One of the most famous shapes in the world is the iconic contour fluted lines of the Coca-Cola bottle.
Renowned as a design classic and described by noted industrial designer Raymond Loewy as the “perfect liquid wrapper,” the bottle has been celebrated in art, music and advertising. And in 2015, this distinctive bottle is celebrating its first 100 years of existence.
Today the Coca-Cola bottle is one of the most recognizable containers in the world, but a century ago nearly all soda bottles looked the same. To distinguish its product from competitors, the Coca-Cola Company launched a competition among glassmakers in 1915 to design a new bottle that was distinctive in both look and feel.
The original bottle was designed by the Root Glass Company in Terra Haute, Indiana, nearly 30 years after the product was launched in 1886. Root won a contest where participants were challenged to develop a container recognizable by consumers even if broken on the ground or touched in the dark.
Evolution of the Coca Cola bottle (Photo: coca-cola company)
The winning design, patented by Root, sought inspiration from two Coca-Cola ingredients: the coca leaf and kola nut. However, the bottle’s fluted contour shape was mistakenly modeled after the cacao pod, the main ingredient in chocolate.
The Coca-Cola Company adopted the Root Glass Company’s bottle design in 1916, but the original prototype was never manufactured because it was top-heavy and unstable. The first commercial “Coke” bottles debuted with a wider base and slimmed-down, contoured shape.
The celebration of the bottle includes an ad campaign in more than 100 countries featuring Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Ray Charles, and an exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta called “The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100.” The exhibit will include more than 100 objects, including more than 15 works of art by Andy Warhol and more than 40 photographs inspired by or featuring the bottle.
You can find more information about the inconic Coca-Cola bottle’s 100th anniverary at: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/cokebottle100/pop-culture-icon-design-muse-and-movie-star-the-coca-cola-bottle-is-100-years-young/