Sprite is a non-alcoholic soft drink developed by Coca-Cola to compete with PepsiCo’s 7 Up. It now ranks first in the world in terms of popularity, overtaking its closest competitor, Schweppes sparkling water. The debut batch was created in West Germany under the name Fanta Klare Zitrone in 1959, and the second one appeared under the current name in the United States in 1961. In addition to the classic citrus taste, this drink also comes in vanilla, tea, ginger, grape, cucumber, cherry, watermelon, and cranberry, depending on the country of distribution.
Meaning and History
What is Sprite?
Sprite is a brand of carbonated drink made with lemon and lime. It is a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company, which a few years after the line’s launch made it an independent trademark. The time of its appearance is 1961.
The Coca-Cola company gradually filled the market with its novelty: first, soda appeared in stores in two cities in the state of Georgia – Atlanta, and Marietta. Having tested it on residents, she introduced the drink into commercial circulation in eight cities. Shortly after that, Sprite entered retail outlets in forty states across the country en masse.
And for the soft drink to be instantly recognizable and attract more customers, the manufacturer began to pour it into special containers with round protrusions on the surface, imitating air bubbles rising from the bottom. In addition to king-size bottles, motivating slogans and innovative labels also appeared. In this way, the company has instilled in society a whole philosophy associated with vigorous activity, the manifestation of oneself, and with non-stop movement forward.
The decisive role in the popularization of Sprite was played not by the recipe but by the concept of the freshness of ideas, quenching intellectual thirst, and the original design of the container. Over time, the parent company completely adapted the classic soda for the teenage group, turning it into a popular lemon-lime soda. Its name has long been known in the United States since twenty years earlier; it had been given to a jolly silver-haired elf who advertised Coca-Cola and wore a branded cap on his head. Artist Haddon Sandblom created this character.
1961 – 1964
The debut logo consists of an inscription – the name of the trademark, beaten with uneven green letters. To demonstrate the dynamics, the designers made them jump. Sharp serifs of a distinct shape accompany each sign. They are prickly, like the taste of lime-lemon soda. A yellow-green star replaces the dot above the “i” with eight rays of different lengths, echoing the spikes on the symbols. A thin curly frame surrounds the text.
1964 – 1974
After the redesign, the dark green turned into a light green-grassy, and half of the letters acquired an orange tint. They alternate through one, adding brightness to the logo. The eight-pointed star above the “i” in the word “Sprite” has become much larger and recolored orange along with the vertical part of the sign.
1974 – 1984
This period is significant in that it was in it that a new style of inscription appeared, which is used in almost all subsequent emblems. The letters are bold, large, rounded-smooth, with different line thicknesses and smoothed corners. The only triangular protrusion is at “p” – at the junction of the legs with the top. The name of the carbonated drink is located diagonally and recolored in dark green. The eight-pointed star above the “i” was replaced by a bold orange dot resembling an orange.
1984 – 1989
The design of the label has been transformed beyond recognition. She has a new everything: background, font, color, style. For example, a black square appeared, in which the developers placed the main elements. Among them is the name of a carbonated drink with slightly modified letters. The lower curve of the “t” disappeared, the vertical element of the “i” was straightened, the dot was replaced with a lemon and lime superimposed on each other, and the rounding on the hat was removed from the “r.” In contrast, the designers painted the word “Sprite” in white and the inscriptions around it in yellow.
1989 – 1994
The theme of a double lemon and lime instead of a dot over the “i” is continued and improved. To do this, the developers depicted citrus fruits more clearly and, for expressiveness, circled them with a thin black line that follows the contours of two fruits. They aligned the text horizontally but added light italics to it. The designers also returned sharp serifs to the letters, reminiscent of miniature thorns.
1994 – 2006
In 1994, the Sprite emblem received an updated graphic – sharp and cold, emphasizing the frosty-cooling character of the carbonated drink. Each letter is now accompanied by a ghostly gray shadow located under the signs on the left. Thanks to this technique, the inscription seems to float in the air: it seems that it is three-dimensional. The black outline disappeared around the citrus fruits, and the green color changed from a dark shade to a light one.
2006 – 2008
At that time, Sprite jars and bottles were decorated with a completely different logo – not in the style that it was before. The emblem is made of two zigzag halves of lime and lemon. They are located like a yin-yang sign and are not connected to each other: a curved strip imitating the letter “S” runs in the middle. A wide silver line surrounds each slice of citrus fruit. At the bottom is the brand name, consisting of white letters in blue outlines – light (inner) and dark (outer). The inscription is cursive.
2008 – 2019
In 2008, the company decided to revive its identity and switched to a more dynamic slogan and catchy logo. She returned the curly silver frame, as in 1961, and changed the font to a flowing one. Straightness is observed only in “t” and “i”: they have wide, even legs resembling pillars. All characters have sharp elements, which look like serifs in “s” and “p.” The word “Sprite” is diagonal, white, with a blue outline merging into a curly backing. Instead of a dot above the vertical “i,” there is a lemon (top) and lime (bottom half) stacked together. Only a gray stripe separates them. The background is a square with a gradient transition from blue to green.
2019 – today
In the current logo, the border of the curly contour that surrounds the name of the carbonated drink has been redrawn. The corners are elongated and pointed. The diagonal of the inscription has become less pronounced and is almost closer to the horizontal. Moreover, in this version, there is no lemon palette for the first time: there is no yellow – only green is used. The dot above the “i” is now standard, without the citrus fruit image.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The parent company of Coca-Cola pays great attention to marketing, so each redesign of its brand logo was associated with a change in the advertising slogan. It has many options for visual identity, so the labels on cans and bottles intended for different countries may differ. But they have one thing in common – the desire for a modern style attractive to a potential segment of young buyers.
The Sprite logos use the Verlag Black Italic typeface, designed by graphic studio Hoefler & Co. The main colors are yellow (representing lemon) and several shades of green (representing the palette of lime). Some emblems also feature orange, black, and blue to reflect the water theme.