Pepsi - Image courtesy of Form Fifty Five

The recent noise about Pepsi’s new logo has been been going strong for months. The general feeling within the design community is that the new redesigned logo(s) are a step back, not forward.

If you are going to spend a reported 1.2 billion dollars on a redesign you would expect something astounding. By itself the new logo looks like a knockoff of the old Pepsi logo, with a little bit of the Obaba logo thrown in. Having different shapes for different brands only adds to the confusion. After all, a logo’s first job is to be recognized by consumers not to make them think about the its gravitational pull in relation to the rest of the universe.

Pepsi Logo Evolution - Image courtesy of Chris Glass

Despite all that, I really really like the change of direction. A good brand is so much more than its logo. I drink Pepsi, it’s my first choice. For years I’ve had to put up with some of the most garish and disorganized cans cluttering up my desk. Take a look at the some of the old packaging below and tell me that it’s better than the new ones.

Pepsi Packaging - Photo courtesy of Pepsi

In the consumer package goods world packaging is everything. Your product lives and dies on the shelf based on the packaging. Where Coke’s brand is built on nostalgia, Pepsi is the “choice of a new generation”. The packaging is forward looking and at times futuristic. The problem with designing the future is that it gets old quick.

Right now (thanks in large part to Apple) modern design is clean and simple. Walking into a store and seeing a wall of blue or white with just the Pepsi logo is very clean and in a cluttered store is striking, especially in the beverage isle. I think we are going to see a lot more Pepsi type redesigns in the future (Not counting Tropicana) and that’s a good thing. However, it is true that others find it hard to swallow.

Here is a video of the new logo design in action… what do you think after seeing this and what are your thoughts on the new Pepsi redesign in general?

29 Comments For This Post

  1. Says:

    I don’t particularly dislike the design. I think it’s basically an evolved version of Pepsi’s previous logo design. However I find the different logo’s for different drinks incredibly weird. As you said yourself, this will only lead to confusion throughout the market and people will question which is the correct logo for Pepsi as a company.

    Nice post.

  2. Jim Says:

    I have to agree with most designers and what they’re saying about Pepsi. The overall design is an improvement, no doubt. But the logo itself is lacking in style, cohesiveness, and recognition. I think they could have kept it closer to the last logo in style, with just some minor tweaks and just used the new font.

    In the end though, it’s still Pepsi – which means I’ll never buy it (I’m a Coke guy).

  3. Adam Says:

    When I first saw the new Pepsi design, my jaw dropped. Loved it. Often times, the over stimulation brands seem to gravitate towards is counterproductive. Like Brad said in the article, something uncluttered and simple will stand out in a busy and crowded area. But then what happens when every brand opts for for a simpler aesthetic? We’ll likely return to something more cluttered. In essence, it’s cyclical.

    But, it’s definitely an improvement if for no other reason than the face that it looks classier and is therefore a more valuable commodity.

    And on a side note, I had never noticed the different variations in the logo until reading this article and watching the video. I doubt many casual Pepsi drinkers will either. And if they do…I doubt they’ll care.

  4. Wade Jackman Says:

    It’s…. nice. The new logo is ok, cleaner than the last. I have to agree it’s changes between product are a bit strange. I also feel a little thrown off with the choice of font. I thought the video was pretty catchy though. So when is coke expected to launch their redesign?

  5. Wade Jackman Says:

    PS. Did anyone else notice the panty shot in the related videos that are displayed when the video is done playing? Im a bit confused.

  6. Kasey Says:

    I was wondering if any good designers would finally come out of the closet and say “what a refreshing redesign!” (ahem – nod to beverage marketing fully intended) I’m of that camp, though it seems to be an unpopular stance. What I especially like about the new logo is that it has movement. It makes the mark spherical and dynamic without resorting to the cheap airbrush highlighting of the past design. As far as the different versions go, I’m not sure the general public will even notice the difference between the normal and diet version. On one hand, that makes it look like a mistake. However, to draw out that difference even more would further dilute the brand. They should have stuck with the original – it’s a solid mark in itself.

    On another note, I particularly like the 1898 version. It looks like a 10-year-old boy wrote it in yellow snow.

  7. LeMinxxx Says:

    I think it’s a logo and brand that has evolved over the years to fit the times, granted it looks crazy with the o’ so many changes.

    It’s just missing a little something this time round.

  8. WilhelmR Says:

    I like Pepsi’s packaging redesign, lots of companies (Coca-Cola comes to mind!) are taking that direction, and showing great results.

    My main complaint is that they could’ve done the same without changing the logo, which in my opinion is just weak.

    Also, they announced chine wouldn’t get the redesign anytime soon. Same with latin american and other more “reluctant to change” markets. Which just shows that they are not 100% sure about the rebrand.

