designi cons/Coca-Cola Contour Bottle, 1915

“The Famous Coca-Cola bottle is more than just a packaging,” Stephen Bayley once said. “It’s a genuine modern icon: an image of faith for a global civilisation committed to pleasurable consumption, not just of delicious drinks, but of favourable imagery too”.

There are various myths over the inspiration for the design of the Coca Cola bottle – one including Marilyn Monroe.

However the truth behind the design hails back to 1915, when an unknown designer Alexander Samuelsson was briefed to design a new bottle. His design took inspiration from the curvature of the cocoa bean – which in turn produced the ergonomic silhouette we recognise today.





Alexander Samuelsson
Invented on 8th May 1886 by Dr John Styth Pemberton, Coca-Cola was first sold at the soda fountain in Jacob’s Pharmacy, Atlanta. The fizzy drink first arrived in Great Britain in 1900 when Charles Candler, son of the owner of The Coca-Cola Company, brought a jug of syrup with him in a visit to London.

Initially Coca-Cola was sold in straight bottles called Hutchinson bottles, which were identical to their competition – proving tricky for customers to differentiate between brands. So a forward-thinking manager set a brief to design “a bottle that a person will recognise as Coca-Cola even if he feels it in the dark.”

Alexander Samuelsson was that designer. A Swedish innovator whose passion was with glass, Samuelsson took his inspiration from images of the cocoa bean in encyclopaedias


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