Diet Coke is currently being sold in limited edition cans for Autumn and Winter in the US in celebration of the Coca-Cola’s 125th anniversary. First appearing on our shelves in 1982, producers The Coca-Cola Company say Diet Coke is currently the No. 3 soft drink in the world (via brand new). The work forms part of the iconic “Stay Extraordinary” campaign for Diet Coke, and the brand evolution showcases a contemporary new look for fall both on the Diet Coke aluminum can itself and a series of media ads.
Diet Coke was the first drink other than Coca-Cola itself to carry the name of the brand prior to the development of the other lines. Diet Coke is one of the leading diet soft drinks and is a brand associated with youth, and of course the infamous Diet Coke breaks featured in TV campaigns in the past.
The release was handled in a very grass-roots manner; with cases of the new cans being sent out to “trendsetter[s] in the fashion and design world,” (via Adweek). The cool-factor has been magnified by the mystery surrounding the length of time they will remain on the shelves, and an unusually quiet press release from the Atlanta based firm. William White, group brand director for Diet Coke and Coke Zero, Coca-Cola North America, said the launch in fall and winter “is all about new looks and new energy, making this a great opportunity to give the Diet Coke can design a refreshing uplift that celebrates the season.” White also indicated that “this new concept will only be around for a short time”.
To boost the fashion kudos of the can further, fashion and beauty-trend Web magazine StyleCaster.com announced the new design as one of its “new looks”, taking a consumable drink into the dizzy heights on seasonal fashions.
The work was undertaken by brand specialists Turner Duckworth who are based in London and San Fransisco. The agency set up in 1992 and has a strong record of producing creative, award-winning brand identity work for a range of clients including Neal’s Yard, Waitrose, Superdrug, Liz Earle and Schwartzkopf. Turner Duckworth pride themselves on the cross-Atlantic creative working relationship, and say that both studios “collaborate on every project. Work flows freely between each to give clients a rich and nuanced perspective from both sides of the Atlantic” (via Turner Duckworth)
They say that the new can design “ provides a bold perspective on this iconic brand by focusing on the union of the “D” and “K” as the key recognizable elements of the logo.” The evolution of the infamous brand demonstrates how recognizable the logo is when deconstructed, and that the essential elements of typography when isolated can convey a contemporary and punchy way for the drink to be presented. David Turner, partner in Turner Duckworth says ““The new Diet Coke design is at once understated and overstated,” “The understatement of a monogram, rather than the full name, and the overstatement of the extremely enlarged logo, both demonstrate the brand’s renewed self-confidence.” (via Adweek).
Brand New, the brand design website praises the design, saying “This is a great redesign that falls in line with the latest Coca-Cola cans (also by Turner Duckworth): absolute simplicity and boldness. No visual fizz, no gratuitous waves, no fake sweat drops. Just a big-ass Diet Coke logo. It’s amazing how instantly recognizable it is.” They also say that “There is so much focus on the Coca-Cola logo being one of the most recognizable in the world but, as this design proves, the Diet Coke logo isn’t a second-tier pushover.” The design has of course been met with some mixed responses, unsurprising when dealing with the treatment of such an iconic consumable as Diet Coke.