This timeline explains some of the changes we’ve seen to the drinks design since the first-ever
1886 – What’s in a name?
On 8 May 1886, Dr John S Pemberton nailed the formula, but it was his bookkeeper who came up with the name "Coca-Cola®". Frank M Robinson, suggested that “the two Cs would look well in advertising”.
And with that, Robinson also designed the now world famous
He wanted his name for the new product to have an effective and dramatic style of its own. He experimented with an elaborate Spencerian script, a form of penmanship characteristic of that time. After consultation, the others working at Pemberton’s company adopted the script by unanimous consent.
Drawn in flowing handwriting, Robinson’s elaborate script was very “of the moment”, and it remains one of the most recognisable trademarks in the world.
1887-1890s – Inserting the trademark
On January 31, 1893, the logo was trademarked with the U.S. Patent Office. The words "Trade mark" are written in the tail of the "C" in Coca.
1890-1891 – Extra swirls
For one year only, the Coke logo gets a dramatic, swirly makeover.
1941-1960s – Tail tweak
The words ‘Trademark Registered’ move out of the tail of the ‘C’. The trademark is noted below the logo, instead of inside it.
19 November 1947, the modern Spencerian script, as we know it today, is registered in Australia.
1947-1960s – The
Coca-Cola Red Disc
Since 1947, the Red Disc or “button” sign has been used to advertise
Red Disc images also appeared in print advertising into the 1960’s when the Arciform or “fish tail” signs began to be used.
1958-1960s – A fishy shape
This period sees the script placed inside an Arciform shape, which looks like an arch. The Arciform sign (better known as the “Fishtail” sign) was unveiled in 1958. Within a year, the Arciform design was used in copy, signage, cartoons and on vending machines.
By 1965 this design was phased out and replaced by the familiar Red Disc of earlier years. It was decided the red circle was the strongest visual association with the trademark.
1969 – That white wave
The Arden Square logo is unveiled. In a red box, the Coca-Cola script is underlined with a white ‘wave’, or ‘Dynamic Ribbon Device’. This is still used today.
1982 – Diet Coke®
The 1980’s featured memorable slogans such as “Coke is It!” and in 1982, the introduction of Diet Coke - the first extension of the
The famous script logo was changed to a slab serif font. And the original Diet Coke logo design included bold red letters against a white background.
2003 – Keeping it real
With the introduction of the "
2007 – A classic design
Changing up the previous design, a simple and bold approach was taken with a single white ribbon.
2011 – 125 years of happiness
Coca-Cola's 125th birthday logo sees bubbles bursting from the contour bottle– a celebration of the past, present and future.
2013―2014 – Your name, that classic font
The Share a Coke campaign swapped out the
Originally, the idea was conceived with names printed in the traditional “Coca-Cola” Spencerian script. However, due to trademark issues, a brand-new typeface inspired by the “Coke” logo was created.
The typeface was named “You” because it’s about you, the consumer, not
The first-of-its-kind campaign, was created in Sydney in 2011 and has since reached more than 70 countries.
Why was it so popular you ask?
Well, it marked the first time a major change to the company’s packaging was made, but it soon paid off with
2016 ― “Taste the Feeling”
Taking the best from both worlds, the “Taste the Feeling” campaign brought
Instead of seeing different packaging for
The new design aims to highlight that even when new flavours make their debut, they’re still very much a part of the
Want to know more?
This story was originally published on 12/05/2016
More on Journey
- The Definitive History of Santa Claus
Curating the Workplace: Caitlin Bowron On One Of The Most Exciting
Coca-ColaCareers Out There
- Delivering happiness around the world: The history of Coca-Cola’s Christmas Trucks
- From ‘Hilltop’ to ‘America is Beautiful’: Coke’s Enduring Legacy of Inclusive Advertising
- How the Coke Billboard Hyphen is Starring in the Best Christmas Lights of 2016