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As Pepsi recently discovered, the world of soda bottle design can get pretty contentious, so it’s worth remembering what it looks like when it’s done right.

Afri Cola was a German, Jolt-style caffeine bomb popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s—and briefly, Seattle in the ‘90s—and while the taste didn’t catch on quite the way you’d expect, the design may be the best we’ve ever seen. As far as vintage colas go, this one seems ripe for a revival—and the more caffeine the better.

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Of course, Germany’s been a design powerhouse since the Bauhaus days, but this was the first time they employed that graphic muscle in the service of advertising, instead of just building a better bench. The result is a stumbling approach into the post-Mad Men advertising world, complete with ambiguously foreign models, and a puzzling attraction to frosted glass.

Not to say we wouldn’t be happy if a few of these popped up in GQ.

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—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom