Sarah Coleman and Diet Coke Make Love Tangible
The truth of the matter is, when we make a decision with our dollars, when we buy something for our pleasure, it forges a relationship between us and that product. For some of us, it’s incredibly personal and the relationship that’s built helps create identities for ourselves, and shapes the way we interact with the world. Devotees of Diet Coke frequently feel that way, and the soda brand paired up with illustrator Sarah Coleman to help their fans express their feelings. Through an online initiative called Retweets of Love, they culled a series of fan made tweets that were turned into typographic works of art by Sarah and eventually used on tangible products that fans could use to show off their love. “[The tweets] were chosen for their humour, relevance and reverence,” explains Sarah. “And each has a nice visual side to it that was easy to interpret.” Once Sarah got the text she was able to interpret them visually, creating art out of words.
A lot of Sarah’s work is about bringing art into typography, creating imagery and manipulating lines to provide an emotional visual language for the expression of the words. It’s something that Sarah does almost as a second language and sees it as a completely natural process. When asked how she’s able to bring such emotion into the visual rendering of the words, she replies: “I don’t think it’s possible NOT to!,” Continuing, Sarah says: “I love words and always have, from infanthood where it was all about the stories, to writing stories and reading like a girl possessed in my teens - there is a direct line from my brain to my hands and the words emerge shaped by the humour or tragedy or sentimentality that’s in them intact. The trick is to make sure that’s not lost in the process of feedback and art direction.”
Each of these pieces is being applied to physical objects like stretched canvases, an iPhone case, a tee-shirt, and more (including a Diet Coke can). In the contemporary world that’s dominated by digital art, it’s not everyday that an artist gets to see their work take physical shape, especially with the backing of an international brand like Diet Coke. This is obviously a thrill. “Seeing my work become actual objects for people to use and interact with - especially the can - who DOESN’T know the iconic shape of a Coke can, and appreciate the little gleaming canvas it can be?,” muses Sarah. Her work is the artistic manifestation of the customer’s affinity, brought to physical world through her partnership with Diet Coke. They’re making love into a tangible thing, this time for an effervescent drink, and opening the door for even more.