In 1977, The Coca-Cola Company commissioned illustrators, brothers Greg and Tim Hildebrandt to paint a series of illustrations which would be used as a promotional items for colleges. The Hildebrants became famous when they were selected to illustrate the 1976 calendar for J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novels. The 1977 version of that calendar sold more that one million copies becoming one of the best selling calendars of the era. 1977 was a good year for the pair as they also illustrated the movie poster for the first Star Wars film.
The artwork the brothers Hildebrandt created for Coca-Cola had typical college activites recast in a fantasy setting. The posters were popular enough that McDonald's negotiated an exclusive distribution agreement with Coca-Cola until the program was discontinued in 1985. We have the original artwork in the Archives, but you do not see too many of the posters in the marketplace.
More on Journey
- How Italy Celebrates Carnival
- Primary Color: Why Sprite Has Sported Green Since 1961
- ‘What is Coca-Cola?’ Why the Brand Has Appeared on Jeopardy! 200+ Times
- Meet Shirley Hasley: The Accidental Coke Model Who Helped Make History
- From One Fan to Another: The Story Behind Unbox Therapy's Coca-Cola Cooler