Mountain Dew Can Logo History

Before:

Can A

After:

Can L

A brief, focused history of Mountain Dew’s can designs. I’m not including varieties, such as Code Red, Live Wire, Sport, Diet, promotional designs or extra large designs. The first ever can designed for Mountain Dew, before it was owned by Pepsi:

Can A

And, here’s the redesigns of that product package until 2009, again not including the intentional limited-run items.

Can B
Can C
Can D
Can E
Can F
Can G
Can H

The above is my all-time favorite, following the original design.

Can I
Can J
Can K
Can L

I find it fascinating to view them lined up like this.  You can see a definite progression of the imagery.  One of the immediate things I noticed was the way the logotype becomes more slanted through time.  The first design was very much straight, hand-placed type.  As time went by, the name become more and more slanted until now when it’s probably at a 45 degree angle.  That’s really steep!  I think the second can looks more like a beer can than a soft drink can.

My favorite has to be the original design. I love how it directly references it’s moonshine heritage.  For those who don’t know, “Mountain Dew” originally was a slang term for illegally-distilled alcohol, also known as “Moonshine” that was created in the mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.  The original Mountain Dew softdrink was created by two bar keepers as a beer chaser and moonshine mixture to sweeten mixed drinks.

The designs definitely got boring during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  It seems that during the 1990’s, Pepsico started to target a younger audience with some intentionality, which can be seen in my love of the can that I mentioned above.  That can design gives me good memories, directly associated with good design and a good product.  Will the new design be able to elicit the same reaction from today’s clientele?  That remains to be seen, but I would guess the answer is no.

37 Responses to “Mountain Dew Can Logo History”

  1. Tom Sadowski says:

    This is a fantastic blog about Mountain Dew! I only wish I had discovered the original can for my series of limited edition prints now being offered in stunning quality at my website.

    Keep up the fabulous work!

  2. Thanks! Your site looks great. How did you crush the cans (assuming you did the crushing)? I also like the other shots in your portfolio.

  3. Claire says:

    Wow. It's times like these that I am super glad that you are my brother in Christ. Pepsi would do well to hire you as graphic advisor.

  4. Mikey says:

    I found the fith one down in a hole in my wall when i was 15 and i still kept it and now im a 19 so it been like 4-5 years and I wanted to know when that cans from. I assumed the builders of the house put it in there.

  5. Well, they used the “Yahoo!” line in different iterations from 1965—1972, so it's a safe bet that your mysterious can was deposited sometime in that range. What a funny story!

  6. Haze says:

    Haha
    That was a REALLY funny comment!! (Assuming it was ironic)

  7. Fascinating. It wasn't ironic. I do think he's got a good site, because it's minimalistic, easily navigated, and successfully puts the content front-and-center. My comments on how he crushed the cans still stands, because of the particular way the cans were crushed. The were all crushed in such a way to keep the important parts of each can's graphics unsullied by crinkles, rust or scratches. I think we'd all agree that usually when you crush a soda can, you can't control which parts of the can become marred by wrinkles or scratches.
    If your comment is in re: to the rest of his portfolio, well that's your opinion. But let's stay civil in how we critique other artists' work.

  8. jimmy groove says:

    so did tom crush his own cans or what – i say he found them that way and just cleaned them up – tom, give us the skinny on the crushed cans.

  9. I'm still waiting for a response too. You might be right about them being found objects, rather than created objects. By the by, where'd you get the idea for your username (Jimmy Groove)? JimmyGroove is an old comic character than a friend and I came up with in High School, and I'm known as Jimmy Groove on lots of old chat forum posts. Small world. I never would have thought that somebody else would have come up with that exact same name. Funny!

  10. NAVIS says:

    First and Fourth are def. my favorites. I had no idea Mtn. Dew was even around that long let along a reference to moonshine!

    It'd be awesome if they did a homage to the original can. Granted I haven't had a soda (or anything carbonated and caffeinated in over 8 years) I'd love to see them in the super market.

    People gave Pepsi a ton of grief over their re-branding but… you know what… it sticks WAY out from the other blog designs. It took me a minute to dig the re-design on the logo but I like it now.

  11. tina says:

    I think mountain dew should made better cans. not ugly cans cool cans!!!!!!!!!!!!DOOOOOO NOT SWITCH BACK TO THE ORIGANAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND OF CORSE KEEP MAKING MOUNTAIN DEW CAUSE THEY TASTE SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Well you didn't have to shout, but yay!!!

  13. That was my favorite can as well. I still can’t believe you are MY AGE! You are so much more..ummm..YOUTHFUL than I. lol Anyways, I love the new site and these blogs about Pepsi are really informative and fun to read. You Rock!

