Under Armour was founded in 1996 with the revolutionary idea of creating moisture wicking sports clothing. Founder Kevin Plank managed to turn this simple concept into one of the biggest sports apparel companies in the world because of their comfortable yet functional items.
A lot of the success of Under Armour is due to its iconic logo that helped to promote brand recognition in the early days of the company. Our article will take a look at the brilliant design of the Under Armour logo and let you know a little more about how the logo was created.
Logo Design Elements
The logo for Under Armour combines the brand name with a representation of the brand’s initials. All elements of the logo are depicted as black on a transparent background for most branding purposes. At the bottom of the logo is the brand name. This is written in all capitals with a san serif font. The custom font features a rounded edges, blunt tips, and notches where lines join in the D, E, and Rs.
At the top of the logo is a symbol made up of two curved lines that are thin in the middle curve and much thicker on both tips. The tips have slanted and slightly curved ends. Both lines are shaped somewhat like a U, but one is flipped to be upside down and overlap with the other. If you look closely, you can see that this clever design forms both a U and an A.
Changes and Evolution
Under Armour’s first logo used the same basic idea as the modern logo, but it actually looks quite different. The brand name was split up so that “Under” was at the top of the symbol and “Armour” was at the bottom of the symbol. The Under Armour symbol itself was slightly different. Each curve was much longer with a more even thickness throughout and flat tips. The areas where the curves intersected were turned into negative space, which made the symbol look a little too busy. Eventually Under Armour made the wise decision to simplify their design and add a little visual interest to their previously rigid shape.
All iterations of the logo typically show up as black on a white or transparent background. However, the company often puts their logo on garments, where it can appear in any color. The logo has been used for unusual color combinations like neon green on a navy blue background or green and blue print on a yellow background.
At first Under Armour used a more generic, san-serif font that had the elegant curves and contrastingly thick and thin strokes of the classic Optima font. Under Armour eventually changed their logo font to the modern one that is more like a customized version of Eurostile font.
The simple idea behind the Under Armour logo was just to create a symbol that included the brand’s name in small lettering with the initials in larger lettering. Once designers realized that overlapping an upside and right side up U incorporated both logos, they had created the basic concept behind the logo. However, it took a lot of subtle alterations to make the logo into its current shape. The symbol was slightly flattened and stretched so that it gave the impression of sturdiness and strength. Sharp notches were added to the font to make it appear a little bolder and more aggressive.
- The first major sale for Under Armour happened after USA Today featured a picture of Oakland Raiders quarterback, Jeff George, wearing the bold logo.
- Under Armour uses the British spelling of “armor” for their logo because the toll-free vanity number for that spelling was still available when the brand was founded.
- The name itself occurred because Kevin Plank’s brother misheard his original brand name idea, “body armor” as “under armor.”
- Fans of the old logo can occasionally still find it on limited edition, special release items like the 20th anniversary tee-shirt.
Under Armour may sell a lot of cutting edge sports apparel, but much of their success simply comes from the logo itself. People could instantly notice when their heroes were wearing Under Armour gear, and then they quickly went to purchase some for themselves. The clever product placement and the strong, graphic appeal of the Under Armour logo are a large part of why the company is now beloved and trusted by athletes everywhere.