K-Swiss logo history: From a tennis shoe to a lifestyle brand
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K-Swiss logo history: From a tennis shoe to a lifestyle brand

K Swiss Logo History

How much do you know about K-Swiss logo history? If you’re a fan of the iconic athletic shoe brand, you may have noticed its visual identity has changed slightly over the years. However, many aspects of the K-Swiss badge have remained consistent over the years.

Like many fashion and sneaker companies, the K-Swiss corporation has refined its logo throughout the years to appeal to an evolving audience, and adhere to changing design trends. Though this hasn’t stopped the organization from staying true to its origins and personality. 

Many people see the K-Swiss logo as a symbol of excellence, a badge of honor representative of incredible athletic accomplishment. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at where this memorable emblem came from, and how it has evolved over the years.

What does K-Swiss stand for? The K-Swiss brand

Before we start our exploration of K-Swiss logo history, let’s take a moment to get to know the brand. K-Swiss Inc, first founded in 1966, is an American athletic shoe company, based in LA. The company was created by two Swiss brothers, Art, and Ernie Brunner. 

After emigrating to the United States, the two founders became interested in the tennis landscape, and wanted to build a business producing clothing specifically for the sport. They imported leather tennis shoes from the Swiss manufacturer “Kuenzli”. 

This led to the formation of the “K-Swiss” name, which combined the “K” letter from Kuenzli, with “Swiss” to represent the pair’s origins. 

Over the years, K-Swiss began to expand its product line, experimenting with new forms of footwear and athletic apparel. The company also invested heavily in its marketing and advertising strategies, working alongside famous athletes to promote their products. 

In 2007, the company even launched a re-branding campaign featuring Anna Kournikova. Interestingly, in 2016, K-Swiss updated its brand mission, and started to focus on creating sneakers for entrepreneurs, launching a collaboration with Gary Vaynerchuk. 

K-Swiss logo history: The evolving emblem

Although K-Swiss has been producing athletic apparel for a number of decades, there haven’t been many major changes to the company’s visual identity through the years. The brand has retained a relatively traditional emblem, featuring patriotic colors, and an iconic shield design. 

Since its inception, K-Swiss has also showcased its name in its brand logo. However, the name of the company rarely appears on its products, which feature a standalone shield image instead. 

Let’s take a closer look at K-Swiss logo history. 

1966

K Swiss Logo History

The first logo introduced by K-Swiss was very similar in a lot of ways to the emblem most people are familiar with today. It featured a traditional shield-style badge, with sleek contours and sharp, pointed edges in some of the sections. 

The shield included a blue and white border, and the center of the emblem was split into two sections. On the top, we see a red banner, with the name K-Swiss written in bold, white font, all in uppercase. The letter “K” is separated from the “Swiss” component by a white dot.

Underneath the red banner, the rest of the shield is segmented into white, blue, and red stripes, giving the logo a somewhat patriotic image. In the original emblem, these stripes featured a slight gradient, which brought extra depth and shine to the badge. 

2014

K Swiss Logo History

When K-Swiss launched its rebranding campaign in 2014, it introduced an updated version of its logo. Like many companies at the time, the organization chose to simplify its emblem, removing the outline from the shield, and eliminating the gradients in the stripes. 

Interestingly, K-Swiss also took this opportunity to shift the positioning of the five stripes in its shield design. According to the company, the stripes looked as though they were pointed down in the previous design.

The switch in positioning aimed to showcase the company’s forward momentum.

The brand also moved the name of the business outside of the shield iconography, placing it below the image, in a larger, bolder font. The letters are now depicted in blue, instead of white. 

The meaning behind the K-Swiss logo

Compared to other well-known sneaker brand logos, the K-Swiss emblem is somewhat more traditional. The shield style badge shows a commitment to history and heritage that other athletic brands have overlooked in their quest for the perfect brand image. 

The shield badge is intended to inspire trust in the company, showcasing its commitment to building a reliable, trustworthy organization. Shields in shape psychology are often associated with concepts like protection and credibility. 

Although the meaning behind the color choice for the design hasn’t been revealed, it may be a reference to the fact that the company originated in the United States. Red, white, and blue are commonly seen as patriotic colors for the American crowd. 

Each shade also has its own meaning in color psychology. Blue often stands for credibility and reliability, while red is associated with passion and energy. White on the other hand, is seen to represent purity and sophistication. 

The K-Swiss logo: Fonts and colors

The K-Swiss logo is a symbol of power, strength, and reliability. It tells consumers that they’re working with a company committed to serving their specific needs in the athletic space. Not only does it show patriotism in the US market, but it draws attention to the company’s origins too. 

The use of the name “K-Swiss” in the logo design reminds us of the founder’s Swiss origins, and the fact that the original materials for the shoes were imported from a Swiss manufacturer. 

You can find some examples of the K-Swiss logo to explore in closer detail here:

What color is the K-Swiss logo?

The official K-Swiss logo may not appear to have changed much since the brand introduced its first emblem several years ago. The K-Swiss company has consistently used the patriotic shades of red, white, and blue in its emblem, although the previous design did feature some additional gradients. 

The current K-Swiss logo color palette also features red, white, and blue. However, the blue shade has been updated slightly. During the 2014 rebrand, the company introduced a new official brand color, known as “Brunner Blue”. 

This unique blue shade is named after the co-founders of the footwear company, Ernie, and Art Brunner. It’s said to match the shade of blue found on some of the most famous tennis courts located throughout America. 

What font does the K-Swiss logo use?

Like the color palette for the K-Swiss logo, the K-Swiss logo font hasn’t changed much since the company’s inception. The brand has stuck to using a relatively bold, sans-serif font. Additionally, the characters in both logo designs were depicted all in uppercase. 

The official typeface used by the company is similar to that the U.S. Federal Highway Administration leverages on interstate road signs. According to K-Swiss, this is intended to evoke the spirit of the open road, and the innovation that drives K-Swiss product development. 

The K-Swiss badge: A powerful symbol

K-Swiss logo history provides a unique insight into the evolution of a powerful and engaging brand. The K-Swiss badge has become an evocative symbol over the years, often associated with concepts like professionalism, power, and sophistication. 

Though the logo may be somewhat traditional compared to the designs used by other athletic companies, it acts as an excellent representation of the brand’s values. 

The unique shield emblem conveys a business committed to consistent growth and development, as well as the protection and support of its target audience. Through its compelling logo design, K-Swiss has successfully captured the attention of a wide range of celebrities and fans. 

Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.

Stephen Peate
Creative director
Stephen Peate
Creative director
As Fabrik’s creative director, Stephen oversees complex branding programmes. He advises our clients on their tone of voice, creates logos and visual identities and crafts names for companies, products and services. Writing for Brand Fabrik Stephen reflects his love for logo design and visual identity.

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