[Picture of original Coca-Cola Bottle]The ‘hobble skirt’ Coca-Cola Bottle is a brand icon of unrivalled status. Because it is known as the ‘hobble skirt’ bottle, many people assume it was designed after a form of female attire.

However in 1915, ‘The Root Glass Co’ were trying to design a new bottle for their client, Coca-Cola, and so their Mr.Clyde Edwards went to the Terre Haute City library in Indiana for research. Because the client was called “Coca-Cola” he made sketches of the kola nut and coca leaf, but he was ‘divinely’ inspired to include the cacao tree seed pod (chocolate) in his many sketches — and it was these that were worked up for the original Coca Cola bottle design that went into production the following year.

It is not uncommon in design to hear talk of inspired work, ‘divine inspiration’, ‘luck’, and so forth. It was originally a good design; the bottle was difficult to break, well-balanced, identifiable and recognisable even when broken or without the paper label. There were problems with the lid leaking, but this was later solved. The fact that it was curvy and female-like was not necessarily a bad thing, and it would seem unlikely to want to refer to the design’s chocolate origins, so ‘hobble skirt’ is pretty definitive as a trade-marked design shape.

Later, however, it was realised that this bottle was very expensive to produce, and it remains expensive — even though the design has been modified quite dramatically; it has had to retain it’s identity.

So Coca-Cola, were victims of the bottle’s success and forced to compete with their own branded shape — so in 1919 they commissioned ‘Lucky Strike’ brander, Mr.Raymond Loewy to design their cans, coolers, and vending machines.

Coca-Cola LogoThe Loewy Coca-Cola branding primarily depends on the red and white colours, and the font style. The bottle shape was included initially, blending the whole lot together very successfully, later, the bottle shape was dropped to leave the Coca-Cola branding for cans and advertising from then on.


2 Responses to Coca-Cola

  1. aircond says:


    […]Coca-Cola « :: art of design ::[…]…

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