Publication Year: 2014
Designer and Producer: Tangent Design Ltd.
Language: English (dry, if you were wondering)
Designed and produced in 2014 by Tangent Design Ltd., there are (at least) 2 variations of the cover. Both come in a brown cardboard case with custom ‘stitching’ applied using a serrated cutting form, with the pattern inspired by the original shoe body markers from the Reebok archives. The more well-known is blue suede with white lettering for the title, done using a blind deboss and white foil block, along with a bellywrap that is white with a red foil block and blind deboss. The lesser known cover is black leather with gold accents and lettering, and a brown/white snakeskin bellywrap with blind emboss, the colorway inspired by the original J.W. Foster De-Luxe running shoe.
The book’s table of contents is: 1 – Introduction (written by Joe Foster, who along with his brother Jeff, co-founded the Reebok that we know today); 2 – History (Extensive background on the Foster family as well as a fantastic timeline and the history of the logo); 3 – Technology (the Pump, ERS, Hexalite, DMC, Graphlite, Ventilator and various Fitness innovations); 4 – Product (a surprisingly helpful, yet not often seen, glossary of both shoe and Reebok terms, followed by over 80 pages of running, fitness, court and basketball Reebok Classics); 5 – Archive (a cleanly laid out array of images that give a glimpse into the Reebok archives, reminiscent of a Japanese style publication); 6 – Appendix (an afterword as well as a note from Adam Slater, a designer at Tangent that worked on the book).
Sneakerature’s Take: The presentation is beautifully executed, yet the inside of the book is without question what’s most important, and this is one of the best there is. Not only does it contain an exhaustively comprehensive history of Reebok and it’s predecessor J.W. Foster & Sons (from product, to logo, to marketing, to design and everywhere in between), but it also is written in a wonderfully dry voice that’s brutally and endearingly candid. From a flippantly casual mention that the J.W. Foster factory was “bombed…again”, to this subtle beauty, “Joe’s running shoes help secure two medals for GB at the Olympic Games as they’re worn by both Arthur Russell in the 3200m Steeplechase, and Harold A. Wilson in the 3 Miles Team Race. As a slightly interesting side note, this was the first, and the last, time this confusing race was included in the olympics”, the reader can’t help but laugh and find him/herself drawn further into the page.