Coca-Cola was originally invented by John S. Pemberton in 1886.
In 1887, the now-familiar Spencerian script was first used within the logo. Compared to today's version, the script varied depending on its application, and the word "Trademark" also commonly appeared at the bottom of the wordmark's first letter "C".
By the turn of the century, the script began to be standardized.
The word "Trademark" was removed from the logo, and the wordmark itself evolved into what would become the company's longest-used design to date.
The script was commonly seen in an Arciform shape from 1958 to 1969. The shape was also known as the "Fishtail".
In 1969, the script was accompanied by the famous "Dynamic Ribbon" or "White Swirl" for the first time. The two elements were combined to create a new logo called the "Arden Square". In 1971, the "Hilltop" advert was broadcast on television, accompanied by this logo and the now-famous "It's the Real Thing" slogan for the very first time.
Starting in 1985, the script was only used on packaging in a very small size, and the below "Coke" logo took pride of place until 1987. Lippincott & Marguiles was the agency behind this design change.
In the United States, the formula for Coca-Cola was changed for the first time ever, in response to Pepsi gaining more sales at the time. There was a large outcry against this change in formula, and customers began boycotting The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola eventually decided to return the drink to its original formula (albeit with cane sugar replaced by a cheaper alternative).
During the "New Coke" period, the logo above would be far more prominent than the traditional 1941 logo when placed on packaging for cans and bottles. This logo is still used in some countries today, albeit in modified forms.
Starting in 1987, the 1941 script was boldened.
In 1987, the company's tradtitional branding returned after the failure of New Coke. However, it now varied from country to country; the US, for example, included "Classic" in small writing underneath the script to distinguish it from the failed New Coke product. This would continue to be used until the early 2000s in conjunction with the bold 1985 Coke logo depending on the country.
In creating this brand refresh, Landor Associates created 800 different designs that combined the "Coca-Cola" or "Coke" wordmarks with the "Dynamic Ribbon". In the chosen solution, the curve was integrated with the Spencerian script by having it drawn through the second "O". An additional silver ribbon was added to the curve, and the Spencerian script was redrawn to be slightly straightened up.
During the 1990s, it was common for the Coca-Cola script to be in a circle (and sometimes still is), and the circle itself to have a green banner above it reading "Always". The two main advertising campaigns emphasized this, their names being the "Polar Bears" and the "Christmas Trucks". During this period, most of the branding from 1987 would be used, with the circular icon normally being for corporate uses such as on vending machines and memorabilia. However, depending on the country, the bottle symbol was used more often on packaging.
In 1996, this version of "Always Coca-Cola" red disc began to be used on cans and bottles, with "always" appearing in English, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and French.
In 1996, a drop shadow was added to the 1987 logo.
This version of the 1987 script without the "Dynamic Ribbon" can be seen on cans, bottles, drink fountains and bottle caps.
In late 1999, Coca-Cola launched its "enjoy" advertising campaign, with the script being placed on a bottle cap of a green-tinted Coke bottle opening. This logo was used on cans and bottles until 2003.
In late 2002, the "Dynamic Ribbon" was redesigned, and packaging began to differ widely around the world as a result. This branding change was made as an attempt to bring all of the different countries' Coke branding into line with one design, which included the addition of yellow to the ribbon design. This objective succeeded, although some countries still used elements of Coke's 1987 and 1990s branding. During this period, the two "Coke" logos in use were modernized, and the company launched the "Coca-Cola... Real" campaign.
This version of the 1941 script without the "Dynamic Ribbon" can be seen on cans, bottles, drink fountains and bottle caps.
A simplified design created with Turner Duckworth was introduced in early 2007. By now, the Coca-Cola logo was surrounded by various elements from three different branding eras, being that of the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. The Coca-Cola Company therefore believed a complete overhaul was needed, and it was decided to strip the branding back to basics, with just the script and the simplified "Dynamic Ribbon" design.
A version of the 2007 logo without the word "Classic" was also used. This logo was introduced on cans and bottles worldwide starting in 2007.
- For other related logos and images see: Coca-Cola/Cans
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