Taschen: Icons book design

Category: Print Design; Entrant: Zak Group

In 2016, Nike and Virgil Abloh joined forces to create a sneaker collection celebrating ten of the company’s most iconic shoes. The book, Icons, published by Taschen, offers a behind-the-scenes view into this collaboration, bringing together classic shoes including Air Jordan 1, Air Max 90, Air Force 1, and Air Presto.

The first part of the book catalogues a visual culture of sneakers and Abloh’s creative process through original text messages from Abloh to Nike designers, plus rare materials from the brand’s archives. Zak Group worked closely with Abloh to select never-before-seen prototypes and art direct a series of photographs by Sergiy Barchuk.

A lexicon in the second part of the book defines the key people, ­places, objects, ideas and materials from which the project grew. Texts by Nike’s Nicholas Schonberger, writer Troy Patterson, curator and historian Glenn Adamson, and Virgil Abloh with Emily Segal place the ­collaborative work within fashion and design history.

The electric volt green cover features the original 1971 swoosh by ­designer Carolyn Davidson, framed by Abloh’s addition, Something’s Off. An eight-page gatefold charts the entirety of Abloh’s prolific output, ­including the original ten icons and the 50 designs released over the following three years.

Client: Nike, Off-White c/o Virgil Abloh; Taschen
Design and Art Direction: Zak Group
Publisher: Nike, Taschen