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Global Brand (1886 - )

Designing a Brand - 125 Years of Coca-Cola (18 May - 15 July 2011)

Since its invention in 1886 by an Atlanta-based chemist, Coca-Cola has been remarkable for the design of its logo, bottle and advertising. The logo is virtually the same now as then; written in decorative Spencerian script common at the time, it has remained a consistent identity inspiring consumer loyalty.

Coca-Cola was initially sold as concentrated syrup to the soda-fountain shops which were part of every American main street, but its sales increased from 1896 when the syrup was sold to bottling companies for distribution. Before 1915, Coca-Cola was sold in a different bottle by each company. To unify the brand the bottlers set a brief for designers to create a bottle that was so distinctive it could be recognised in the dark — the now-familiar contour bottle was launched.

The Designing a brand - 125 years of Coca-Cola showcases the timeline of Coca-Cola’s bottle design from
innovations such as the first six-pack carton (1923), Raymond Loewy’s streamlined dispenser (1947), Coca-Cola’s first can (1961), plastic bottle (1969) and space-can (1985). Today, Coca-Cola is taking a sustainable approach with the introduction of a plastic bottle made of 25% plant materials and a chair, by Emeco, which is made of and promotes recycling of Coca-Cola bottles.

Coca-Cola achieved consistency by pioneering brand unity and created some of the first design manuals, shown here, as early as the 1920s to distribute to bottlers and retailers around the world. Constant design and innovation behind Coca-Cola have ensured that its identity has become part of global visual culture.

Design at the Design Museum

Basso & Brooke Coca-Cola &made Oscar Medley Whitfield + Harry Trimble Tomás Alonso Aluminium Pascal Anson Ron Arad Archigram Assa Ashuach Solange Azagury - Partridge Shin + Tomoko Azumi Maarten Baas Georg Baldele Luis Barragán Saul Bass Mathias Bengtsson Sebastian Bergne Tim Berners-Lee Flaminio Bertoni Jurgen Bey Biba Derek Birdsall Manolo Blahnik Leopold + Rudolf Blaschka Andrew Blauvelt Penguin Books Irma Boom Tord Boontje Ronan + Erwan Bouroullec Marcel Breuer Daniel Brown Robert Brownjohn Isambard Kingdom Brunel R. Buckminster Fuller Sam Buxton Fernando + Humberto Campana Matthew Carter Achille Castiglioni Wells Coates Paul Cocksedge Joe Colombo Committee Hilary Cottam matali crasset Michael Cross + Julie Mathias Joshua Davis Christian Dior Tom Dixon Doshi Levien Christopher Dresser Droog Charles + Ray Eames Ergonomics Luis Eslava Established and Sons Industrial Facility Alan Fletcher Norman Foster FUEL Future Systems John Galliano Abram Games Giles Gilbert Scott Ernö Goldfinger Kenneth Grange Graphic Thought Facility Konstantin Grcic The Guardian Martí Guixé Stuart Haygarth Ambrose Heal Thomas Heatherwick Simon Heijdens Jamie Hewlett James Irvine Alec Issigonis Arne Jacobsen Jaguar James Jarvis Nadine Jarvis Experimental Jetset Craig Johnston Hella Jongerius Kerr Noble Onkar Singh Kular Max Lamb Lawrence Lek Julia Lohmann Ross Lovegrove Berthold Lubetkin M/M Finn Magee Enzo Mari Peter Marigold Michael Marriott The MARS Group Aston Martin J. Mays Müller+Hess Edward McKnight Kauffer Alexander McQueen Matthias Megyeri David Mellor Mevis en Van Deursen Reginald Mitchell Maureen Mooren + Daniel van der Velden Eelko Moorer Jasper Morrison Jean Muir Khashayar Naimanan Yugo Nakamura Marc Newson Isamu Noguchi norm Chris O'Shea Foreign Office Architects Verner Panton James Paterson Phyllis Pearsall Charlotte Perriand Frank Pick Amit Pitaru Plywood Gio Ponti Cedric Price Jean Prouvé Ernest Race Charles Rennie Mackintosh Rockstar Games Richard Rogers Stefan Sagmeister Freyja Sewell Jerszy Seymour Percy Shaw Hiroko Shiratori Tim Simpson Cameron Sinclair Alison + Peter Smithson Constance Spry Superstudio Yuri Suzuki Ed Swan Richard Sweeney Timorous Beasties Philip Treacy Jop van Bennekom Sarah van Gameren Viable Matthew Williamson Ben Wilson Robert Wilson Philip Worthington Frank Lloyd Wright Michael Young
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