeal to a younger/hipper demographic they need a brand story that feels more genuine. Look at Nike and Addidas: addidas has lead the way for years by pairing themselves with hip-hop and graphic artists. Now macklemore, the thrift-shopper, mentions Nike as a part of childhood, Nike goes back promoting Jordan’s and the market has shifted. If Pepsi could actually figure out what’s happening with their market this wouldn’t be such a joke.

  1. pligg.com - Jan 3rd, 2009


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