The Man Behind The Coke Bottle

The feeling one gets, as a creative agency when a campaign hits the mark and becomes popular can’t be described. It would therefore be indescribable the feeling that one individual would get knowing that he alone was responsible for the identity of a global company’s brand.

So I wonder what Alexander Samuelsson felt like when he came up with the design for the Coke bottle, a design so unique, the bottle’s recognizable by touch!

A Swedish immigrant, who joined the Root Glass Company in the US in 1915, entered a national competition organized by the Coca-Cola company to design a unique new bottle for Coke. According to the brief, they were to design a “bottle so distinct that you could recognize it by feel in the dark, or lying broken on the ground.”

Alex who was then the shop foreman at Root Glass asked two of his teammates, Earl Dean and Clyde Edwards to research design possibilities and when they found an illustration of a cocoa pod that had an elongated shape and distinct ribs, they had their Eureka moment.

The new bottle went into production in Terre Haute, after Root Glass’ application to patent the design was granted. The Coke bottle has gone on to become the world’s most successful product design.

I’m pretty sure Alex had no idea how iconic his product was going to be, or that it was going to inspire art legends like Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, while also finding its way into urban lingo, as in “Coke bottle shape” when describing a woman’s body.

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