ASICS, a global athletic wear company, specializes in designing and selling footwear and apparel for a variety of sports. Known for their running shoes, they blend innovation with advanced technology to cater to both professional athletes and everyday consumers. Primarily active in North America, Europe, and Asia, their products are sought-after worldwide. Headquartered in Japan, ASICS is a publicly traded company, with diverse shareholders and a commitment to enhancing physical fitness and promoting a healthy lifestyle globally.
Meaning and history
ASICS, deriving its name from the Latin phrase “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano” (A Sound Mind in a Sound Body), has a rich history rooted in Japan. Founded in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka, it initially operated as Onitsuka Co., Ltd., focusing on basketball shoes. The Tiger Stripes, its iconic design, debuted in the 1950s, and soon athletes globally donned these shoes.
In the 1970s, seeking to expand and evolve, the company merged with two other entities: GTO and JELENK, thus adopting the name ASICS. This era saw rapid technological advancements, leading to shoes like the GT-II, the first to feature ASICS’ Gel technology.
The 1980s and 1990s brought a wave of internationalization. Establishing research facilities and institutes allowed the brand to dive deep into biomechanical studies, optimizing shoe designs for athletes.
Over the years, while the ownership structure shifted towards a publicly-traded model, ASICS maintained its commitment to innovation. In the 21st century, they have embraced sustainability and digital transformation, ensuring the brand’s relevance in an ever-evolving market.
Throughout its journey, ASICS has transitioned from a small shoe company in Kobe to a globally recognized brand, always emphasizing quality and technological innovation.
1977 – 1991
The composition offers a graceful balance between what might be viewed as contrasting elements. There’s a hint of designer’s signature in it, showcasing a sustained preference for refined typographic nuances, coupled with the pragmatic assessment of real-world applications. Letter endings morph into squared-off designs, and the positioning of one character to the next is anchored in meticulous geometric connections. Observe the seamless junction between S and I, united by a flawless right angle, and the fluid shifts from A to S and C to S. This design not only appeals to the aesthetics but also testifies to the thoughtfulness and precision behind each element.
1991 – 2003
The initial rendition utilized a distinctive typeface characterized by slender, somewhat stretched characters. These lowercase alphabets exude a sleek, somewhat abbreviated design. Adjacent to the word “ASICS” on its left, there’s a pictorial emblem resembling a magnified “a.” This icon symbolically represents athleticism, momentum, vitality, and forward strides. The intention behind such a design was to encapsulate the spirit of sports and the continual journey of athletes, capturing the brand’s commitment to advancement in the realm of athletic wear. The fusion of text and imagery conveys the brand’s ethos, emphasizing both agility and growth in its offerings.
2003 – Today
In 2003, the company cemented its brand identity. Consequently, the characters adopted a slanted and expansive stance. The chosen typeface exhibited a pronounced italicized boldness. The illustrative emblem underwent a transformation too, in the revised edition. It was repositioned, now appearing to the left and slightly beneath its previous placement. This adjustment not only gave the logo a fresh appearance but also symbolized the company’s evolution and adaptability, reflecting its commitment to staying relevant in an ever-changing market landscape. The decision to update and tilt the elements was a strategic move, aiming to infuse dynamism and forward momentum into the brand’s visual representation.