Coca-Cola had an idea of building the world's biggest Coke bottle at the "crossroads of the world", Times Square, long before the foundations were poured at 2 Times Square.


The design challenge was straightforward, but certainly not simple: make it happen. What will it look like?, how "big" is big?, what's it made of? and how much is all this going to cost?


All the tools of industrial design were brought into play: 2D and 3D studies, virtual models and finally shop drawings and the files to drive automated manufacture. Coca-Cola had 3.1 million dollars to spend, and the manufacturer Artkraft Strauss had glassbowers, sheet metal craftsmen, welders, electricians and sign hangers.


It took nine months and 75 people to do it. The first three were spent planning. Every detail was put in visual form, and every piece fit together. The critical link: visual communication. In the end New York had a new icon.


I directed design development, produced manufacturing drawings and interfaced CAM manufacture.


To view the the Coca-Cola sign live, choose a livecam looking north (uptown).


Technical notes:

Design and type set in (Windows) Coreldraw, Shop drawings in (Dos) Autocad 12, CNC machining done with Unix based Cybermation cutters. Neon layouts were printed out full size on brown craft paper.