From the ground up

Now that we’ve seen a Swoosh-less version of Nike’s Air Jordan 1 Low, we decided to go ahead and imagine what a few of our favorite sneakers would look like sans-branding.

Bare of any logos, the stripped-down sketches force us to search for other signifiers in order to identify each shoe. Without its famous Three Stripes, the telltale shell-toe on adidas’ Superstar remains a key visual cue, and we can spot Vans’ Sk8-Hi through its signature high-top silhouette and ribbed collar, but PUMA’s Suede remains a bit more ambiguous without its Formstrip branding.

Each design takes more of a luxe, minimalist tilt in our new gallery. How do you think these classics fare without their iconic branding? Call out your favorite in the comments below.

Nike Air Force 1 Low

Nike’s Swoosh logo was designed by design student Carolyn Davidson for $35 in 1971. The logo is now one of the most recognisable trademarks in the world.

Vans Sk8-Hi

Vans’ understated stripe logo dates back to the brand’s origins in 1966. The Sk8-Hi was the second-ever Vans shoe to bear the stripe logo.

adidas Superstar

As history tells it, adidas purchased the Three Stripes trademark from Finnish sports brand Karhu Sports for the equivalent of approximately $1,800 and two bottles of whiskey.

PUMA Suede

PUMA introduced its “Formstrip” logo at the 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden.

New Balance 576

Designed by Terry Heckler, New Balance’s five-point “N” logo wasn’t featured until the ’70s with the release of the 320.

Now check out these famous sneakers that are illustrated with just a single line.

Vancouver-born, Berlin-based writer, photographer and editor with a steady hand on the keyboard.

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