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The Evolution of Logo Designs

We kick off our blog series The Evolution of Logo Designs by looking at the Pepsi logo.

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pepsi logo lol

photo credit: Scott Beale via photopin cc

The Pepsi logo is perhaps the perfect one to kick off our series The Evolution of Logo Designs. From the scribbles of the founder Caleb Bradham to the modern day, sleek, minimal and often criticised logo design of today, there has been an obvious development at play.

1893 – Brad’s Drink

Plaque Dedicated to Caleb Bradham, Inventor of Pepsi
photo credit: jimmywayne via photopin cc

Created and developed in 1893 and introduced as Brad’s Drink, it was renamed as Pepsi-Cola on August 28, 1898, then to Pepsi in 1961.

pepsi cola logo on a bottle
photo credit: Just Another Wretch via photopin cc

The Sixties – A Change in Logo, A Change in Direction

Pepsi Logo Old Style Sign

photo credit: chrisjbarker via photopin cc

This development was particularly evident in 1962, when Pepsi sought to distance itself from its rival Coca-Cola (ever heard of it?) by resorting to sans-serif typography. Coupled with the red, white and blue adopted earlier, it created a striking look for the company, in keeping with the 1960s design trends.

2008 – A Million Dollar Idea

Current Pepsi Logo on a White Background

photo credit: sitemarca via photopin cc

The same shape and colour was fairly omnipresent in Pepsi’s branding until 2008 when the company parted with $1 million to employ the New York-based Arnell Group to devise a new, modern identity for the brand. The distorted wave was supposed to resemble a smile, alongside a low-key minimal type face.

Many commentators felt that, rather than a smile, all they could see was a fat man in ill-fitting clothes.

Lawrence Yang's Take on the Pepsi Logo

photo credit: Lawrence Yang via Blow At Life
photo credit: Rusty Bottlecap via photopin (license)


Written By Michael Haggerty

Michael Haggerty

Michael honed his design skills freelancing his way through university, building an impressive portfolio of branding exercises. He possesses an intuitive understanding of User Interface Design, a boundless creative streak and an attention to detail bordering on obsessive. A true digital artisan, Michael will take your brand’s aesthetic to the next level.

Article Comments

  • Simon Jones

    Interesting… I run a pub quiz questions website and business ( and often creative block can be a problem. My solution is to do two things in tandem, a primary and secondary task, and when creative block occurs with the primary I move onto the secondary task and switch back after a while… this seems to always work. The hours can disappear when staring at a computer screen waiting for inspiration and that’s not good for any business.

  • Carlit

    Interesting article. The combination of both the techniques is truly the best strategy. The proof of traditional marketing still being important can be easily seen here :