Pepsi – evolution

Pepsi – evolution
Pepsi is an iconic American soda brand that has been around for over a century. The original Pepsi product was created in 1893 by Caleb Bradham for his drug store in North Carolina. The concoction was called "Brad's Drink," made with water, sugar, caramel, nutmeg, lemon oil, and cola nuts. In 1898, Bradham renamed the drink "Pepsi-Cola," taking inspiration from the word "dyspepsia" and the digestive enzyme "pepsin."
The story of Pepsi began in 1893 when Caleb Bradham created a new drink called "Brad's Drink" for his drug store in North Carolina. Made with water, sugar, caramel, nutmeg, lemon oil, and cola nuts, the drink was renamed "Pepsi" in 1898 after the pepsin enzyme, which helps with digestion. Bradham hoped to market it as a "healthy" cola that offered similar benefits to Coca-Cola, which was introduced in 1886.

It took nearly a century for Pepsi and Coca-Cola to engage in real competition. Today, Pepsi is valued at over $11 billion, and in 2020, PepsiCo generated over $70 billion in net revenue. Pepsi's product portfolio now includes 23 brands, each generating over $1 billion in annual sales. These products, including snacks, beverages, and water, are sold in more than 200 countries.

The Evolution of the Pepsi Logo
The evolution of the Pepsi logo has been quite dramatic over the years, as the brand sought to differentiate itself from its initial inspiration and stay up-to-date with changing times while maintaining a classic look.

Starting from its inception in 1898, the first Pepsi-Cola logo had a unique and unusual font that was popular during that era. As the beverage was marketed as a digestive aid, the tagline "Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion" reflected its purpose. However, as time passed, the logo underwent changes, with the letters becoming more evenly spaced and the font softening.

By 1940, the logo had evolved into a sleek and minimalistic banner with clean-cut letters that had an Art Deco-inspired feel. The wave element, which gave the impression of motion and energy, was present in all iterations of the logo throughout the brand's history. Notably, the original colors of red, white, and blue remained consistent, even as the fonts and imagery evolved over time.

1950 marked a defining moment for Pepsi-Cola as it struggled to distinguish itself from its competitor, Coca-Cola. The brand's efforts to address brand confusion led to the introduction of its iconic blue color to the bottle caps and logo. While the banner wordmark remained the same, the wavy lines were emphasized in the background color swaths. The drink's tagline became "More bounce to the ounce," a promise of more fun than the competition.

In 1962, Pepsi dropped the "Cola" from its name, along with the script font elements, to establish brand differentiation. The brand developed a completely new look that maintained the feeling of movement and energy with the wavy lines. The new design was aimed at the youth of the 1960s, replacing the old drug-store-label look with a bold stamp of approval.

Then in 1965, Pepsi-Cola combined with Frito Lay Inc. to form the company PepsiCo Inc., which is how it remains today.

During 1973 - 1990 Pepsi continued with its iconic wavy logo and started to shift its style, moving from a straightforward sans serif to a more futuristic font with rounded edges. The logotype also changed colors from harsh black to match the blue energy of the lower wave.

In 1975, Pepsi introduced the "Pepsi Challenge," which was aimed at taking a share of Coca-Cola's audience. To do this, small booths were set up throughout malls all over America, where young hires wearing a bright Pepsi Challenge t-shirt would ask anyone passing by to do a blind taste test. According to Pepsi, most people preferred Pepsi over Coca-Cola. The popular stunt certainly gave Pepsi what it wanted with a bigger share of the market.

In response, Coca-Cola tried to change their recipe in an attempt to keep up with the times. However, people did not like the new taste. This initially created a setback for Coca-Cola, but it didn’t allow Pepsi to fully take the #1 spot in the market. Instead, it reaffirmed people’s desire for Coca-Cola and gave Coca-Cola the spotlight on the national stage.

Despite this setback, Pepsi continued to market itself as the drink of the upcoming generation and promoted itself as the brand of modern stars of the day like Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, and Shakira, which helped to define Pepsi's place as a more contemporary brand.

