Pepsi’s Next (Mis)Step?

Great, iconic package design reminiscent of Crystal Pepsi, or a total design misstep that fails to visually communicate a point of difference?  Imagemme designers Christiaan Rule and Hunter Warren discuss the two can designs that are floating around the internet.

CR: I think the cyan version is most appealing.  It’s an homage to the Crystal Pepsi days, and has a modern vintage appeal which is a big design trend at the moment.  It suggests a newness that hasn’t abandoned its heritage or roots.


HW: I disagree.  I think the cyan design is dated.  A product that is being heralded as “breakthrough innovation” should have design elements that reflect that.  This can looks like more of the same to me and I have no idea why it’s different to Pepsi, Diet Pepsi or Pepsi Max.  For me, the cyan looks generic and unappetizing.

CR: I don’t think it’s just a question of color.  The design language on the dark blue can is almost jarring.  The strong lines that are dangerously close to bisecting the logo isn’t complimentary in the least.

HW: Overall, I think the darker version looks more modern and futuristic.  The typeface, as it’s so simple and thin, alludes to the health benefits of this product and its 50% less calorie claim.  It’s clean and crisp and just looks like it would satiate my thirst better.  I’ve no idea what is in that cyan can.

Pepsi is slated to launch its new Pepsi Next  in stores at the end of this month.  The genesis for this beverage was to create a drink that has half the calories of regular soda, but that doesn’t have the taste of diet (sounds strangely close to Pepsi Max and Coke Zero, but with more sugar and calories!?)  In an effort to edge closer to beverage monolith, Coke, is Pepsi just cannibalizing their own sales?  Or is this a brand revival in which Pepsi is using design to position itself as a true “healthy soda.”  Discuss.

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