Adidas trefoil logo design
Adidas — the trefoil logo is still used on the heritage product division

Asics logo design

Champion logo design
Champion — originally designed in the early 70s by John Calleri

Diadora logo design

Ellesse logo design

Fila logo design

Head logo design

K-Swiss logo design

Lacoste logo design

Lotto logo design
Lotto Sport Italia

Mitre logo design

Mizuno logo design

New Balance logo design
New Balance

Nike logo design
Nike — 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, modified in 1978 and 1985 by Nike

Prince logo design

Puma logo design

Reebok logo design
Rbk — designed in 2001 by Arnell Group

Russell logo design
Russell Corporation

Umbro logo design
Umbro — view the Umbro logo evolution

Wilson logo design


Great, thanks for providing these (in B&W too!).
@Adam Kuhn – there are thousands of sports brands worldwide. It would have been impossible for David to provide them all.

In the late 60s 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 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 Originals collection.
The original 3 stripes was designed by Adi Dassler and first used on footwear in 1949.
The 3 bars 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. Later used as the integrated corporate logo from 1997
I recently had to do some research too :)

These logos are just very great reference. The first Adidas logo design version, still the most brilliant one in my opinion :)

Bookmarked and thank you David!

All very iconic, especially the Adidas trefoil and Nike swoosh.

I’m a sucker for the flowing type on the Champion logo, so slick.

I feel like Diadora, Mizuno and Reebok are all victims of the ‘meaningless swoosh’ syndrome. Nike kind of has a monopoly on the sports-associated swoosh. Other than that, the Adidas trefoil and Lacoste crocodile are nice and unique symbols. Funny though, Lacoste isn’t a company I’d really identify for sporting goods. Maybe they’ve changed their image, but they definitely push the luxury goods angle moreso than sportswear.

It’s amazing how dated the Nike lockup feels, yet how comparatively modern the swoosh is when standing on its own.

David, what did you get out of this visual research?

Nice collection of logos be interesting to know all the designers who designed them. Like the way you have shown them in one colour, proving that a good logo should work just as well without colour.

Thanks for the help and info, folks.

Joseph, the main thing was the need for a stand-alone symbol to be used on clothing, footwear, equipment. Brands such as Prince, Wilson, and FILA don’t have an icon, but their wordmarks are simple enough to scale well.

All of these logos are instantly recognisable and illustrate a great level of design. Obviously Nike and Adidas are amongst the most well-known and instantly recognisable logos in the world, and judging by how little their design has changed over the years it’s clear their original design has timeless properties.
Looking at some of those others covered here its interesting to note that many have simply been refined in recent years, mostly with curved or bolder fonts in an attempt to make them cleaner.

The general public probably wouldn’t have even noted these changes, as they are very subtle. Many, including Reeboke, now make usage of italic font styles too.

Seeing many logo designs in a particular field like this is a good way to compare design and highlight what is successful. More articles doing this would be a good way to build up an understanding of design aspects for different fields.

I can verify that the New Balance logo was indeed created by Heckler Associates in Seattle. Heckler Associates is also responsible for such logos as Starbucks and K2.

Just read this in the Dec/Jan 2009 issue of Dwell Magazine (article titled “An Introduction to Graphic Design”):

“The Nike swoosh was designed by Portland State University student Carolyn Davidson in 1971. She was paid $35.”

Kind of surprised Everlast didn’t make the list.
Don’t know who designed it and I’m pretty sure the company doesn’t know who designed it as its iconic bow tie dates all the way back to the beginning of the 20th century.

I hear it’s also a fairly big fashion brand in eastern Europe and Asia if your looking for a worldwide reason.

Does anyone know how to find some brief history of sport logos in general? I’m currently doing some research but it’s not easy to find anything over the internet or in literature.

Share a thought