So I’ve been drinking a lot of caffeine laden beverages this week, and looking at the Pepsi can on my desk I just noticed that it has a new logo and design which is quite different from the old ones. I will present a quick semiotic analysis of this.
What is interesting is that the format: the formal layout right away struck me as being very “web 2.0.” The design is very minimalist with no excessive clutter or visual distractions. The background has a single color gradient, and when placed on a desk the shadows reflecting off the can seems to give this single color a two tone color gradient, that is reminiscent of the drop shadows/reflections that was a brief design fad of web 2.0 logos (take a look at iTunes coverflow for an example). The use of a non-serif text and all lowercase also has been a frequent design choice in web 2.0 sites. The logo itself has also been reduced, containing no textual information. The color and stripes in the Pepsi logo of course denotate the United States, which connotates patriotism and allegiance. This also makes a good example of how branding tries to rearrange signs, in this case trying to associate love and loyalty to a brand and product as opposed to a country.
The Pepsi logo also strongly reminds me of the Obama logo, which tries to connotate modernity, change, and patriotism.
So taken together this is a set of codes that signify the modern and cutting edge. Of course the goal of branding is to transfer these connotative attributes to you as the consumer of the product. The outcome of this phatic relationship is that by drinking Pepsi you are also modern, networked, and social. Which is consistent with past branding strategies (“Pepsi the taste of a new generation”).