East Idahoans draw parallels between CEI and Adidas logos

IDAHO FALLS — Some say the similarities are striking.

“(It looks like) the Adidas logo with a sun behind it,” said Candi Christensen of Shelley.

College employees disagree.

“There’s nothing the same, except they both have three distinct shapes,” said Todd Wightman, College of Eastern Idaho’s director of community relations and marketing.

CEI’s new logo, a yellow sun rising above three triangular mountains, is drawing comparisons to the ubiquitous three-stripes emblem of clothing-and-accessories giant Adidas.

A new school emblem was just one of several rapid-fire changes required to solidify the recent voter-approved conversion of Eastern Idaho Technical College into a two-year community college. But comparisons to the Adidas insignia have followed CEI’s release of its new logo on social media.

“Looks like the Adidas logo,” wrote one Facebook user.

I think that’s what most people will see, regardless of the intentions,” wrote another.

Wightman, who helped draft the image, said he’s “obviously biased” but doesn’t see the similarities.

“They (Adidas) have three black bars. We have three mountains,” he said.

Adidas has been notoriously protective of its three-stripes logo, filing lawsuits against clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch and fashion designer Marc Jacobs for purportedly pilfering it in the past.

Idaho Education News reached out to Adidas on Wednesday morning regarding the logos, but hasn’t heard back.

Despite downplaying the parallels, Wightman said CEI’s emblem is simply a transitional logo, and that it could change.

“That’s how it was presented to our board,” he said, adding that the swift transition to a community college hampered the school’s ability to purchase a professional logo from an outside agency.

“Ideally, we would’ve liked more time to come up with something more permanent,” Wightman said.

CEI officials have discussed hiring a design firm to draw different designs to present to the public, Wightman said, but that would likely be a “year or two down the road.”

No extra funds were spent to develop the current design, Wightman said.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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