I came across this great little clip via the BBC today about the origins of an everyday design classic, the Coca-Cola Original Glass Bottle. Many moons ago, in another agency life, both myself and Nat had the opportunity to work with this everyday icon and so it was really interesting to find out that one of only two prototypes, that lead to Coca-Cola OGB design, is up for auction in Beverly Hills. And what’s the estimated price for said bottle, a cool $200,000.
What I love about the Coca-Cola OGB is that it’s design is as simplistic as it gets, with so much iconic impact and just as rememberable, if not more so, than the brands logo. If that little lot wasn’t enough I’m absolutely convinced drinking an ice cold Coke out of the OGB makes it taste even better!
So as all that flashed through my head I thought I know I’ll write a post and here we are…
Below shows the concept drawing and prototype for the Coca-Cola curvy bottle created way back in 1915 by bottle designer Earl R. Dean. Amazingly this is one of only two in existence, the other is owned by Coca-Cola.
In 1915, Harold Hirsch, a lawyer for Coca-Cola, came up with a plan to launch a national competition in which bottle manufactures across the U.S would be asked to design a distinctive bottle. The brief was simple, created a bottle so distinctive that people could recognise it with a single glance or by the way it felt in hand.
Bottle manufacturer Root Glass Company, Indianna eventually won the competition with a design inspired by a cocoa pod, that the aforementioned Earl R. Dean had found in an encyclopaedia. The winning Prototype never made it into production as the middle diameter was deemed too wide compared to the base and this would make the bottles unstable when on the conveyor belts. But the seeds of the idea were sown and even after decades of tweaks, nips and tucks the original concept is still ingrained in todays bottle.
Above is the design patent registered for the original prototype design and below is for the revised and eventual bottle design. You may notice that on the patent Earl R. Dean’s name does not appear but instead the credit goes to the plants superintendent, Alexander Samuelson. Unfortunately Dean’s lack of credit was a result of company procedure, the cheek of it!
Right I’m going to pop to the shop and get myself a proper glass bottle of Coke, enjoy!