Pepsi's New $1 Million Logo Looks Like Old Diet Pepsi Logo

Last Updated Oct 27, 2008 7:43 PM EDT

6-pepsi-102708.jpgThe new Pepsi logo, designed by the Arnell Group, looks suspiciously like an old, long-abandoned Diet Pepsi logo (see below). Both new and old logos have an almost identical, rounded, sans-serif typeface, with the red and blue Pepsi wave device sloping upward diagonally to the right. Only the spacing and evenness of the waves has changed.

Pepsi paid Arnell $1 million for the "new" logo. I'm not the only one who thinks they've seen this logo before. O'Dwyer's PR blog thinks it looks like the Obama campaign logo.

As Ad Age points out, the real cost of the new/old logo comes not from its redesign but from replacing every can, truck, letterhead and collateral piece on the planet.

diet-pepsi-cream.jpgBut the logo's minimalist feel also seems to be a nod to the iPod-ization of everything. There's currently an unwritten rule in the design business that all new products and ads must have a spare, text-free, clean look, just like Apple's music player and its ads. That look flourished right before the stock market crash. Just as the culture changed after 9/11, it is likely to change again as we move into a period of austerity ... which raises questions about how durable the iPod look -- and by extension the new Pepsi logo -- really is.

It's surprising that they didn't abandon the word Pepsi altogether, as in this T shirt. Such word-less logos (again, like Apple's) have the international advantage of not needing a clumsy translation into the local language or alphabet in foreign markets. Opportunity lost.

clot_pepsi_015.jpg

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