Coca Cola as a renowned beverage company has been existing for as long as 130 years and today sells products in over 200 countries worldwide with an estimated brand worth of £39bn.
The company was started as a joint venture in 1885 by a pharmacist John Stith Pemberton and his bookkeeper Frank M. Robinson. Coca Cola soon became the temperance beverage for relief in the scorching heat. John Stith Pemberton and Frank M. Robinson's iconic idea of beverage as an alternative for alcohol is today globally recognized.
Coca Cola was first introduced as Pemberton's French Wine Coca. However, in response to the local prohibition laws, a non-alcoholic version was introduced. By 1895 the drink was sold across US states.
The concept of a logo for brand, identification dates back to the middle ages 1300 AD when the pubs and shops used signage to tell people about the business nature or the products/ services they offered. Modern logos started making their appearance in the early 1900s.
The genius behind the name as well as the logo is Frank M. Robinson who suggested the explanation of two C's in the name that will stand out in an ad paper.
After a year of tremendous feedback, in 1886 the first logo of Coca Cola was designed by Frank M. Robinson in a handwritten font. Frank introduced the logo in simple letters, black serif font with a simple addition of a full stop.
A minimalist approach is good but a brand in the initial phases must have a distinctive and refined wordmark to create brand aura revolving around the product and this was understood by the owners. Another quick change was made a year later.
The second logo came in 1887 with the Spencerian script font. The Spencerian font was then preserved as a part of the brand image for the next 130 years and was almost identical to the logo globally recognized today. Spenserian was the most popular formal handwriting form in the mid-19th century. Frank Robinson simply used his writing skills and the logo cost $0.
Today, the companies are ready to pay millions for the logo designing service for a reputable branding image. Lucky John Stith Pemberton to have Frank Robinson in the team!
Even though the Spencerian script proved to be the golden apple for the iconic beverage company, they continued to experiment a bit further and moved gradually with minor updates.
Coca Cola 1890's logo stands out among its own versions. it will possibly give you a vibe of Dracula/ vampires of the 15th century. The logo was designed with additional decorative swirls and a completely different font. However, it was discontinued only after a year.
In 1891 the brand was back to the Spencerian font with minor alterations in the font. One of the alternations is the less cursive effect in the font. Additionally, in the 1890s the company started inserting the trademark into the scripted "c" tale. in January 1893 the company was officially trademarked with the U.s patent office.
The next minor modification was in 1941 when the trademark was moved from inside of the scripted C tail tweak to below the logo outside. Moving the trademark from the inside to the outside was a minor modification but added a bit more elegance to the logo design.
By 1947 the modern Spencerian script was registered in Australia as well adding up to the brand recognition in the country.
In the 1940’s the brand started moving towards adding colors to the logo. In 1947, the company incorporated the logo inside a red disc/ button. Since then, the graphic image is used as an advertisement. throughout the 50's it was famously hung by the business person as decoration and advertisement.
In 1958, the company decided to place the scripted font inside an arciform shape also known as a fishtail sign. The fish shaped logo was liked by most and within a year it was used as a copy in signage, cartoons as well as vending machines.
In 1969 the brand logo appeared in an Arden square form. This year visible modifications were made with Coca Cola scripted underlined with a white wave or as some call it dynamic ribbon device. The wave, an amazing addition, was later used as a mesmerizing wave in television advertisements.
In 2007, the brand got rid of everything excessive and kept the classic design similar to 1969. The logo was decided to be simple and bold with a red Spencerian font, and a single white ribbon.
Additionally, as a part of an advertisement campaign, Coca Cola changed its logo in 1982 for the sales of Diet Coke, the first extension of the trademark and then later in 2011 to celebrate its 125th brand anniversary.
In 2013, the company swapped the logo with several first names on the bottles. The names were printed in the traditional Spencerian script.
Coca cola isn't only a venture with a successful history of logo designs but the brand is also famous for interesting facts. Some of the things we like are:
● Contrary to today’s practice of colour theory in logo designing, the theory behind coca cola bold red shade was skipping the heavy taxes. In the 1800s the alcoholic barrels were heavily taxed whereas other beverages were not. As a way out the company started colouring their barrels in bright red colour to disguise the barrels for the customs officers.
● The concept behind the bottle Coca Cola is that the trustees of the brands wanted a design so distinguished that it could be recognized by touch in the dark as well as must be recognizable in shattered pieces.
● A spokesperson from the Coca Cola company commented in a 1996 New York's time article that initial Coca Cola did contain traces of cocaine because of the ingredients from the coca plant. However, today it includes non-narcotic extracts from the coca plant.
● In the 1900's Coca Cola not only introduced an alternative to alcohol but also introduced the concept of six-packs and the glass bottles popularized open-top coolers.
● Coca Cola has also been a victim of religious controversy. It was regarded by a Muslim cleric that when the Coca Cola logo is reversed, it portrays an anti-religious slogan in Arabic which translates into "no prophet, no mecca". this controversial situation proved to be persuasive among the Muslim countries, claiming to wage a war against the brand. however, in 2000 Egypt's most senior religious figure grand mufti issues an official statement that the trademark, intentionally or unintentionally is hateful towards Islam or Muslims.
● According to the company, Coca Cola is the first beverage consumed in space. In 1985, astronauts drank Coca Cola on the Challenger space shuttle.
● Where people find it weird that Coca Cola contained traces of cocaine (drugs were legal till 1992) initially, it was advertised as a beverage with medical properties and a cure for all nervous affections including hysteria. John Stith Pemberton was a pharmacist in Atlanta. Later in the 1980s, the company campaigned that it can be consumed as coffee.
Coca Cola has been a prime band from 2000 to 2009 because of its consistency in branding. Coca Cola cultural foundation is based on its brand name associated with a unique yet simple logo. Logozila takes the Coca Cola branding process as an inspiration that even a minor change can bring a difference to your brand image.
One of the reasons we are in awe of the logo is that according to a survey the red and white logo is recognized by 94% of the world's population. As an emerging agency, we are helping customers towards a successful brand image with minimum logo design cost.
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