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Adidas Logo Story


Adidas Logo Story

How the Adidas logo earned its stripes ?

Adidas started out as a small independent sportswear company in Germany. Today though, they are known all throughout the world with a presence in almost every global market. Adidas manufactures many different types of equipment and apparel including tennis rackets, referee uniforms, and even soccer balls. Adidas is also a major manufacturer of running shoes. It is fair to say that Adidas dominates the sportswear market like no other company before them.

Adolf 'Adi' Dassler first started making shoes in 1924, registered his company's name in 1949, and started using three stripes to identify its footwear in 1967. But it wasn't until 1971, when the trefoil logo was unveiled, that Adidas had a logo design that would become legendary.

By now we’re all familiar with the 3 Adidas stripes, conceptualized by company founder Adolf Dassler and first used on footwear in 1949. No awesome logo symbolism or imagery about the concept – Dassler wanted something that would be instantly associated with his company when athletes used his footwear in international athletic competitions. It was a brilliantly simple product placement idea and has been a part of the Adidas brand ever since. Nike does it too (pun intended) I suppose, but Adidas beat them by decades.

One factor that has always worked in the favor of this company is the distinctive look of their logo. Most people recognize the Adidas logo on sight, and this memory certainly sticks with them when they go out to buy their own sports equipment. Anyone who wants to build an empire out of branding should pay attention to what Adidas accomplished with their unique but highly simplistic design.

Logo #1: The Three Stripes

This logo does not have a specific look. The company simple placed three black stripes on everything that they manufactured. Even this early in their history, the company was known for this branding. The owner of the company at the time liked to call his business “The three stripe company”. Even as new logos took the place of the old ones, the company would remain loyal to the three stripes look.

The latest edition to the Adidas's logo range is the current word mark - another clear and simple symbol incorporating the three stripes

The word mark that Adidas has used goes back to the simplicity of the three stripes and is said to represent quality and leadership, and maintains flexibility for the future.

Logo #2: The Trefoil

The trefoil was the second Adidas logo. The theme of three stripes is still evident in the look, both in the leave that shoot out from the logo, and the three stripes that cross it diagonally. This logo was chosen because the company wanted a logo that represented the fact that their brand was a lot larger and more diverse that it used to be while still keeping the classic Adidas look.

This logo is still used on some of their products, particularly their line of classic products. Most of their high-performance products have moved on to a third and final logo.

When Adidas expanded into the leisure and apparel markets, its famous the trefoil logo was developed. The mark was chosen from more than 100 ideas put forward. While it still included the three stripes, its three-leaf shape is meant to represent the main landmasses of the Americas, Europe and Africa, and Asia respectively. The intersecting lines across the three forms signify diversity.

Logo #3: The Three Bars

This logo is the latest one that has been introduced, and it represents some of the finest equipment that Adidas sells. This logo more than the others is supposed to have a lot of meaning. The company wanted to keep the three stripes that they were known for, but also add something to give the logo some power.

This new logo is supposed to resemble a mountain, like it is challenging the people who buy Adidas products to push themselves to their limits. This latest logo appears on many pieces of sports equipment and the new logo is still instantly and obviously “Adidas” to anyone who sees it.

The shape formed by the bars represents a mountain - symbolic of the obstacles that athletes must overcome to achieve their goals

With the trefoil a fashion success, a new logo was needed for sporting products. Originally crafted by creative director Peter Moore in 1990, the performance logo was initially used on the company's Equipment range of sporting goods. The three stripes come directly from those seen on early Adidas sports shoes, but also form the shape of a mountain, which represents the challenges athletes face.

Why Does the Adidas Logo Work?

There is no denying that the Adidas logo is effective. Almost anyone who sees it can tell you it belongs to Adidas, and many companies are willing to spend billions for that sort of recognition. The Adidas logo probably works because it starts with a very simple design.
Three black stripes makes for a very striking design, and it can be placed on almost any product. The fact that no Adidas logo changes too much from the original design means that all of their logos empower their brand without the risk of going unrecognized. With a sizeable contribution from their logo, Adidas will probably remain a sportswear powerhouse for years to come.