THOUGHT:

size? x adidas Originals x Cream x Pop

What do you get when you take one of the world’s biggest dance music brands and pair it with an international sportswear giant? That’s just what happened when size? asked Cream to get involved with a special limited edition adidas trainer.

I sat down with Corporation Pop’s MD and Creative Director, Dan Taylor, to find out how we got involved.

Cream 'Training PT' trainers

Cream 'Training PT' trainers

Branding detail(s) set in gold foil

Branding detail(s) set in gold foil

Cream

Cream

So Dan, you were approached by one of our longest standing clients, Cream, to design the packaging for a pair of adidas trainers. How did that come about?

Well, size?, the footwear retailer was celebrating their 20th anniversary and they wanted to throw a birthday bash. They asked themselves: Who holds the biggest, most iconic parties? and Cream was top of their list. 

They approached the guys in Liverpool, who were totally up for it, and the three companies came together to design a pair of adidas Originals together. What they came up with was a brilliant take on the adidas Training PT.

Sounds pretty special

Yep, the trainers are amazing. They’re really premium. The quality of detail is something you rarely see in a pair of trainers — you even get four pairs of laces in the colours used on the stripes.

So what was Pop’s involvement?

As the brand guardian for Creamfields since 2008, Cream approached us to do something special and design some bespoke packaging. It was a rare opportunity when it comes to adidas Original as the vast majority of their trainers come in the standard blue box.

Cream trainer 'teaser' branding poster

Cream trainer 'teaser' branding poster

Shoebox net artwork

Shoebox net artwork

Final shoebox packaging

Final shoebox packaging

Tell me about the process and what you came up with

The whole project started with a deep dive into the Cream archive. There was this brilliant flyer from 1994 which stood out because of a gradient pattern that ran across it – this become the basis for the colour coding concept — the trainers, the packaging, everything.

We took the colourways used in the new trainers, applied the gradient design and ran it behind the adidas three stripes to create a relief. That really brought the two identities together. You’ll also see, if you look closely, that the pattern wraps right around the box, meeting up perfectly with the return flap(s) on the other side of the lid. 

The box is the same cream colour as the trainers and we purposefully kept the branding to a minimum. You’ll notice on the box the adidas logo and the iconic Cream propellor logo are picked out in gold foil but that’s about it really. The numeric detail on the base of the box: ’92-20′ represent the year Cream opened (1992) and the size? 20th anniversary year (2020).

From what you’ve said, it looks like you took this job on personally.           Why was it so important to you?

For a start, I’m a bit of trainer freak. I’ve got something like 250+ pairs of boxed adidas Originals at home.

I bet your other half loves that

Ha! Yeah. She’s (sort of) used to it now, I’ve got my own room for them at home so they tend to stay out of the way.

So trainers are a big deal?

Yep. Love ‘em. And there’s a special place in my collection for all things ‘Originals’. But also, I was born in Liverpool and grew up on Merseyside so used to go to Cream at Nation back in the day. And of course I’m still front and centre at Creamfields every year, so there’s a connection there.

Trainer launch promo

Trainer launch promo

Trainers listed on the size? 'Launches' app

Trainers listed on the size? 'Launches' app

I’m beginning to see why you were so into the project

It doesn’t end there though… in a previous life (a long time ago…), I was the graphic designer responsible for all the design work across all of the size? outlets nationwide. It was a case of worlds colliding / going full loop for me.

How were the trainers received?

The collaboration was a huge success selling out on launch day. To accompany the launch, adidas also produced a tracksuit, tee-shirt and a bucket hat inspired by the same colour coded design. All of which were sold exclusively through size? and all of which sold out on launch day too. So, yeah, people loved them.

This all happened during the pandemic. How did that affect things?

Like I said, this all came about because size? were celebrating their 20th anniversary and wanted a party. Cream had agreed to throw the party for them but then the pandemic hit and the world shut down. Rather than scrap the plans they went ahead and live streamed the event so people could join in the party at home. They had Cream resident DJs Anthony Probyn and Rob Harnetty play alongside a headline set from Seb Fontaine and they smashed it!

Sounds amazing. Did you get your hands on a pair of the trainers?

Oh course! – more than one pair (for the collection) too :–)

Influencer Will Pollyn unboxing the collection

'size? Preview' launch blog video

Richard Douglas - Studio Manager
Dan Taylor - MD / Creative Director
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