thumb_v1This month’s feature article presented a tricky problem for Sparksheet’s design team: How do you riff on Coca-Cola’s iconic brand image without crossing into cliché territory?

Because title images (“hero graphics” for you designers) dominate the page above the fold, they also have to summarize the article for the reader, which in this case, dealt with the brand’s content marketing experiment, Coca-Cola Journey.

Here’s how Laura Service, Sparksheet’s designer, solved the puzzle:

We wanted to convey coke bottles in a graph formation to mimic the “long tail” of content. It suits the article because Journey is producing a lot of posts with only a few hitting big numbers. A grid paper in the background helped reinforce this concept.

For the banner we went with the classic Coca-Cola contour bottle design because it’s iconic, and we coupled this with Publico, a typeface that has a slightly retro feel matching the stylized bottles.

We were close, but there was one major setback. Initially, we made the bottles red and it wasn’t working. The colour made the image feel too “on brand.” We didn’t want to make an ad. Someone pointed out the bottles might even be mistaken for ketchup. In the end, we ditched the red and replaced it with the rich brown of the drink itself and our Coca-Cola journey was complete.

Our first title image iteration.

Our first title image iteration.

The final version of the title image.

The final version of the title image.