13 Apr 2016
adidas is a portmanteau formed from its founder’s name - Adolf Dassler. And there’s probably very few of us who haven’t worn an Adidas.
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.
No logo concept or imagery about the concept – Adolf Dassler wanted something that would right away associate with his company when athletes use his footwear in international athletic competitions. While still keeping true to this three stripes pattern, there’s been two major Adidas logos over the company’s history.
Adolf 'Adi' Dassler first started making shoes in 1924, registered his company's name in 1949, and started using the three stripes to identify its footwear in 1967. But it wasn't until 1971, when the Trefoil logo was unveiled, that Adidas would have a logo that was legendary. The original Trefoil Adidas logo until 1998, it is now used on Adidas Originals.
The second, launched in 1997, was designed by the then Creative Director, Peter Moore, and incorporated the three stripes into a simple iconic mark. A little bit of symbolism was added to the mix, with the new mark representing a mountain, as well as "...the challenge to be faced, and the goals to be achieved."
The word mark that Adidas has used since 2005 goes back to the simplicity of the three stripes and is said to represent quality and leadership, and maintains flexibility for the future. Adidas is now just one company in the Adidas Group, which also includes Reebok and TaylorMade.
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.
But The Trefoil remains the logo that inspires the stake holders and the one that helped Adidas transcend the sporting arena and permeate every corner of popular culture.