In 1991, Pepsi made a subtle change to its logo by separating the brand name from the wavy globe. Although the font and design elements remained largely the same, the white line of the globe became narrower and the red banner element was given more prominence than in the previous versions from the 70s.

In 1998, Pepsi underwent a significant redesign, introducing a 3D logo that dominated with the brand's signature blue color. The new logo replaced the red banner with a solid cobalt backdrop and maintained the rounded slab serif font with a sci-fi look.

In 2005, the logo was updated further with a horizontal gradient background and a serif font, which was used for the first time in almost a century. A blue line was added to make the logo stand out, and light gray shading within the letters created a 3D effect.

The 2006 logo change added mouth-watering droplets covering the wavy globe to illustrate the drink, adding a level of complexity to the design that was trendy in the early 2000s.

In 2008, Pepsi underwent a significant logo change. The Arnell Group designed the new logo for more than $1 million, with a focus on simplicity to fit the rising trend of virtual storefronts and digital brand presence. The redesign flattened and simplified everything, creating the font "Pepsi Light" with the "e" reflecting the iconic Pepsi wave. The globe lost its symmetrical waves and took on a more edgy appearance. While not everyone loved the changes, Pepsi stuck with their rebranding choice, feeling that the new logo embodied the fun, energetic brand of youth.
In 2014, the logo underwent a minor tweak, removing the outline around the globe, which remains the same today. The overall branding is easy to read and ideal for modern platforms and packaging. Although the skinny, lowercase sans-serif font may be disconcerting to those familiar with the brand's historical look, it takes on a fresher and more relevant vibe for younger generations, which is in line with Pepsi's longstanding commitment to appealing to youth culture.
“We designed this new brand identity to be unapologetically current and undeniably Pepsi. The Pepsi wordmark and globe blend together to take over every touchpoint, from packaging to equipment to fashion,” Mauro Porcini, SVP & chief design officer of PepsiCo, posted on LinkedIn. “Black – that same black in our Pepsi Zero Sugar identity – paints the wordmark, outlines the globe, and, blending into blue, radiates into the world with a new, ownable pulse. The Pepsi pulse. The pulse that connects the digital and physical dimensions of Pepsi. Because you can’t design a brand today without thinking of how it will come to life in the virtual world made of bits and bytes.”
Pepsi's new rebranding in 2023 is a major milestone in the company's history, as they celebrate their 125th anniversary. The new logo and visual identity system were designed in-house by PepsiCo Design + Innovation and in partnership with agency Mrs&Mr. This marks the first significant update in 15 years and will be unveiled on shelves in 2024.

The new logo design incorporates the brand's name into the iconic red, white, and blue globe, which was first introduced in 1987 and then scrapped in 1997. The updated design features a bigger Pepsi wordmark that sits inside the sphere, creating a more natural and cohesive look.

In addition to the logo, the color palette and typography have also been updated. The soft and rounded lowercase "pepsi" has been replaced with a more striking all-caps wordmark that stands in contrast with a rounder typography. The new color palette includes a vibrant electric blue and black, adding a dynamic and energetic sheen to the brand.

Pepsi is gearing up for the future with a new visual identity system that will help the brand stay relevant and engaging for the next generation of consumers. The brand's unapologetic and enjoyable qualities will be represented across all physical and digital touchpoints with this new branding.

The launch of Pepsi's new identity includes a presentation video that highlights the dynamism and wavy effect of the red and blue stripes in the logo. The new look is more vibrant and draws inspiration from urban culture and graffiti.

"I believe that Pepsi's decision to update its logo with a modern twist is a smart move to tap into a sense of nostalgia while still staying relevant to younger consumers. The new branding is more vibrant and dynamic, with echoes of urban culture and graffiti, which I think will appeal to the younger generation. At the same time, the incorporation of the brand's name into the red, white, and blue globe harks back to the iconic logo from the 1960s, which has become a symbol of nostalgia and Americana. Overall, I think Pepsi's new visual identity system strikes a balance between honoring the brand's heritage and embracing the future." - Nataly Yeromenko, creative director