Black is Back

Pepsi continues to shake up its brands by releasing a new/old identity for its core Pepsi beverage line. However, it’s placing its black-clad Pepsi Zero Sugar product as the line hero, not the traditional blue-clad sugared product. The company is using the color black to signal that it is distancing itself from sugar, as many consumers today are doing. The redesign is the first for the cola brand in 14 years and arrives in time to celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2024.

The Zero Sugar product was just reformulated with a “new sweetener system” in January, although Pepsi did not offer specifics other than that caffeine was reduced. A CNN Business report in January reported, “From a sales standpoint, Pepsi Zero Sugar has struggled against main rival Coke Zero Sugar. According to data from Beverage Digest given to CNN, Pepsi’s version has captured less than 1% of overall soda sales while Coke’s has consistently grown its market share over the past five years to nearly 4%.”

Highlights of the Pepsi redesign include:

• The Pepsi globe and wordmark (which is now in black) are reunited as a single element.

• Black and an electric blue are brand highlights.

• The wordmark and other branding uses a new custom typeface that references past Pepsi designs.

• As with all brands today, there’s a new focus on animation. From a company press release: “The signature Pepsi pulse evokes the ‘ripple, pop and fizz’ of Pepsi-Cola with movement. It also brings the rhythm and energy of music, an important and continuing part of the Pepsi legacy.”

Watch the new branding video at

A Fast Company article with more details, including the design process, can be found at

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