Coke bottlesI guess few items in the world are universally recognized like a Coke bottle.

Of all the logos and products, from the golden arches of MacDonald’s, to the bitten apple or the Mercedes star, the Coke bottle is probably the one that most people, if they have ever somehow been exposed to western culture and advertising, would instantly recognize.

I’d say if a company has brought it to that level, they’ve made it.

For me, Atlanta can be shrunk to three things: Coca Cola, CNN and Gone with the wind.

I know I’m not doing justice to this city that has a lot more to offer. I only had three days to discover the city, and I thought I’d go to the World of Coca Cola, especially to sample the different flavors Coca Cola offers at the end, some 60 different flavors the company serves all over the world.

But I went to the High Museum of Art instead. They are currently running an exhibition about the Coke bottle, it’s design and history.

Coke bottle designWhen Coke became popular, the company was fighting a lot of competitors and fraud, restaurants serving something that looked like Coke, and maybe tasted somewhat like it, but wasn’t the real thing.

So  in 1915 they asked designers to submit designs for a unique bottle that would be recognizable instantly, even by someone in a dark room, just by touching the shape.

The exhibition retraced the design specifications and different states of development until they find that recognizable shape, that hasn’t been fundamentally altered since, through glass, plastic or aluminium.

It also had a number of other art works, all dealing somehow with the iconic bottle, from Andy Warhol to photographers who, in their works, captured the omnipresence of Coke in the US.

First Coke bottle

One of the two surviving original design Coke bottles. They were slimmed to be easier to transport.