Arnell's Competitors Hate the New Pepsi Logo

Last Updated Nov 21, 2008 4:39 PM EST

pepsi_bottles.jpgIn a completely unsurprising set of reactions, design honchos who compete against the Arnell Group for business had little good to say about the new logo for Pepsi. BNET broke the news a few weeks ago that the new, $1 million logo bears a strong resemblance to an old, long-forgotten Diet Pepsi logo. And others have pointed out that it looks like Barack Obama's campaign logo.

One thing that has gone unnoticed so far, however, is that the Diet Pepsi Max logo abandons the traditional blue Pepsi stripe in favor of a black one, and the size of the white "smile" between the red and blue bands differs on each brand. The plastic bottles also now have a ridge around the "head" that makes them look like, um, well ... check it out for yourself. At least that's the way it looks here. Here's sampling of critical reaction, from Creativity:

Sagi Haviv, partner and principal designer, Chermayeff & Geismar: It feels lightweight, especially for a brand of this magnitude. This is unfortunate ... It's the Sarah Palin effect: receive a lot of short-term attention for the long-term cost of brand equity.

Graham Clifford, principal, Graham Clifford Design: While I applaud Pepsi's attempt at simplification, once again, it's (unfashionably) late to the party.

Brian Collins, chairman and chief creative officer, COLLINS: In an attempt to be relevant, Pepsi is not as anchored in a sense of authenticity as Coca-Cola. The attempt is smart and inspired, but the question is: How much did Pepsi throw out to be of-the-moment? Only the marketplace will tell.

Mary Anne Masterson, strategy director, Frog Design: Pepsi stepped away from its classic element instead of refining it. The width of the "smile" changing from product to product doesn't work. It removes a key item of the mark and puts the burden on consumers to understand what the new "smile" means.

Their words are a more intellectual version of ordinary soda drinkers', who have let off some steam over the new logos here. While plenty liked it, many did not. Some of the haters:
Yuck. The font and layout make me want to cry.

Looks like a designer's attempt to prove to an executive that the original logo and packaging don't need to be updated.

The new pepsi logo just looks like the old logo, except the white bar is now poorly distorted. Also, it doesn't look like a smile.