The magazine Pepsi-Cola World was one of Brownjohn’s first regular clients. It was an in-house magazine, distributed across the US to hundreds of franchised Pepsi bottling plants.
Between 1957 – 1960 BJ designed a series of witty, attention-grabbing covers and neat, businesslike interiors for the monthly magazine. The gimmick behind each of the covers is the combination of the company identity and a particularly seasonal event: in February a Pepsi logo appears at the heart of a lacy Valentine; in April Pepsi bottle caps rain down on an open umbrella; in June a golf ball decorated with Pepsi’s colors hovers on a putting green; and in October eleven Pepsi caps line up for the start of an American football game.
The initial contact with Pepsi had come through the printer Dick Davison, the owner of a printing company Colorcraft in New York. Davison knew BJ both socially and professionally, and had a similar relationship with the editor of the magazine, Gary Lewis, and his assistant Bill Brown. The connection between Davison, Lewis, Brown and Brownjohn were not entirely above board. They were all jazz enthusiasts and came across each other in the jazz clubs of New York during the 1950’s.
In February 1959, designed a Pepsi-Cola World cover that is less a graphic pun than a simple reflection of the firm’s accumulating assets. It was the month that the company moved into their new headquarters at 500 Park Avenue and the image shows the Park Avenue and East 59th St street sign with the standard ‘P’ of Park replaced by that of the Pepsi logo. The message is utterly singular: Pepsi has arrived!
Pepsi Cola Annual report with Pepsi bottle caps New York 1959
Pepsi Cola Annual report with Pepsi bottle caps (colour transparency of model) New York 1959
Pepsi Cola Annual report with Pepsi bottle caps (prelimanary model) New York 1959
Pepsi Cola Christmas Ribbon Lobby Sculpture 1959
In December 1959, Pepsi commissioned BJ to create a spectacular gigantic Christmas Ribbon sculpture which was exhibited in the glass walled lobby of the imposing new Pepsi Cola headquarters designed by the architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill on the corner of Park Avenue and 57th Street.
Elaborately constructed with thousands of multi-coloured Christmas baubles embedded in an armature of chicken wire, the decoration formed a giant wave supported by pilotti to curl like ribbon for the full length of the lobby. It drew crowds of admirers on the pavement outside, day and night. It was incredibly impactful and truly iconic.