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Pepsi’s New Logo
No rebrand happens in a vacuum.
Any updated look and feel has to take into account past visual identities along with the cultural aesthetic of the time.
No one knows that better than Pepsi, which just updated its logo for the first time in 15 years.
The updated logo aims to thread the needle between a contemporary look that also calls back to more iconic imagery.
Overall, the logo is getting high marks.
Marketing and design blogs and the buzz on social are generally positive. Fast Company coverage dubbed it “the best Pepsi has looked in decades.”
Here’s our design team’s take: Coming off one of the biggest flubs in modern branding, Pepsi’s updated logo is a triumphant return to what made the brand iconic and recognizable for a century. But that black outline? Not a fan. It feels like a gas station logo. However, it serves a functional purpose by visually separating the logo from the electric blue radial backgrounds on the cans and packaging.
That’s What People Like
Pepsi’s updated look and feel offers some valuable lessons. One big takeaway: The reasoning behind a rebrand is an opportunity to advance other brand messages – just don’t overdo it.
Pepsi’s previous rebrand in 2008 was widely panned. Critics agreed it deviated too far from the essence of Pepsi’s established look. To make matters worse, the new logo was accompanied by a leaked design document that was so bad that some people believe it’s a hoax. The writeup goes way overboard in its rationale for the rebrand, invoking the golden ratio, the movement of the planets and a bunch of awkward smiley faces.
This time around, Pepsi is being a little less meta and a little more on message. Much of the rationale around the new brand centers on an increased push for Pepsi Zero Sugar – a major product emphasis for Pepsi and its focus on younger buyers.
“Zero sugar is going to be the protagonist of our communication strategy,” Mauro Porcini, PepsiCo’s chief design officer, told CNN. (Who said brands don’t have heroes and villains?)
By anchoring its redesign — and messaging — around a dedicated business objective, Pepsi has been able to garner positive press for both.
(Image via Pepsi.)