Coca-cola bot­tle

Living Etc - - AGENDA -

de­signer The coca-cola com­pany, 1916. de­tails coca-cola bot­tles, £4.49 for a six-pack, ama­zon. Back­ground as wit­nessed by pho­tos of celebri­ties as di­verse as ac­tor Spencer Tracy, cuban leader Fidel cas­tro and as­sorted Bea­tles and Rolling Stones, sip­ping on a bot­tle of coke is one of the coolest and most en­dur­ing im­ages of the past one hun­dred years, sum­mon­ing up the amer­i­can 20th-cen­tury in a sin­gle frame. per­fectly shaped to fit in a curled palm, it’s as recog­nis­able as any cor­po­rate logo and has be­come as ubiq­ui­tous as the fizzy drink it­self. Back in the early 1900s, how­ever, coca-cola was only one of many such so­das, co­las and bev­er­ages pro­duced in the USA. To gain an edge on its com­peti­tors, the com­pany’s asa Griggs can­dler launched a con­test for a new bot­tle de­sign that would make coke stand out from the crowd. his brief was sim­ple, but de­cep­tively clever: ‘we need a bot­tle that can be recog­nised when felt in the dark or iden­ti­fied even when bro­ken’. in­di­ana’s Root Glass com­pany got the gig, af­ter its earl R dean saw an il­lus­tra­tion of a co­coa plant (coca-cola had noth­ing to do with co­coa, but the plant’s pod had a strange, ap­peal­ing shape). Fluted and curved, dean’s de­sign, once tweaked – as it was at first wider in the mid­dle than the base, mak­ing it un­sta­ble for a con­veyor belt – was an in­stant hit. Since then, an as­ton­ish­ing 300 bil­lion bot­tles have been pro­duced across the planet, mak­ing it one of the most suc­cess­ful con­sumer pack­ages in the his­tory of hu­mankind. its celebrity sta­tus is as­sured too, with artists such as andy warhol recog­nis­ing its class­less, univer­sal ap­peal in his silkscreen prints. ‘a coke is a coke and no amount of money can get you a bet­ter coke than the one the bum on the cor­ner is drink­ing,’ warhol once said. we’ll drink to that…

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