Established in 1949, Adidas (previously Adidas Group) is a multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing, and accessories. We all, obviously, know about Adidas but for this post it’s worth noting that Adidas comes in different flavors: Adidas Sport for competitive equipment and Adidas Originals for casual wear. Adidas is also responsible for Reebok, which has been a subsidiary since 2005. As a corporation, Adidas employs 56,888 people from over 100 countries and produces more than 900 million product units each year. Recently Adidas dropped “Group” from its name and introduced a new identity designed by Hamburg, Germany-based EIGA.
Our strategic objective was to join the two faces of the adidas Company, the well-known sports side and the global business aspect, under a single, visually significant roof. At the same time, the relationship with the product brands was to be strengthened and the brand essence, “sport”, also clearly defined for the corporation´s communications.
In terms of the logo, there is nothing radical or controversial going on here. They removed the line and “Group” from the old logo and kept the geometric sans serif wordmark that is globally recognizable.
I think they may have tweaked it a little bit but it’s hard to tell I just got confirmation that the in-house design group at Adidas did slightly modify the wordmark. The goal of the logo redesign seems to be to make people think of the company less as the company and more like the overarching sport-goodness that is Adidas. Mission accomplished by keeping it simple. Although I’m not sure how much more confusion it adds that there are three different logos, serving three different purposes — corporate, competitive, casual — all using the same wordmark.
Working with adidas Global Brand Design, EIGA developed a scalable layout concept that is an integral part of the corporate design system. The concept enables communication in various forms: from a corporate look for more serious content to a brand-orientated, concise design. Despite varying visual designs, some of which are louder than others, the adidas Company remains clearly recognisable as the sender.
The interesting part of this project is the identity built around the logo. The video above illustrates the system quite nicely and the images below are reinforcements of what flashed rather quickly in the video.
The use of Adinue seems like it has gotten a second wind in this system. Used in all uppercase it provides a great contrast with the all lowercase logo. They’ve also pulled off a few tricks that are hard to do, like the stacked typography and super wide letter-spacing.
The layout system is fairly simple but quite smart in how it modulates the voice, from quiet to loud, and it has a great flexibility to mix and match photos with type with logo placement.
Overall, this is a pretty strong system that feels very Adidas-esque, in part because the Adidas logo is everywhere, sure, but doubling down on the use of their font in a new way helps establish a consistent voice. I also like that this is an example of not relying on a logo change to rekindle a creative spark but on a system that makes the best use of the existing logo and other brand assets to present them in effective and exciting ways.
Thanks to Gravitart for the tip.