Brief (hi)story of the Coca-Cola logo

The logo of Coca-Cola drawn in flowing handwriting became through years a distinctive and unique trademark for the first drink sold at an Atlanta pharmacy.

At first, the inventor of Coca-Cola, John Stith Pemberton, a pharmacist, started by making a cocawine called Pemberton's French Wine Coca, in 1885. It is possible that his invention was inspired by the great success of European Angelo Mariani's cocawine, Vin Mariani.

When Atlanta and Fulton County passed Prohibition legislation in 1885, Pemberton made Coca-Cola, a carbonated, non-alcoholic version of French Wine Cola. The drink was named Coca-Cola because, originally, the beverage had, among its ingredients, the stimulant coca leaves from south America and kola nuts flavor in it.

The famous name and logo of Coca-Cola was created by Frank Mason Robinson, John Pemberton's bookkeeper and partner back in 1885. Robinson suggested that "the two Cs would look well in advertising". The typeface of the logo, known as Spencerian script was the dominant form of formal handwriting in the United States in the mid 19th century.
The logo, unanimously approved by the others working at Pemberton's company, suffered little change over the years.

During 1887-1890s the words "Trade mark" are written in the tail of the "C" in Coca. The logo version used during 1890-1891 proved to be the greatest departure from Robinson's original. During 1903-1941, Robinson's original is again used with the words "Trade mark Registered" written in the tail of the "C" in Coca. In the period of 1958-1960s the Arciform or "fishtail" logo was introduced.

Today, a simple design with a single white ribbon (commonly called "the wave") underneath the logo name is used. The Dinamic Ribbon Device underneath the logo name was introduced in 1969 and knew a few changes - in 1980s when it was integrated within the logo name and in 2003 when the ribbon was again placed underneath the logo name and enhanced.

"What would the Americans do if the Russians decided to paint the moon in red?"
"Write with white paint Coca-Cola over it."

I remember this old joke whenever I think of the most popular company name in the US and according to BusinessWeek, the most recognizable brand in the world.

Coca-Cola Logo Evolution