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The 3-Stripes mark is without doubt the quintessential adidas symbol. It was created by the adidas company founder, Adi Dassler, and first used on footwear in 1949. Dassler created a symbol that could be immediately recognized when his footwear was used in athletic competition and associated with adidas. He emphasized the association with the slogan “The Brand with the 3 Stripes”. The 3- Stripes were first used on apparel in 1967. The 3-Stripes now enjoy worldwide recognition as an adidas symbol.
adidas expanded into the leisure and apparel sector, and this prompted Käthe and Adi Dassler to seek a new, additional identification mark for the adidas brand in the late 1960s. In August 1971, the Trefoil was born, out of more than 100 ideas.Inspired by the 3-Stripes, it is a geometric execution with a triple intersection, symbolizing the diversity of the adidas brand. This symbol was first used on adidas
products in 1972, and later became the company’s corporate symbol. Today it plays the important role of representing the adidas Sport Heritage division.
In 1997, adidas decided to introduce an integrated corporate design, choosing as the core element a new and yet familiar old logo: the 3 bars. It was designed in 1990 by the then Creative Director Peter Moore, and initially used on the Equipment range of performance products. It is inspired by the 3-Stripes as they appear on footwear. The shape formed by the bars also represents a mountain,indicating the challenge to be faced and the goals to be achieved.
In August 1998, following the merger of adidas and Salomon, adidas-Salomon AG introduced a new corporate logo. The logo unites the values of the brands of the new Group, incorporating the typical colours of the two previous groups: blue for adidas, red for Salomon. The logo shows three shapes coming together to form a larger shape, namely a diamond. The space between the shapes forms another shape, that of a person with arms raised in victory and celebration. This logo, which was also designed by Peter Moore, appears on all corporate documents of
adidas-Salomon AG, but not on products. All the brands belonging to the adidas- Salomon Group, i.e. adidas, Salomon, TaylorMade, Mavic, Bonfire, Arc’Teryx, Cliché and Maxfli retain their full logo identity on products, in marketing and in communication.
In July 2002, adidas-Salomon AG presented a revolutionary new business strategy for the adidas brand, aimed at expanding its customer base and driving top-line growth. The new structure is a fundamental shift from the traditional “Footwear” and “Apparel” structure, introducing a new three-divisional approach with the “Sport Performance”, “Sport Heritage” and “Sport Style” divisions.
The products in the adidas Sport Performance division are developed for the sports performance market but have design appeal, encouraging consumers to wear the products both on and off the court or playing field.
The adidas Sport Heritage division contains adidas Originals products. Originals products seek to extend the adidas brand’s unique and authentic heritage to the lifestyle market. Design and functionality are already strong aspects of the two existing adidas divisions and will be continued with an even stronger focus in the new Sport Style division.
adidas Sport Style - the future in sportswear and designed by Yohji Yamamoto is an exclusive collection, consisting of men’s and women’s footwear, apparel and accessories. It combines the mission of the sports brand with the vision of style to develop an unexpected and radical appeal. Yohji Yamamoto: “For me, this is an interesting and exciting new project on many levels. And, I always wanted my clothes to be accessible to… and desired by… a greater number of people, and I feel that it will be possible for me to achieve this through this new line.”
The adidas Sport Style logo was created in 2001. The inspiration for the symbol was the fast moving and ever-changing world we live in today. This is also the inspiration for the whole concept behind the Sport Style Division. The world is represented with the globe whose speed is captured by the oval shape. adidas is indicated by the three stripes across the face of the globe, keeping pace with the speed and change of our world.
The corporate logo of the adidas Group changes after the divestiture of Salomon in October 2005. The new logo is known by many: The famous “adidas wordmark” has been in use since the 1960s and has seen various forms. Today it again represents the adidas Group and differentiates the parts of the brand from the business. From a design perspective, the new logo is simple, clear, confident and shows leadership. It will support future business growth and is flexible enough to anticipate any unforeseen changes.