webpick of the week
Swedish design studio North Kingdom archived all things Adidas on this unique site as a way to educate fans about the history of the brand. The archive is about way more than footwear—Adi Dassler, the brand’s founder, collected thousands of historical Adidas objects over the years. The archive is bursting with unexpected treasures, and it’s far from being a dusty old library. North Kingdom focused the site design on the emotional experience of browsing the archive and finding connections, moving through the site by exploring it rather than searching for specific products.
High-quality imagery is core to the site’s concept and function. A spinning tower of images representing Adidas shoes, balls, equipment, catalogs and video clips welcomes users to the site and encourages discovery. Every piece in the archive was photographed in exactly the same way, so each holds up to a consistently detailed inspection, with full zoom and the ability to view from different angles. Interactive sections dedicated to Adidas stories and “heroes” feature video clips and interviews with the athletes and artists who have become synonymous with the iconic brand, from tennis star Stan Smith to Olympic marathoner Haile Gebrselassie and fashion designer Jeremy Scott. Users can go deeper by reading in detail about the objects featured in the films, and can even build their own exhibition by collecting artifacts as they journey through the archive, then publish the exhibition for others to browse.