Coke Lore: Trademark Chronology


When John S. Pemberton created the formula for his new drink in 1886, his partner and bookkeeper, Frank M. Robinson, suggested the name "Coca‑Cola®," thinking that "the two Cs would look well in advertising."

Mr. Robinson wanted his name for the new product to have an effective and dramatic style of its own. He experimented in writing out an adaptation of the elaborate Spencerian script, a form of penmanship characteristic of that day. He wrote out the name Coca‑Cola and, after consultation, the others working at Pemberton’s company adopted the script by unanimous consent.

The trademark Coca‑Cola, drawn in flowing handwriting, became through the years just what Mr. Robinson wanted it to be -- a distinctive and unique trademark for the drink first sold at an Atlanta pharmacy. The famous script has seen slight changes in more than a century, and some of those adaptations appear below.

1887-1890s – The words "Trade mark" are written in the tail of the "C" in Coca.

1890-1891 – This version of the script showed the greatest departure from Robinson’s original.

1893-1901 – The words "Trade mark" are again written in the tail of the "C" in Coca.

1903-1931 – The words "Trade mark Registered" are written in the tail of the "C" in Coca.

1930-1941 – The words "Trade mark Registered" appear in the tail of the "C" in Coca.

1941-1960s – In this version, the words "Trademark Registered" moved out of the tail of the "C" and were noted as "Reg. US Pat Off." below the Coca‑Cola name. 

1958-1960s – This period saw the introduction of the Arciform or "fishtail" logo.

1969 – The Arden Square with the Dynamic Ribbon Device (commonly called the "wave") was introduced.

1980s – We see a modified Dynamic Ribbon Device with the ribbon integrated within the "Coca‑Cola" name. Note the missing lower loop in the "L" of Cola. It was only missing in the treatment with the Dynamic Ribbon. When the trademark stood alone, the loop was present.

2003 – With the introduction of the "Coca‑Cola... Real" campaign, the Dynamic Ribbon Device was enhanced in the logo.

2007 - A simple, yet bold, design with a single white ribbon