Pepsi Galaxy, Pepsi Universe

By Sean Carroll | October 26, 2010 2:48 pm

Warning: following links may lead to places no thinking person was meant to go. At least that’s what I discovered when I was reading this Discoblog post about a recent branding fiasco involving the Gap. I was led to a Times article about the incident, thence to a Gawker post, and ultimately to an investigation of Pepsi’s new logo. You know the one I mean:


How much thought do you think went into creating this bit of branding genius? Even better, of what did those thoughts consist?

Wonder no more! Here is the full marketing document prepared by the marketing group that reveals the unique blend of physics, theology, symbolism, art, and a certain je ne sais quoi that made this landmark of design possible.

Excerpts presented below the fold without further comment, which could only be superfluous.






  • zach

    is this serious?

  • Matt

    I can only picture the author of this paper as being high as hell or complete TimeCube style raving lunatic.

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  • Marty

    Pretty funny. Did anyone else notice #8 on page 19 (two figures below #6 copied above) that the figure looks like the outline of a PacMan with a twisted lip? Pure genius…

  • Brian

    “The Pepsi ratio is an aesthetic geometry.”

    I don’t know if the author was high as hell, but I think they assumed that their audience would be.

  • Andrew C.

    Advanced geometry or not, the new logo still looks stupid.

  • Nex

    Breathtaking bullshit indeed.

  • Mathieu

    This is pure genius! Quite rare is the work who manages to both awe and mock its desired audience. I really hope this comes to fruition.

  • Lab Lemming

    My hypothesis was that the Pepsi logo was a featureless white sphere, until the spindoctors got to it.
    Obviously I hadn’t thought closely enough about this.

  • ChH

    Is your logo relevant if your product tastes like heavily saccharinated horse urine?

  • Alex

    Thanks to Dooce, I can’t see the new Pepsi logo without thinking about maternity pants:

  • Bee

    To me it looks like an eyeball. A somewhat sleepy one though.

  • Oliver

    You’d be surprised to hear that the origin of the Pepsi logo is indeed physical, as can be seen on page 12 of my PhD theseis ; )
    Even though the work is concerned with magnetic fields, the origin of the twist is purely hydrodynamic and simply due to the Coriolis force.

  • chris

    that new pepsi logo sure sucks – but what i am a bit more surprised here is the advertisements i am getting. 2500 online astrology experts that want to look into my future for money? huh? money does not smell, but do you really need it so badly as to promote astrology on these pages?

    sad, very sad.

    ps: oh, in case you wonder: the site you promote here is

  • UchicagoMan

    Personally, I think the new logo is great.

    Fake or not, I think this marketing/design document is fantastic!

    Don’t be so judgmental.

    Remember what Einstein said:

    “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

  • Chris

    Ah reminds me of what my mother says when shopping at the supermarket. “What they don’t sell it here anymore? I’ve looked all over. Wait there it is. They changed the stupid label. Idiots.”

  • Rich J

    I always thought it was meant to evoke the Obama campaign icon.

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  • spyder

    Given all this “science” in the Pepsi logo, i can’t wait to read about the Vortex bottle of Miller Lite.

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  • Bioth

    It clearly is a white dwarf spinning so fast that one part of its light is redshifted and the other blueshifted

  • Russel

    Total waste of brain cells.

  • Kurt

    Love this. I was given a similar document explaining the design process for Planet Green’s logo (their brilliant concept: a green circle). The logo and typography probably took them about a day to throw together; the real work went into the design brief, a masterpiece of jargon meant to intimidate network executives and justify their million-dollar fee. Mission accomplished!

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Cosmic Variance

Random samplings from a universe of ideas.

About Sean Carroll

Sean Carroll is a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include theoretical aspects of cosmology, field theory, and gravitation. His most recent book is The Particle at the End of the Universe, about the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the Higgs boson. Here are some of his favorite blog posts, home page, and email: carroll [at] .


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