  14. Thanks, Jen! I appreciate the comments, and I’m glad you’re finding my posts informative, or at least entertaining! Also, thanks for posting this comment; I didn’t realize the formatting of this blog post was so messed up! I wrote it on the old site, and when I transferred it over, the formatting wasn’t correct. I’ve gone through the code and fixed everything now, so thanks again—you alerted me to it without meaning to!

  15. Nick Walters says:

    this really takes me back , I only remember a few of the cans but still wow mountain dew has come along way……….I was born in1984

  16. @Nick Walters, yeah me too! I love looking back at old package design because it so clearly shows cultural shifts. I’m still not too keen on all the changes that were made to Pepsi and Mountain Dew’s products. Oh well—guess we’ll have to wait for the next changes!

  17. Joey Cosi says:

    I work for Pepsi but this is the first time I’ve seen the original packaging of Mountain Dew. It’s nice to see the evolution of the logo and the overall look of the brand. Thanks for this! :)

  18. Kirk says:

    I think everyone would be happy if they went back to the original can,And take out the lethal HFCS!

  19. Jennifer Woodward says:

    I found one of these old steel Mt Dew cans (can C above) in the wall of my house when we were doing some remodeling this weekend.My house was built in 1973. I also found a steel Pepsi can too. That’s crazy!

  20. Hdhd says:

    Wen was can e made. I have one. And how much is it worth.

  21. Tammy says:

    When did they come up with the 1st original design ?

  22. Tammy, I’m not sure. That was their first design once they started getting distributed to local stores. If you look up the history of Mountain Dew, you can correlate the dates.

  23. LOVE YOUR SITE, THX FOR SHARING

  24. Paloma says:

    Hey… your weblog is good… I am sure that I`m coming back to read new blogposts

  25. bill says:

    how much is the first “mtn dew” can worth

  26. DotheDEW says:

    Pepsi didn’t officially change Mountain Dew products name to Mtn Dew…they just made the logo on the can like that. I have a bottle right now from 2011 that says mountain dew on it. Even on Amp it still says mountain dew and their website is still mountain dew.com.

  27. Vivian Stone says:

    The photo you label as the very first before Pepsi bought it is wrong. I have one that looks like it but there is no writing around the top of the can that says “artifically colored….”And on the side it says “It’ll tickle your innards!” and “Made from flavors specially blended in the traditional hillbilly style”. I’m trying to find out what it is worth.

  28. strawknight says:

    When did can H first appear?

  29. drugge says:

    the one that is third from the newest, we still have that one in sweden

  30. I love history of Mountain Dew cans.
    The soda cans years ago.

  31. Hi, constantly i used to check website posts here early in the morning, since i love to
    find out more and more.


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Evolução do Design de Mountain Dew […]

  2. […] Ya-hooo! Indeed! That there is Gran’ Pappy, the official mascot of Mountain Dew from way back in the day, smiling as he narrowly averts death by cork from a moonshine bottle. On the original logo, Gran’ Pappy had a gun, pointing at a fleeing figure who was presumably trying to steal his booze. I mean, soda. For those not in the know, “mountain dew” is, or was, slang for moonshine, so ol’ Gran’ Pappy there makes a great mascot for the soda. Of course, as time moved on, I’m sure the marketing team realized that associating soda with illegal hooch, guns and hillbillies wasn’t the best strategy, so Gran’ Pappy faded into the past, and the logo evolved, eventually becoming “edgy” and XTREME to appeal to young, fat video gamers. They even officially changed the name to MTN DEW in 2008, because kids these days don’t have the attention span for extra letters. And, of course, it’s easier to text message. You can see a nice picture timeline of the transformation here. […]

  3. […] culture, until eventually it becomes cool again to speak in full and complete sentences.  “Mtn Dew” or the band “MGMT” (Management) are examples of shortened words in use today.  […]

  4. […] trot out that slogan.Then for Mountain Dew, I had no idea until seeing the Throwback drinks that Mountain Dew was originally marketed using a hillbilly character. You certainly wouldn’t see that anymore today, especially since Mountain Dew nowadays is […]

  5. […] Mt. Dew, the popular soda from Pepsi, wasn’t a Pepsi product until 1964 when they bought the rights from the Tip Corporation. Pepsi used the campaign ‘Yahoo Mountain Dew…It’ll tickle your innards’. Brothers Ally and Barney Hartman bottled ‘Mountain Dew’ in the 1940’s, but it was mostly local and used to mix hard liquors. In the 1950’s the label changed featuring its makers signatures under the Mountain Dew on the label and featured a hillbilly named ‘Gran Pappy’. […]

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