Studio Dumbar’s identity for Adidas’ Futurenatural reimagines hieroglyphics for the modern day
In a striking identity that matches the innovation behind the product itself, Rotterdam-based Studio Dumbar have excelled themselves in a forward-facing brand that combines the technicality of the science behind the shoe, and the organic-tone of voice from the person in front of it. Futurenatural, an innovative shoe design from Adidas, sought a dynamic identity to represent these biological and mechanical contrasts, naturally turning to Studio Dumbar for their unparalleled prowess of refined but impactful branding and superlative motion design.
Recalling the great sense of excitement and collaboration felt across the studio that truly pushed the exuberance of the work in the direction they landed on, Studio Dumbar explain “the initial explorations we made were directly in static and motion,” feeling that neither one should take precedent, “especially with a project that is literally about the amplification of movement and agility,” they add.
Working intimately with Adidas throughout, a member of their team flew from Portland to Studio Dumbar in Rotterdam, “accompanied by a bag full of unreleased Adidas shoes for a collaborative working session”, producing the bespoke Futurenatural wordmark alongside the in-house team. “The wordmark needed to be characteristic but versatile,” Studio Dumbar explain, “since it was going to be used in a lot of different sizes,” from the possibility of sky-high billboards, to the rubber details on the shoe itself.
Accompanying this striking, future-nostalgia-driven typographic treatment is an exciting contemporary interpretation of hieroglyphics; abstractly and pictorially representing the characteristics of agility, speed and amplification. “With Futurenatural, Adidas is re-looking at the anatomy of the foot to create a ground-breaking innovation,” Studio Dumbar explain, noting how hieroglyphics are in themselves the earliest form of visual communication, “there is still something distinct and futuristic about them in the way they communicate complex ideas in a simple manner.” Focusing on the natural simplicity of hieroglyphics, rather than trying to over-complicate the proceedings, Studio Dumbar constructed a library of kinetic, excitable and striking shapes – all distilled with an energy that either mimics the movement of the shoe or the process of its production.
“The final explorations definitely came from lots or iterations working closely with the Adidas team,” Studio Dumbar conclude, “we had weekly meets whilst developing the identity resulting in short and efficient sprints,” in a timeline that mirrors the shoes themselves, an identity that intelligently exudes the intensity of the latter, and a project that showcases the mastery of Studio Dumbar themselves.