The silhouette of the feline has played a determining role in some of the most important moments of the counterculture, such as hip-hop or the b-boy movement; but it has also led the mainstream starring in soccer kits or exclusive collections. An amalgam of imaginaries that have endowed Puma with a unique vision that explains its privileged position since the 1950s.
The memorable logo of a puma has served the eponymous brand to create an identity recognized throughout the world. Its image inspires strength and speed, but there is much more behind this symbolic drawing. The truth is, to begin with, the drawing is not a Puma but a panther. The creator of the logo, Lutz Backes, confessed that he actually drew a panther because its silhouette is more elegant than that of a puma. So he opted for the stylized shape of a panther and added the paws and head of a puma. Its design became the official logo of the sportswear brand on January 10, 1968, and hasn’t changed since, although the animal has undergone some transformations. Actually, many. As a curious fact, Lutz Backed refused to receive a commission of one pfenning, one cent of the last German mark, for each Puma product that was sold. The designer preferred a one-time payment of 600 marks, an amount with which he also received a sports bag and a pair of the brand’s sneakers. Another curiosity confessed by Backes is that the founder of Puma, Rudolf Dassler, asked him the reason why he had given it such a long tail. «I always have to pay for all the space that the ad takes up», he told the designer. But the length ended up prevailing. It took more than ten changes to the Puma logo to finally reach the one that it currently displays. And each of those changes had its moment of splendor. Some lasted only for a year; others lasted a decade. Today, although the official Puma logo is the 1978 version, the brand sometimes plays with its image to provide a retro aesthetic in some of its garments. Life is a constant change, and who better than Puma to demonstrate that there is nothing wrong with it.
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