The Converse brand was founded in 1908 by an aspiring entrepreneur Marquis Mills Converse. Interestingly, the company initially made not only rubber-soled sneakers, but also car tires, which were in great demand, but later the choice was made in favor of sneakers.
Meaning and history
The history of the Converse brand, the legendary sneaker manufacturer, begins in 1908 with the manufacture of rubber galoshes. The 47-year-old Marcus Mills Converse, then at the helm, went into mass production two years later, but no athletic shoes were introduced until 1915 and the legendary Converse All-Star until 1917.
Soon after the model was released on the market, the famous basketball player Charles “Chuck” Taylor from the Iron Firestones team starts to go to the games only in Converse All-Star sneakers. This begins to be noticed by fans of the athlete and soon Converse itself. In 1918 the company offered Taylor a contract, and in 1921 the basketball player became their first official ambassador. In 1932, his autograph was placed on a round patch on the classic All-Star high-top sneakers. Since then they have been renamed Chuck Taylor All-Star.
After the war, the National Basketball Association, NBA, was formed, with players wearing Chuck Taylor All-Star exclusively. This success lasted up to the 1980s when the brand got its first serious competitor, Nike.
From 1995 to 2003, the Converse brand changed several owners, eventually becoming part of Nike. With a new strategy, Converse no longer sought to capture the entire market, focusing on heritage and refining silhouettes.
What is Converse?
Converse is a legendary American footwear brand that appeared at the beginning of the 20th century. During its history, Converse released several immortal shoe hits, became part of the pop culture of the 1970s, and still holds a leading position in its market segment.
In terms of visual identity, Converse is quite an interesting brand, as it had many redesigns throughout history, but managed to keep its recognizability and style. The Converse logo has become something of a cult icon over the years, reflecting the growth of the brand and its ability to adapt to new realities.
1963 – 1977
The original Converse logo, designed at the beginning of the 1960s, was composed of a narrowed lowercase lettering, set in a bold and smooth sans-serif typeface, and placed on the left from a black five-pointed star. The composition was enclosed into a black rectangular frame and had whether a white or light yellow background.
1977 – 2003
The redesign of the 1970s has created a more intense and confident badge for the brand, keeping the main elements, such as the emblem’s shape and the lower case of the inscription, unchanged. The new composition featured an enlarged white five-pointed star, inscribed into a solid black square with rounded angles, and placed above a stylized bold lettering, in black.
1977 – 2003
Another badge, used by the brand during that period, boasted bold black lettering with the white five-pointed star in the negative space of the “O”, placed on the left from a large black star, which was drawn on a plain white background without any framing.
2003 – 2007
The logo from the beginning of the 2000s was lighter and cleaner than the previous versions, even though it was set in the same style and color palette. The wordmark was rewritten in a more modern and distinctive font, with more air in and around the lowercase characters. As for the emblem, the black five-pointed star was now enclosed into a black circular frame.
2003 – 2007
The additional badge, introduced in 2003, had the same style of the lettering, but a bit different emblem. The black star was enlarged and placed above the wordmark with no additional framing, but directly on the plain transparent background.
2007 – 2011
In 2007 the iconic brand goes into a more minimalistic style. The redrawn logo was composed of a slanted five-pointed star, drawn in plain black, and placed on the left from a bold large chevron, placed vertically and pointing to the right. The lettering was completely removed from the primary version of the logo.
2011 – 2017
The redesign of 2011 has brought back the lettering to the Converse primary badge, but removed the emblem, replacing it with just a small white five-pointed star, set on a solid black letter “O”, executed in a square shape with rounded angles, just like the emblem from 1977.
2017 – Today
In 2017 the company decided to come back to the minimalistic composition from 2007, but now the geometric emblem with a chevron and a slanted star can be accompanied by the logotype, introduced by the brand in 2011.
Font and color
The mixed case lettering from the iconic Converse logo is set in a custom sans-serif typeface with bold and stable characters, written in thick lines with distinctive contours. The closest fonts to the one, used in this composition, are Sol Pro Black and Autoprom Pro Black, but with some visible modifications.
In terms of colors, the Converse badge is very simple and minimalistic — the primary badge is set in a black-and-white color scheme. Although, when placed on the sneakers, the logo can also be executed in a blue, red, and white color palette.