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Category > Introduction > Page Uploaded: 18/03/15

Trefoil logo: exclusively used by Adidas from 1971-1997

In 1971, Adidas released their new trefoil logo - just in time for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games - and the logo was used as the exclusive logo of Adidas until 1997. The trefoil logo can be viewed below; in the numerous configurations it has been released in.

Standard Trefoil Logo (with two stripes)

The trefoil logo of Adidas, that was used until 1997, and is now used by originals products released by Adidas. Adidas trefoil in black text, with the adidas name printed below the logo. The trefoil logo, after 1997, when the logo was used as part of the originals line of older adidas products.

Trefoil Logo in different configurations (no stripes, one stripe, and four stripes)

Trefoil logo with no stripes in the middle of the logo. The trefoil logo with one big stripe within the middle of the logo. The Adidas logo with four small and thin stripes within the middle of the logo.

The trefoil logo was developed in the early 1970's to combat sportswear companies who were releasing products that were using designs similar to the Adidas three stripes design. Adidas needed to differentiate their products from the look-a-likes and the best way to do so was by stitching a Adidas logo - which was a registered trademark - on their products. The trefoil logo was trademarked, therefore, it could not be used by other sportswear brands.

The trefoil is still being used by Adidas, but it is now only used on 'Originals' products; the performance logo is used on the majority of new Adidas products. The change of the logo was inspired in the 1990's when Adidas decided to divide it's products into three categories: 1) Adidas Performance; 2) Adidas Originals; 3) Style Essentials. The new Adidas logo would be used by Adidas Performance and Style Essentials products.

Separating Adidas products into three categories was no accident: it represented the 'three stripes' of Adidas: the classic design that has been used on the majority of Adidas sportswear and sneakers since the early 1990's. Adidas changed their company slogan - in the 1990's - as well as their logo: the trefoil logo was associated with the slogan "Impossible is Nothing", and the new Performance logo was associated with the slogan "Adidas is all in".