Adidas to change German kit design after unfortunate resemblance to Nazi SS symbol noticed

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And certainly no “useless” education in history (or any other liberal or fine art college-level course).


Tbf, every German knows these symbols from basic history education in school. There’s really no need to have taken a college-level course to see the unfortunate symbolism here.


I’d be curious how the process of farming the design out went. Anyone you’d trust to design a font for you seems even more likely than average to be familiar with some of the more iconic runes of 20th century graphic design; unless you were pulling from quite a distance.

Nobody listened to the expendable contractor? Expendable contractor comes from somewhere where WWII wasn’t such a thing?


Which leads to the other, darker conclusion that this was a deliberate choice. We both know that the attitudes of the Dassler brothers toward Nazism long outlived the Third Reich amongst certain Germans despite the best and exemplary efforts (indeed extraordinary ones) of post-war education.


Nah, things like this don’t just happen (I mean, what the hell kind of 4 is that?). At least someone somewhere in the process had to know exactly what they were doing.


I really don’t think that. It’s just an attempt at a modern-looking font that looks a bit unfortunate across the board. If you make two design decisions, 1.) angular letters and 2.) a narrow letter form, you will automatically create something similar to the SS rune. It doesn’t help that by tradition the letters on the German home jersey are black and in that case had a 3D effect added that looks a lot like the thin outline used in many (but by no means all!) versions of the SS rune.

I mean, just look at that 8!

Let’s not forget that the same entities that OK’d the design (Adidas and the DfB) also immediately agreed to pull it. Hardly the actions of edgy provocateurs.


This isn’t the first time this has happened. Man, I fucking despise soccer!


I was about to say “AHA! It is a manji!”. But the orientation is quite different.


There is also the question about what the fuck Gianluigi Buffon was thinking with his original choice of squad number.

Italy retired number 88 for all teams recently.


I don’t either. I think Hanlon’s Razor applies: “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity.”


I find it really hard to believe that design was approved by countless people before being used and yet somehow, NO ONE noticed.


It looks even worse on the front where the font is smaller and the three dimensional look is harder to see.

I am curious what font that is. If they extended the 2nd ascender, it would look better. It reminds me of something the Designers Republic would maybe do, with how modern it is - or similar design group in the UK in the late 90s to early 2000s.

Coincidentally, I saw a video of a guy unboxing a vintage lighter from France around the Art Deco era, and there was a 44 stamped on the fuel box; a lot or part number. I had to do a double take as it too had a very similar look, but it was clearly a 44 when looked at closely, but it was as similar glyph shape.

I can see how this slipped through because 1) they probably didn’t view every single number combination. IIRC this is no one’s jersey, it is a custom one you can buy in the store. 2) People aren’t looking for dog whistles and if you are expecting to see 4s, you are less likely to see runes.

That is the problem with dog whistles, they are common enough to blend in with completely innocuous uses. I have a shirt that says “88” on it as a faux sports look from Structure (I got in the early 2000s). It’s just decoration. In KC it wouldn’t be noticed if you wore a fan favorite Toney Gonzalez jersey. There are dozens of people in US sports wearing the number, and it has nothing to do with Hitler. Heck, a friend at work showed me his Switch, and showed his gamer tag ended in “88”, I asked if he was born in 1988, and he said yes. Being a gay Latino, I suspected that. So you its like a detective game sometimes to figure out if someone is a POS or not. :confused:



88 is a lucky number in Chinese culture.


I wonder how the band “Kiss” has been able to get away with using that lettering for so many decades; unlike this “4” rune their logo was always drawn with the double “S” that looks even more like the Nazi version.

I guess it may have helped that Gene Simmons is an Israeli-born Jew (so unlikely to be a Nazi) and a famously belligerent asshole (so unlikely to care what anyone said about the logo).


Exactly. I imagine an approval process like this probably works through the relevant people being given/shown a PDF or even just a PowerPoint presentation with the design. The typeface would only be a small part of that and probably only be shown as a row of numbers from 0 to 9 and as a mockup of one or two jerseys. If the 4 isn’t on that jersey it would look innocent enough in a row of numbers where people are primed to see, well, numbers, not runes.

It’s unfortunate that it went through and I’m sure someone got a dressing-down for it but I don’t think we need to get out our pitchforks and hunt for cryptonazis.

They use a different logo in German-speaking countries.


Count me in as someone who thinks ignorance alone doesn’t explain it.

The numbers are much harder to read, especially when the players are active on the field. Forget Nazi dog whistles for a moment; that’s idiotic team uniform design, full stop. What enabled it to get through the entire approval process? There must have been something they liked, and thought would push the envelope just enough without getting caught. But, they got caught, and knew they weren’t going to get away with it. This time.


Pretty sure it’s custom lettering created for this generation of jerseys

Therein is the start of the problem, IMO; the “relevant people” likely didn’t include much if any diversity, and that’s why they didn’t spot the issues with using such an ill-chosen font.

Fish don’t see water.



Criticism and cynicism do NOT ‘a lynch mob’ make; maybe be more careful about your choice of hyperbole.