Mountain Dew (Mtn Dew for short) is a brand of non-alcoholic carbonated beverage. Two Hartman merchants invented the original recipe, the Barney and Ally brothers. It happened in 1940 in Tennessee. A little later (in 1958), the basic formula was improved by Bill Bridgforth. Then the rights to it were bought by the Tip corporation from Marion, Virginia, and refined to the current formulation, which is known today. In particular, William H. Jones worked on it. In 1964 the parent company and trademark, together with a drink, have passed into the ownership of the PepsiCo company. She is its official manufacturer and distributor in the United States and Canada.
Meaning and History
In the 1930s, soda (sparkling water) was usually mixed with alcohol, such as whiskey. The Hartman brothers were the inventors of the new drink. They turned it into a brand and developed the original brand identity. At first, the bottles were decorated with a label with a simple country boy (Willie the Hillbilly) stylized as a cartoon image. The first sketches of the logos were created by John Brichetto in 1948, immediately after the trademark received official registration.
Carl E. Retzke of Owens-Illinois Inc suggested the name for the soft drink. The original meaning of Mountain Dew was an Irish (Scottish) slang word for moonshine in the 19th century. It was used as a joke, so the label artwork was humorous. But after PepsiCo bought the brand, it undertook a redesign, dramatically changing the accents of the visual identity mark in 1969. The new owner focused on young people who love drive, movement, and the outdoors.
This priority remained for two decades. And since 1996, the company applied its usual strategy and started regularly redesigning, just like its flagship brand Coca Cola. The changes also involved the appearance of other flavors. One of the most significant adjustments was in 2008, as it was rebranded, and the word combination “Mountain Dew” was replaced by “Mtn Dew” on the logo.
1948 – 1969
In the first years, the cartoon lettering prevailed, corresponding to the image, since it was based on Willie the Hillbilly – a kind of country simpleton. The green letters are elongated but not straight – each one looks like it was drawn with a pencil (marker or felt-tip pen), so their edges are disproportionate. And the uppercase “D” and the lowercase “w” are reminiscent of the characters in the Disney logo.
1969 – 1980
The result of this redesign was a more serious logo aimed at young people. The basis is a rectangle, filled from edge to edge with the brand’s name. Therefore, on the edges, the letters look like cropped letters. The phrase “Mountain Dew” is placed in two rows, where the capital “M” occupies both lines simultaneously. To make the lettering clearer, the designers used different colors: one part is colored green, the other – in red. At the same time, the characters are curved, elongated, and differently shaped, adapted in height to neighboring signs. They are mostly uppercase. The only exceptions are lowercase “i,” “a,” and “e.”
1980 – 1991
The saturated tones became muted and lighter. Neither the lettering nor the style and shape have changed – they have remained the same.
1991 – 1996
In 1991 the developers stretched the letters vertically even more, and with them the rectangle, essentially turning it into a square.
1996 – 1999
This time the designers made all the inscriptions diagonal, whereas before, the bevel had only the first word (and only at the bottom). Both lines now point upwards. The first row tapers towards the end, while the second, on the contrary, expands. This graphical technique is preserved from the previous version of the logo and slightly corrected. The “M” remains curved. The “T” cap is dropped in line with the rest of the characters and linked to the adjacent “N” and “a.”
1999 – 2005
The inscription has a double border, a common white and dark green. The latter has an uneven width: at the bottom left, it is wide; at the top right, it is narrow, like a thread. The developers have now moved all the letters from the upper part of the name to the lower case. The uppercase letter remains only the “M,” which resembles an inverted “W” from the bottom row. They have the same structure, width of lines, and bottom line-height.
2005 – 2009
To modernize the Mountain Dew brand logo, management approved a logo with a magnifying glass effect, where the middle is large, and the edges are deformed. The pull toward rounding is evident in the sharply curved elements of the “M,” “W,” and “D”: though they look in different directions, they are smoothed out at the ends. The name now has an edging in the form of a thin yellow stripe.
2009 – 2017
After the rebranding, the emblem received a zigzag shape but arranged horizontally instead of vertically. And now there are three letters – “Mtn” and “Dew” – at the top and bottom. The lettering is bordered throughout with double light green and dark green lines.
2017 – today
The outer band is now painted black. The light green line is retained, as is the mix of lowercase and uppercase letters in both words. The color scheme has been changed to a more muted color scheme.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
Mountain Dew’s visual brand identity sign has always had a dual structure: the top of the name is green, the bottom is red. Only their shades varied. The exception is the debut logo, where the word combination was monochromatic. The main feature of the logo was the slanted lettering, with the right side of the words pointing upwards. It is also known that for the logo on the branded line of tin cans, the parent company announced a contest in which 35 independent skateboard stores participated. They submitted artwork by various tattoo artists and artisans. According to reports, the winner received a cash prize, but their result has not yet been printed.
The free Air Millhouse Italic typeface has been chosen for the textual identity. The designers have personalized it a bit, changing the shape and size of the letters. The color palette is more stable: it always stays green and red. Their shades varied – from scarlet to crimson and from lettuce to emerald.