I have a big love for great design. To me great design is not only about looks. A product must have both form and function – aesthetics must never stand alone as the function of the product is important in the end. If something is beautiful but doesn’t work, it’s no good. So great design is aesthetically beautiful and work like a charm for whatever purpose it was designed for. Once in a blue moon these two come together with a thousand other components and make a product that stands out. We call that an icon.
All designers dream of cresting an icon. A design icon that will transcend time and place and be used and known for generations to come. An icon is defined as “a thing that is revered or idolised”. Very few designs have been fortunate enough to become icons.
One of these is turning 100 years old this year. It’s one, that I will dare to say most people in the world knows and will recognise even in the dark – from Sudan in the south to Reykjavik in the north. Let me give you a hint.. If I say ‘red’ and ‘cold drink’ – what do you think of? Chances are you guessed Coca-Cola – and you are right! I bet if you looked through you family holiday albums from when you were a kid, somewhere there is a photo of you drinking a cold Coca-Cola on a hot summer’s day. I know there is in my family albums!
To celebrate the anniversary Coca-Cola had a limited edition of old Coke bottles made. I was lucky enough to get to do a styling with these beauties. Through the years designers such as Marc Jacobs have worked with Coca-Cola and used the bottles as a canvas for their designs.
Any Warhol was a fan of Coca-Cola too. His famous painting of the Coke bottle from 1962 sold for $57 million at a Christie’s auction in New York in 2013 (I mean, wow!). He has been quoted for saying:
“What’s grand about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same thing as the poorest… you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and, just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke, and no amount of money can get you a better Coke.”
Even though I don’t drink soda anymore, I have so many memories where a Coke was somehow involved. Coca-Cola Light used to be my drink – Zero never worked for my taste buds.
The drink itself dates back to 1886, where pharmacist John Pemberton invented it. Joseph A. Biedenharn began bottling Coca‑Cola in 1894 after he was impressed by its sales. From left to right this is what the Coke bottle looked like anno 1899, 1900 and 1915. The last one is the Hobbleskirt bottle and the iconic shape we all recognise in the dark and thus the one we are celebrating this year. Its design was inspired by the curves and grooves of a cocoa bean. And it is a version of this one we know as Coke bottles today. Go for a virtual tour of the history of the Coke bottle right here.
Fun facts: Have you noticed how the bottles look slightly different depending on where in the world you buy your Coke? Also did you know, that Coca-Cola became the first soft drink ever in space i 1985? Coca-Cola even invented the Santa Claus we know and love today and dressed him in red for an advertising campaign in 1931. Last one.. Coca-Cola is the second most widely understood term in the world after OK. Need I say more?! Researching this post was fun, can you tell? :)
Happy birthday to an icon! Here’s to the next 100 x
*This post is sponsored by Coca-Cola. As always thank you for reading my blog and supporting my sponsors. They make it possible for me to do what I love.© that nordic feeling
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