Bartlett (Chris)

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    New Pepsi Logo Blows My Mind...

    Chris Hildrey
    Feb 10, '09 9:23 AM EST
    Or...How I Realised Architecture Portfolios Aren't All That Different From Advertising Pitches (and my subsequent breakdown)

    The advertising agency's PDF presentation for the new Pepsi logo was leaked via reddit a few hours ago (I've made a mirror of it here for archinect viewing: here [pdf]). Read it!

    And it makes quite a read. I mean, it's a Pepsi logo right? How much post-rationalisation does it need? And what's the point anyway - people only drink Pepsi when there's no Coke left.

    Little did I know. This new logo - this aesthetic angel waiting to raise our souls to another level of artificially-sweetened nirvana - is actually the result, nay, pinacle of thousands of years of culture and learning.

    And here's the proof, people. Da Vinci, the Parthenon - hell - even Mother Nature and the Gods themselves don't have sh*t on this logo. Does nature have diagrams? No - all nature has is wind and grass and sh*t.

    But let's not undersell this logo. It's not just shaming Nature, no it's shaming the mother***king LAWS of Nature. BAM. Take that. This logo can bend light, alter the relativity of space and time, create universes...and all just to quench your pathetic thirst, mortal.

    But - taking a turn away from the hyperbole for a minute - the worst thing is...I've seen portfolio sheets like this in the past. And often with my own name on. Which makes me worry...Are we no different? I know we have to sell our ideas in university. But are we loosing track of what we're selling and why we're selling it?

    Don't tell me you can look at this sheet without being reminded of the programmatic/concept diagrams of OMA etc:

    Or this one without thinking of the arbitrary assignation of geometry to anything and everything (ala Libeskind and countless architecture students in his wake):

    This logo is what would happen if Eisenmann worked for Pepsi (there's still time, Peter!). He toils away at the minute details of his little creative universe and then it's in the real world - a 25mm circle on a plastic bottle that looks marginally different from the ones the week before. "Oh cool", says the kid before reaching across for another Coke.

    I've been on competition teams where last-minute preperations involve throwing together a load of cultural and historical precedents that bear even a slight resemblance to the proposal. But why do we feel a need to convince people that our buildings are the innevitable result, nay, pinnacle of everything the client requires? Why must we embed ourselves at the end of an ancient trajectory as if our proposal alone is not enough? Why can't we just admit that we're not going to change the world at once; we're not going to bend light or displace relativity. If you've got a thirst for a building, we can quench it - and it'll be tasty. But let's be honest, it's only a matter of time before you want another.

    I'm off to get a Coke...

    PS. and maybe something to eat. I seem to have used up all my cheese on the last two sentences.


    • while the PDF had me laughing out loud, and shocked and amazed that such a large corporation would actually buy into this, there's something very smart about this proposal, which is the embrace of variation...

      on one hand there's the logo itself, conceieved as a 2d representation of a 3-dimensional object, the differing views of which convey different emotions.... the page with logos and emoticons is particularly striking: unfortunately this seems to have been lost between the proposal and the roll-out: a quick tour around shows only the one final logo.... but the idea that a log is not a static image but a dynamic, say, parametric thing is interesting.. are there any brands where this is the case, besides, say, simple color substitutions?

      it's interesting too to see their strategy for the coloration of different varieties of pepsi... the caffeine free can as yellow, the diet as a light blue, etc.... and this viewed as moments of intensification along a gradient... what would half-caff pepsi be?

      i think it'd be fun to work in advertising. :)

      Feb 10, 09 10:49 am

      my wife and i look at the logo and can only see one thing

      not saying it's the same thing, but mnemonically, that's what i see, and really, doesn't everyone want to be like the 'O' man??

      Feb 10, 09 11:02 am

      O yes!
      Feb 10, 09 12:27 pm

      Personally, it reminds me of the Korean Air logo:

      But then, only slightly more than the original logo.

      Feb 10, 09 12:30 pm

      i like those emoticons on page 22 .. it says 'one identity, multiple emotions' but come on, they're all the same emotion except for that last one where they little guy is screaming out in pain 'mommy i want coke!'

      good call on the korean air logo

      Feb 10, 09 12:44 pm

      arnell group does have architectural designers on staff, the brand aisle/logo spatialization would seem like their work.

      Feb 10, 09 1:34 pm
      Jimmy Stamp

      Wow. Thanks so much for posting this! I've been looking for this information for a while. I actually love the new pepsi logo / branding effort. Honestly! Despite their piggybacking onto the Obama brand / logo, they haven't veered that far from their identity. Pepsi has always tried to identify itself as something new, something hip, an alternative to accepted standard. So when Obama was elected, it must've been a wet dream for their marketing dept.

      Feb 10, 09 2:32 pm

      Great post. I do like the new Pepsi logo, and I even love their new commercials - the "Pepsi throughout the generations" theme - but I still prefer Coke when I drink soda.

      PS. That PDF is awesome. I mean, yeah, it's just a Pepsi logo, but kudos to that consulting firm, they are working their arses off for PepsiCo. Good stuff!

      Feb 10, 09 4:48 pm

      what? is this real? looks like something an architect would do, by which i mean complete bullshit. kudos to them for actually getting paid for it!

      Feb 11, 09 8:16 am
      Marc Pittsley
      An alternate take...
      Feb 12, 09 12:17 am

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