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Adidas, the 3 most famous stripes in the world
Did you know that the 3 stripes were not created by Adidas, but bought by the founder of the brand for two bottles of whisky?
By Sylvain Denans
December 14th, 2020
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Energy, aesthetics and power - the ideals of Adidas are ultimately very close to those of the German spirit, and rarely has a brand imprinted its identity so much in the design of its shoes or clothing, thanks to a founder more passionate about technology and technique than sales. History The story of Adidas began in the 1920s in the kitchen of the Dassler brothers' mother, where Adolf, nicknamed Adi, was already making his first sports shoes. He and his brother Rudolf founded the "Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik" in 1924 and were quite successful. However, after the war, personal conflicts made separation inevitable. Rudolf founded "Puma" in 1948, and in response Adi founded his own company: "Adidas" was born.

Adolf designed many sports shoes during his life to help athletes succeed in their sport, such as the detachable spike shoes for the German national soccer team, worn in the 1954 World Cup final; by screwing on longer spikes at half-time, the "NationalMannschaft" was able to gain a decisive advantage over the Hungarian team, who were the clear favorites.

In 1956, Adi's son Horst Dassler was sent to the Olympic Games in Melbourne to provide equipment for the athletes. It was the first modern sports marketing operation.

Horst took over the family business in the 1960s and transformed it into a powerful conglomerate. He founded the Arena brand in 1973 and in 1974 took over Adidas' french rival "Le Coq Sportif".

He also placed influential men, with close ties to Adidas, at the head of the main sports federations: Athletics, Football, Olympic Committee, allowing the brand to secure many exclusive contracts, a process that would cause a scandal a few years later.

The organization suffered heavy losses at the end of the 1980s. After the death of Adi Dassler in 1978, it was Horst's sudden death in 1987 that put the company in difficulty, with his sisters fighting for the company's management. Bernard Tapie in 1990 and Robert Louis-Dreyfus in 1994 took over the reins of the company and inaugurated a new era for the brand.

Adidas is now the largest sports retailer in Europe and the second largest in the world after Nike, with annual sales of $26.65 billion.
Ambition Adidas' raison d'être was based on Adi Dassler's love of sport and his ambition to help athletes compete at their best level on the field.

In order to learn more about their problems, he often got involved with them. He was also friends with many of them, including Olympic medallist Jesse Owens during his 1936 Olympic campaign, despite the ideological divide between them - the Dassler brothers were members of the Nazi party, as were many industrialists seeking government contracts.
Design, logos and whisky bottles The three stripes, the most symbolic image of Adidas, however, began as the logo of another company: the symbol and the idea were acquired by Adi from the Finnish brand "Karhu Sports" in 1952, after the Summer Olympics, for about 2000 dollars and two bottles of whisky!

The company logo is usually completed with the name: Adi, abbreviation of Adolf and Das for Dassler: Adidas.

Nowadays, Adidas operates as a group: each branch of the brand has a unique logo and identity.

The logo of the "group" today is simply the brand name written in lower case.

The Adidas Originals logo, the sub-brand dedicated to clothing inspired by the brand's classic collections, is a trefoil. This logo has long been the emblem of the company, unveiled in 1972 on the occasion of the Munich Olympic Games and designed as a symbol of the group's diversity. It then disappeared in the early 1990s, before reappearing in 1997 as a logo applied to all the brand's "heritage" products.

The sportswear is called Adidas Performance, whose emblem consists of three vertical stripes forming a mountain. This logo is also the one that replaced the trefoil as the brand's logo in 1990 under Bernard Tapie ownership.

There is another sub-brand called "NEO". Its logo is a circle with stripes ending with rounded ends; this logo is also used with the "Style" collections created in collaboration with famous and renowned designers.

Finally Y-3, founded in 2002 with Yohji Yamamoto, is a range like NEO and Originals, more focused on clothing style than sportswear. The logo is a very simple "Y-3", sometimes accompanied by Mr. Yamamoto's signature.
Adidas Groupphoto
Adidas Performancephoto
Adidas Neophoto
No logo...and only two stripes? Adidas is a brand that has been part of the culture of Soviet and post-Soviet Russia for decades, and has become kind of a national symbol. A fascination that comes directly from the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.

At the time, Adidas had signed an agreement with the Soviet government to equip athletes with sports clothing and shoes. This agreement requested the West German company not to put its brand on the clothes; the shoes could keep their stripes, but the conspicuous logos were removed and some tracksuits were only allowed two stripes instead of the usual three stripes. Capitalism, yes, but in small doses!
Typography Adidas uses two custom-designed fonts: AdiHaus and AdiNeue, born from an initiative to unify the visual language and graphic elements of all sub-brands.

AdiHaus, created by Plazm Fonts in 2002, inspired by the "DIN" font, is used for point-of-sale communication, retail, internal presentations, print and TV ads...

AdiNeue, created in 2011 by Sid Lee, is directly derived from the "ITC Avant Garde" font, also used for the Adidas logo since the late 1960s.
Colors Adidas mainly uses three colors: black, white and blue. Black and white are used in almost all of the group's communications.

Blue is a color that has long been associated with Adidas. It was used for shoeboxes or clothing labels, but is now only used for the "Adidas Originals" sub-brand.
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