  9. WilhelmR Says:

    Change “chine” to china in that last paragraph, sorry :)

  10. Samuel Jesse Says:

    How ironic, I did an animation for a company which their logo looks just like this.. What’s even more ironic is that I turned the shape (which they didn’t intend as a smile) in to a face to animate it..

    And I have to say their 1991 logo is definitely my stand out favorite.

  11. Megan Says:

    Personally, I think the new design is still similar enough to the old design that it won’t get confusing. I like the simple look. Some of the newer styles (especially the last few years) are too busy and cluttered for my taste. The simpler the better. When I would have numerous cans of Pepsi on my desk, it would make my eyes cross (my desk space is cluttered enough), so I like the new design.

  12. Chris N. Says:

    It looks cleaner, but I think it’s a bit “too 2009″.
    By that I mean it looks caught by the trend of most web 2.0 logos (flat, simplified, none or very little eye candy, and most notably – no caps lettering with a rounded font). If you place it in the logopond gallery, it’s a cool slick logo. Just like all the others there.
    In my humble opinion, it’s too un-timeless, if there’s such a word. It is losing its uniqueness by blending in with the crowd a bit too much.

  13. Deron Sizemore Says:

    I agree that I like the simplicity of their branding now compared to their previous versions where it seems they tried to pack as much stuff into the can and packaging as possible. Still not a fan of the mark though.

  14. nFormas Says:

    I think that the re-design of the logo and packaging line is for better!

  15. Antonea Nabors Says:

    Great read Brad. I am not particularly a fan of new logos for any of the Pepsi products, especially the sierra mist logo. (blurring the world ‘mist’ to make it look misty was a horrible idea). Recently, I’ve come across the new packaging for their product, Pepsi Natural. The logo looks rather nice with the new bottle shape. I think this is a good example of their new logo used effectively. Here is a link to it:

  16. ubiquitous Says:

    there is a fine line between simple and generic, and they just cant seem to get it right. Honestly, the logo on its own isnt half bad but when mixed with over-modernistic packaging it kills the presentation entirely. wal-mart brand cola is more visually appealing then pepsi’s, and that is NOT an intelligent move, at least in terms of product packaging.

  17. Amy N. Says:

    I gotta say I am not a fan of this logo redesign. I cringe whenever I see it. It’s too out there and its lost its brand equity. It looks like a mistake and not a good one. I am saddened everytime I see this logo. I have to wonder how on earth the ptb at Pepsi Co. were talked into this. So sad.

  18. Paul Says:

    I’m not a big fan of the new logo(s) that Pepsi is doing. When I went to the supermarket to get a 12pack of Sierra Mist, i had to look around to see if I picked up the right one. The whole concept for Mist went south and it’s hard to read. It makes you wonder if it’s your eyes or if it’s actually part of the logo effect.

  19. Bjørn Torbo Says:

    The new logo mark is graphically acceptable I guess, but my view on this is that it clearly lacks the distinctive personality and brand recognition that Pepsi has used decades to build. Someone said that this could just as well be the new logo of an airline company, a position on which I’ll have to agree. The worst part is the weak typography, though. Set in an anonymous, thin, lowercase generic black sans, the only real identity bearing element being the godawful wavy ‘e’, it falls short of it’s mark to uphold the playfulness and vitality Pepsi so desperately have to maintain to continue to be the younger, fresher little brother of the mighty CC. This is clearly no longer “The choice of the new generation”. To me, it looks boring, dull and old in it’s helpless attempt to be ‘new’.

    Just my five cents, I’m sorry.

  20. T Says:

    new logo looks like generic soda.

  21. Hannes Says:

    The new logo and type looks like a typical web 2.0 logo.

  22. Brandon Says:

    Thank God someone finally acknowledge this! Thanks

  23. Outlet Says:

    Nice video :)

  24. Jennifer K Says:

    Pepsi’s riding the coat tails of the Obama identity campaign. Extremely similar logos. Perfect timing, Pepsi. Way to be lame and unoriginal.

  25. T Says:

    the font is too “1970s”. the white in circle looks like somebody bending over.

  26. that jon jackson Says:

    What i can’t believe no one is bringing up and one of the aspects of the pepsi rebranding that i think is clever is that the e in the new pepsi font is the old pepsi logo (reversed)

    or is it just me?

  27. cant anyonew taste that? Says:

    honostly the only things thats changed for me is the taste i find the new logo’d pepsi’s taste awful like there allready flat ive allready went out and bought as much old style logo’d ones that are left and compared them side by side tastes TOTTALY DIFF and if no 1 else can taste that than wtf thought you guys were pepsi drinkers!!!!!!!

  28. WebMatros Says:

    I think the video was really interesting to watch. I enjoyed seeing the guide lines / circles, that the logos comprise of.

    I also liked seeing how they play with their logo in the later, simpler form. Quite organic and fresh.

    Thanks for posting Jacob!

  29. Autoren Says:

    Pepsi has undergone a great development.

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