Monday, 15 October 2012

Can You Own a Colour?

For my final project at university I asked Pearlfisher (where I was on student placement) to write me a design brief.
They asked me to package Coca Cola for 15 years in the future.

It was a great brief, and I came up with loads of ideas, based on what I believed could happen in the not too distant future.

Back at the end of the last century (was it THAT long ago I was at uni?!!), water shortage was only just becoming a recognised potential global problem, so one idea was to design a concentrated Coca Cola, packaged only in the bottom of a cut-off bottle-shaped can, which you then have to dilute yourself (if you can find water!)

Genetically modifying food was also a new development, so another idea was that Coca Cola would genetically engineer their own fruit, to look like an orange (but red of course) with cola coloured segments that tasted of Coca Cola.

Next was Global warming - such a nuisance when you want a nice cold can of your favourite sugar-based global-domineering soda. The solution? a solar-panelled can that generates energy to cool the contents of course!

OK, so 15 years have passed and none of these have gone into production (thankfully).

However, another idea I had was that Coca Cola would own the rights to the colour red! so no red tomatoes allowed, and no red flowers, ladybirds, buses, post boxes, lipstick, clothes... so the only time you ever saw red it HAD to mean Coca Cola.
For the pack I didn't even need a logo, it was simply a red can with an ® symbol in the corner.
Then I saw this slightly disconcerting story in Design Week yesterday:

The future it seems may well be orange, but only for Orange™. Surely brand legal departments the world over are now hastily applying for ownership of their particular Pantone colour?
Restricting times ahead for us brand designers I think.

UPDATE: The NestlĂ© Empire Strikes Back! (thankfully),%20Cadbury%20loses%20Pantone%202685c%20purple%20fight,%20Children's%20Illustrated%20Classics%20at%20the%20British%20Library%20and%20more...&cmpid=dwnews_14902

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