Evolution of Company Branding: Pepsi

Product representation and signature impression has never been as important as it is today. With the never-before-seen scale of the expansion of mass media through the advancement of technology, it is now almost effortless to promote your brand and product. Accurately representing it and having it attract your target market is another matter.

With its ease comes its danger of the sense of dullness because of overexposure. With everybody constantly trying to get an advantage, you have to think ahead four, five steps in advance before even thinking of trying to compete. Now we would like to show you how a hundred-year-old company has managed to keep up with its rivals through adapting to the whims of the market and establishing its own signature in the process.



The household name of Pepsi. Created by Caleb Bradham, it first started out as a drink sold at his drugstore. Originally made from kola nut, sugar and vanilla, he began to craft his dream of making a fountain drink that would help in digestion and boost energy.


From the words dyspepsia, which the brand promotes itself as the solution of, and kola nuts, Pepsi Cola was coined. The first handwritten logo instills a sense of country and personality to the stylized signature. The signature was used from 1898 until 1905.


With its brand established, its way forward now is clear. The signature had to be recognized from afar and it should be identifiable with Cola drinks that represent that refreshing zest when drinking it. The brand was modified twice in a span of three years, simplifying it to make it more appealing since brands back then were going in a similar direction. The brand became more solid to look at and the trade mark subscript was added on it.


In 1941, Pepsi changed its signature, now not just because of what was appealing. To support the war effort, Pepsi changed its bottle crown from green and white to America’s red, white and blue. Along with that, some of the curvatures ware smoothed to seem more conservative rather than flamboyant.


Pepsi Cola changed its logo again in 1950 to integrate its recognizable bottle cap into the logo directly, while retaining its original script. Pretty advanced for its time, it was made in such a way that it was represented in 3D space to emphasize the bottle cap.


In 1962, Pepsi Cola became just Pepsi to further distinguish itself against its main competitor, Coca Cola. Accompanied by its “Pepsi Generation” campaign, the transition was successful and the brand did what it was supposed to do, represent. To further highlight the change, the typeface was altered to a simple sans serif type and the bottle cap was “put to the ground.” The brand was used until 1974.


With the minimalist direction of design in that time, Pepsi followed suit and made its logo adapt to what was selling. It retained the circular element of the bottle crown so that customers wouldn’t be likely to confuse it with a copycat. The font was slightly changed. In the general color scheme, a light sky blue was introduced. A blue border was sometimes included to add to the minimalist effect.


The next modernization of the signature consisted of a major typeface change that suggested an adaptation of technological change. The hue of the light blue was also darkened to sit beside the dark font more comfortably.


Keeping up with technology has always been demanding. With the expansion of the computer era, Pepsi transformed its signature to its blue italic text on top of its trademark symbolism of a bottle crown that seems to be in motion.


Now well into the technological age, more and more companies were taking advantage of the more readily available computers that can easily make 3D representations using shadows and vector graphics to make it appear to have more dimensions.


Like a wheel, again the industries now lean toward 2D logos, though not exactly like it. With the employment of modern techniques in visual arts like manipulation of color hues, distinct edge creation with the help of vector graphics and curve calculations, the newest face of Pepsi was born. The new Pepsi ball now had a unique smile that once adjusted to what type of Pepsi you were drinking but now put into a standard curvature. Using the old design of the Pepsi globe, the “e” was crafted to instill a sense of solidity through change.

Take advantage of the progression of technology

Quince Media Logo Animation Services provides state-the-art logo creation, animation and design.

Djordje Komljenovic

Author Bio

Djordje Komljenovic is a professional 3d animation and motion graphics designer for over past 20 years. He is owner and creative director at Quince Creative agency. Previously, he was working-force of a few of major television stations in here Serbia - hired as motion graphics producer.

Free Stuff & More Every Week!

Related Stuff