Pepsi's logo design is so iconic and ubiquitous worldwide, to the point that it was mistaken for the Korean flag in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Since its inception in the late 19th century, Pepsi has undergone many logo transformations, each reflecting its cultural and design trends.
It's a perfect branding example that many professional logo designers strive to mimic, but how did it become so iconic?
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Pepsi’s Logo Origin and Its First Overhaul
From its humble origins with a simple script font to its modern, minimalist emblem, the Pepsi logo has continuously adapted to remain relevant to its consumers across the globe. (Check out more impressive logo redesigns here.)
In 1893, when the brand was still under the "Brad's Drink" name, it got its first-ever logo. While relatively modest, this blue emblem spelled the (original) brand name in a script font style. The letters were enclosed in a rectangular outline with an old-school pattern.
However, as the name changed in 1898, the newly branded "Pepsi-Cola" received a new logo design. While significantly different from its predecessor, the first couple of iterations might have resembled one of its competitors.
The logos that spanned half of the 20th century all featured red cursive text with emphasized capital letters. These variations featured different text widths and lettering arrangements, but none of them managed to represent the brand's identity.
Pepsi’s Post-War Era Logo: Enter the Iconic Globe That Captured the Zeitgeist
Significant consumer tastes and design aesthetics shifts occurred in the middle of the 20th century. Naturally, Pepsi-Cola acknowledged the need to update its image and introduced a more streamlined and straightforward logo.
This version included a new script typeface with a bold and modern appearance. Red, white, and blue were used extensively, emphasizing patriotism in keeping with the era.
The logo underwent another change as the 1950s emerged, embracing the pop art trend. The logo adopted a circular shape and featured a playful font in a bottle cap. In this period, Pepsi radically broke from conventional design and adopted a more vibrant and youthful look. (Browse through other compelling circle logo designs here.)
Pepsi’s Logo Enters the New Wave As the Rising Global Giant Era
Pepsi-Cola took a significant leap toward modernity in the 1960s. The logo featured an iconic red, white, and blue scheme, while the font changed to a black sans-serif font. (Look for other intriguing abstract logo designs here.)
The "Pepsi Globe," a stylized version of the brand name encased in a red, white, and blue circle, was also introduced during this era, further solidifying the brand's identity on a global scale.
From the Past to the Present and Beyond: Pepsi’s Logo in All Its Glory
"Pepsi Globe" underwent different changes but has always been a constant element in their logos. This also helped in brand recognition and recall, cementing Pepsi as one of the leading soft drink brands worldwide.
Despite Pepsi Globe's iconic logo status, the design underwent minor changes in the 2000s. From a 3D-like effect to water droplets adorning the globe, it shows the brand's ability to improve the logo while maintaining its distinct features.
In 2008, Pepsi underwent one of its most extensive logo modifications. The logo switched to a more straightforward, minimalist style. Although the circular form was still present, its borders and three-dimensional effects were gone. The colors remained the same, but a bold, lowercase version of the word "Pepsi" was used to emphasize its modernity and simplicity.
Today, we see the Pepsi logo as the brand's dedication to a modern, minimalist aesthetic while maintaining the company's recognizable red, white, and blue color scheme.