If you follow us on Twitter, you may have seen my tweet the other day about Coca-Cola’s status as America’s oldest logo. Today, I’d like to explore the history of this iconic logo, and analyze the reasons why this classic design has stood the test of time.
The history of the famous Coca-Cola image begins in 1887 when the company’s bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, selected a trendy and distinctive script for the beverage’s logo. The typeface, which is referred to as Spencerian Script, was introduced in the 19th century and quickly became the most popular style of formal handwriting during that time. The red and white color scheme was viewed as youthful and was intended to lure young minds.
Though the logo has undergone slight changes throughout the years (tiny tweaks of the script, an added wave beneath the letters, script placed within a shape, etc.), it has mostly remained consistent over the span of 3 centuries. That’s quite a bragging right and shows a stability that its largest competitor Pepsi has not yet achieved. For comparison’s sake, let’s take a quick look at Brand New’s chart documenting the evolution of both designs:
As you can see, Coca-Cola’s overall look is much more consistent than Pepsi’s ever changing identity. So what exactly makes this logo so loveable? For one, the color is bold yet cheerful. Two, the letters flow in an appealing way. Three, the overall look is distinctive as no other logo looks like Coca-Cola. And when your brand is recognizable in over 200 different countries, you know you’re doing something right!
In sum, there’s something to be said about maintaining a stable identity for one’s brand. While the idea of revolutionizing your company by constantly re-inventing itself sounds great, it might not build the strong customer connection that brands like Coca-Cola have achieved. When branding your company, take the time to develop a solid and timeless image that can grow with your company.
What are your thoughts on the Coca-Cola logo?